Tuesday, April 23, 2013

This Lovely French Bench

Having a chair or bench in my bedroom has always been an important component to my bedroom design.  At the end of a long day, I am not always so tidy when it comes to hanging up my clothes.  Having a place to toss my things before I crawl into bed is essential for me.  Doesn’t everyone have their favorite “collect all” spot in their bedrooms?

When this bench popped up on Craigslist (sorry no before pictures!) it was in a deep mahogany red color with a dark green (grandma style) fabric.  I immediately knew she could be transformed into an elegant piece.  I don’t always have a clear vision when I make purchases, but I knew when I spotted her just what needed to be done.

I have seen a lot of ‘greige’ in the market place and thought a 1:1 ratio of Coco to Paris Grey would give me the warm gray I was looking for.  Bingo!  After my BFF Shellac was coated all over her, it was 2 quick coats of my greige formula. 

Although I planned to highlight some areas with Renaisaance Gold, I could see that wasn’t going to be enough.  She was looking a little flat.  I gave her a coat of clear wax, and then made a sludge of Old White and clear wax.  With each pass of the sludge, I followed up with a swipe of 00 steel wool to pull the sludge off and push it into the grooves, leaving a very slight hint of an Old White wash.  

My photography is not so great, but hopefully you can see where the Old White settled into the grooves of the legs, and created some definition in the carving at the top of the leg.  It is a subtle touch, but very effective. 

The Old White sludge helped, but she needed to be aged a bit.  I followed up with a light smattering of dark wax, again, pulling most of it off.  Now it was coming together!

This elegant lady needed a little bling, so out came the gold gilding wax.  Just little bits to highlight her really pretty curves and carvings! 

After a good buffing, I turned my attention to the bench seat.  I had a creamy white cotton damask with a French scroll design that was the perfect complement.  I picked a neutral fabric since I didn’t want anything to detract from the beautiful detail work in her frame. 

And now this tired, dark, drab bench has been given a new life, awaiting to adorn some aristocrat’s bedroom!  

Am I the only one who makes up stories about where our masterpieces are headed?

Thanks for stopping by!



  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Emma Kate! It was a fun piece to learn how to use a 'sludge' to wash over a piece!

      Thanks for taking a look!