The Nightmare of Revamping an Old Bench

4 Materials
3 Weeks

While scrolling Facebook Marketplace a bench caught my eye. After adding it to my “saved” list I realized that the seller was a friend of mine. $50 later, the bench was mine!!! Though the fabric was what initially caught my eye, after having it for a number of months I decided that this piece was in dire need of a makeover. The fabric was worn in some spots, and the bench seat was extremely uncomfortable. Now... I went into this revamp completely and totally optimistic... but whew child... WHY?!....When I tell you this revamp ALMOST TOOK ME OUT.. Lord have mercy, this project had me questioning EVERYTHANG!!!! Here is what happened!

Before... not terrible.. right?! I mean... she cute and whatever... And seems like an easy enough project, right?! Mmmhmm... that’s what I thought too!

Rather quickly I began to regret my decision to revamp this bench. You see... for some reason my brain told me that these were not individual nails but rather nail head strips! 🤦🏾‍♀️ There were what seemed like a million decorative nails! 😫

The more I pried and pulled the more I became discouraged because I could see that even with the decorative nail heads removed, this fabric was still attached with a MILLION staples!! And every last one of the staples was sunk deep into the wood! I was quickly coming to the realization that the nightmare was just beginning!!!

I sent this video to a friend to show her what I was dealing with. Can you hear the frustration in my voice?! I was so ready to toss this bad boy on the burn pile and decimate it, but my inner cheapskate was appalled at the thought of giving up on a bench that I spent $50 on! So I just kept going....An hour or so a day... little by little.

I took this video when I was about 1/3 of the way done.... yes... all those holes were from the nails and staples! 😫

FINALLY after 2 weeks of pulling staples and nails, I was done!!!

Because there were so many holes I had to wood fill... A LOT! Once the wood filler was dry I sanded the piece and stained it. Finally the arduous part was over!!!!! 🎉

After adding a new wood base for the seat, I upholstered the seat using the old foam cushion, new batting, and new upholstery fabric.

This was one project that I was so happy to be done with, that I didn’t know what to do with myself! I later decided to move this bench to my room and change the seat fabric to navy blue (the advantage of DIY! 😉). Needless to say I will not have any reupholstering projects on my radar for QUITE a long time! Have you ever had a never-ending-nightmare-project? Tell me all about it in the comments below!!

The moral of the story? In the words of Dory “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, hmmhmmm...”! Not every project will be easy, but every project will be totally worth it!

Revamped “nightmare” bench DONE!!! 😎

Suggested materials:

  • Bench   (Facebook Marketplace)
  • Fabric   (Hobby Lobby)
  • Batting   (Hobby Lobby)
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  • Linda W Linda W on Feb 23, 2021

    I love what you did! So glad you persevered with it. Reading your story reminded me of tearing up the carpet in the BATHROOM of the house we had just bought, years ago. That’s right. Bathroom carpet! Gross! There were thousands of little nails! It was awful.

    • Nicole Juarez DIY Nicole Juarez DIY on Feb 23, 2021

      Thank you so much! Ugghhhh!! I would have definitely had on a HAZMAT suit! 😫 Can you imagine the dirt and germs in that carpet?! I will never understand how anyone ever thought carpet in a bathroom was a good idea! 🤦🏾‍♀️