Wednesday, September 16, 2009

For the table

When I blogged about the table I mentioned that I was planning to build a bench and come up with a centerpiece for her...
Here they are!

I've never been a big fan of tables with benches, but this table was begging for one.
I planned to build one from the begining, though after the table was done I got a little nervous and started shopping garage sales for a bench I could refinish, instead of starting from scratch.
I never did find anything, and I'm so happy about that now!

The table came with 6 chairs, 4 of which I refinished with the table. One was in terrible shape - it looked like it had been used as a chew toy for a very large dog. I decided NOT to use it at my table.
Instead, I stole it's two curvy legs and used them for my bench :)
I also bought 2 retangular legs from the Home Depot.
To start, I spray painted the legs and the 2x4s that I planned to use for the base with Heirloom white, to match the table.
I decided I wanted a 2 tone look for the bench, with the base matching the table and the top being real wood. I bought a peice of 1 inch thick butcher block style wood from the Home Depot and had hubby cut it down for me (cutting with the grain, which is called ripping, is too scary for me!) I think the wood was about $20.
My husband makes fun of my wood staining. He says I never can just buy the color of stain I want - I have to mix them to get a custom color so that it can never be matched again.
It's not my plan - it just happens to go that way.
I stained my bench top with a Minwax gel stain in American Walnut. After my two coats had dried the color was really...brown. flat. not as warm as I had wanted.
So I took some Minwax liquid stain in Mahogany and rubbed a couple of coats over the top of the walnut. And it looked exactly like I'd envisioned :)
Once it was dry I applied 2 coats of polyurethane and 2 coats of polyacrylic, just like on the table. I wanted it to have a nice sheen to it, and to be well protected from all the abuse it was going to take from my kids.

I have a really nice bench in my front room that I flipped upside down and used for reference. I looked at it a million times during the process, and I was so glad to have it around!
I built the box for the bench out of 2x4's and attached it to the bench top using Quick Grip, a professional adhesive.
Then I nailed all the legs into the corners and added those angled pieces for support.
I taped off the edges of the bench top, flipped her upside down on the grass and gave the legs and box one last coat of heirloom white to cover the nail heads and black smudges from hammer hands.
(does anyone else leave black smudges from their hands that can't be washed away while using a hammer? Is it just me? Is it my hands? or my hammer?)

Oh, and while I was installing the legs I managed to chip a piece of wood off the edge of the bench. Since I didn't have an easy stain to run on to fix it (damn custom stain!) I used a sharpie to color it in.
And it matched exactly.
So I totally could have saved myself a bunch of time rubbing 2 coats each of 2 different color stains onto the top.
Next time it's sharpie for the whole thing! ;)

Anyway - on to the centerpiece!

Flip through a Pottery Barn catalog and you'll see dozens of vases filled with branches, twigs, leaves and blossoms...centerpieces that are often just for show and can't be purchased. When they are for sale they're a fortune.
DH pruned a tree in our yard a month or so ago while I was out. When I got home and saw it done I said (in a panic) "you didn't throw the branches away, did you?!"
Of course he hadn't. He knows me far better than that. Instead, they were neatly stacked on the front porch.
Easiest centerpeice ever - I just bought a big cylindrical vase and dropped the branches in as artfully as I could. I broke a few off here and there, to make them sit nicely, but that was the extent of the work.

I love the look of it even more now than I did with a chair on each side.
I don't know if it's because I know how much more useful it is (SO WONDERFUL for the kids!) or if it's because the dark wood top sets off the cream of the table, but it's perfection now :)
Done and done!


Kim @ NewlyWoodwards said...

I LOVE this. The bench is awesome. It must be a small world, because we built a bench this week too. But, it is much much different than yours.

And... I'm also going to be on the hunt for some twigs for a centerpiece.

Amber B. said...

That looks awesome! The whole effect is very nice--and I love benches for homes with kids. We don't have one, but I REALLY would like one!

Lorie said...

I can't even begin to tell you how much I love this post! What a great idea! I love benches with dining room tables, but you don't see them available a lot. Now I can make my own!

I am going to post a link to this tomorrow!!

Miss Mustard Seed said...

I love the bench. I am such a fan of white legs and a dark wood top. The contrast is so classic and sharp. Thanks for sharing process!

Phillips Phamily Mama said...

So seriously been considering a bench for the dining room in our house! You might have me convinced!

Vintage Dutch Girl said...

YAY for Pottery Barnish thrifty decor! Looks great :) Nice job on the bench!

sara said...

Wow, you are one handy gal! I've been wanting to paint our table but I've been nervous!! I also, love the bench. It looks so rich with that stained wood on top. Thanks for the tips!

Room to Inspire said...

The bench looks like is was part of the set! Looks great.


emry@my little creative outlet said...

wow! looks awesome! very impressive!

Aja said...

Gorgeous! Love the bench!

Fred said...

Your bench and centerpiece look great! I've always wanted a bench at the table. Thanks so much for stopping by too!

Shanty 2 Chic said...

Wow! I love that bench and I am so happy you did it yourself! The stain does look wonderful as well as the vase! Great DIY! Thanks for sharing! ~Ashley

Maryann @ Domestically-Speaking said...

The bench is a beauty! Great work.

Dana @ SweetThings said...

L-O-V-E IT!!!! Great job!!! Thanks for sharing your project with us. Who would think about making their own bench?? You are awesome!!!

Lacie @ Creative Attempts said...

I have been looking for an old piano bench to refinish but no one seems to want to seperate the piano from the bench lol. this is so much better!!

michelle@somedaycrafts said...

This is a rockin' good idea. I love how you deconstructed a chair to make this beautiful bench. I am featuring this at Grab My "featured" button. (I grew up in Sandy:)

Julie said...

Looks awesome!!! I saw your pictures on someone else's blog about your bench!!!
You live just on the other side of the point of the mountain from me.
Thanks for checking out my blog, and now I have a new one to add to my reader!

Andry said...

That looks great! Spacify offers wide range of Tables.

Christine @ Great Oak Circle DIY said...

This table is AMAZING! The bench is perfect! Great job!!!

linda said...

Love it!! way to go on repurposing the old chair.

Pam @ bibbidi-bobbidi-beautiful said...

Dang you're clever!! This looks fantastic and it's such a great use of materials and space!!

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Anonymous said...

OMG! This is absolutely beautiful. I think alot like you, my wonderful husband thinks I am crazy! When you could just buy a new one. But that table looks way better then a new one. My question is on the bench. I will be redoing my farmhouse table. We need a bench because of not enough seating. So when you did your bench did you cut out where the legs were attached to the frame of the seat? Or did you leave the frame a complete box shape? and then attach the legs? SO BEAUTIFUL! Your projects have INSPIRED ME.

Anonymous said...

Also do you remove the old varnish from the table? Mine has a oak top and white legs. Would I sand all of that down on the white? Or could I just paint over it. DO you use spray paint and paint or? Sorry for asking so many questions. But you make this look extremly easy.I am definately new to this.

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