Repurposed Bed Footboard to Bench

I am new to this exciting thing called Chalk paint and wanted to share my first experience. This old foot board was sitting in my stepson's garage gathering dust. He was about to throw it out when it hit me that it might have the potential to be a bench. (this is a really old bed from my husband's grandma, probably 1950's style; imagine the mattress sitting on the flat part with a similar part for the headboard.)
The base (or seat) was a little flimsy and would not withstand any kind of weight so my husband added the two horizontal edge pieces which would allow us to nail the bench part onto those, giving it more support. My first thought was to use pallet boards for the bench, but ended up purchasing some cedar boards at Lowe's instead. I'll have to experiment with pallets another time.
It's funny how my projects become my hubby's projects, too (much to his dismay). He doesn't trust me with his power tools, so he helped me cut and nail the cedar boards onto the horizontal support pieces. He made it very clear, the rest would be up to me!
Since I didn't take a lot of in-progress photos, I'll just have to explain that I made my own chalk paint using baking soda and some paint I had left-over in our garage. I stained the bench seat with a dark stain and then chalk painted it two or three different times, lightly sanding in-between each coat. I hated the first blue/green color I used and settled on this gray which seems much more soothing to the eye. We live on the gulf coast, so I thought a coastal effect would be nice with a sand dollar stencil and rope added to the bottom part.
Notice that I added and partly stained wood finials to each side to give it a more balanced look. Unfortunately, we have it sitting outside on our back porch now because I have no where to use it in my house! And even though I sealed it with a Valspar wax, I may have to seal it with a non-yellowing polyurethane if I am going to keep it outside. I found the pillows at Tuesday Morning after digging through all of their pillows to find matching ones! These have a rope trim on them which seems to coordinate nicely with the rope piece on the bottom. I would say total cost of the project was around $100 after purchasing cedar wood, finials, wax, stain and pillows. (wood piece was free) I can't decide if I like the sand dollar stencil. Should it stay or should it go?
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