Country Bench Makeover

8 Materials
3 Hours

Who doesn't love a good before and after?

Almost everybody either has had one of these or had a relative that had one of these country pine benches. This lovely little bench needed a new home and a friend of mine generously offered it to me and it’s rare that I turn down free furniture that’s well-made, so I was thrilled to offer it a spot in my home. I knew it really was not my style, but knew for sure that paint would be involved. Paint is my love language.

Materials Used:

  • orbital hand sander
  • 80 grit sand paper
  • chalk paint
  • chalk paint sealing wax
  • mod podge
  • acrylic craft paint
  • paint brush
  • foam brush
  • stencils
  • 11x14 laser print

Before painting, I gave the bench a light sanding and a quick wipe down to remove any dust, grabbed my paint brush some left over chalk paint and went to town. I only applied 1 coat of my chalk paint, I wanted it to be pretty easy to distress. Also, I left the insides of the legs bare. Figured it gave it more texture and contrast!

After the paint had dried (chalk paint usually dries pretty quickly), I went over the entire bench with my sandpaper (by hand) and lightly distressed around the places I felt like would normally get some ware- on the bottom corners, top corners, on the curved arms. Don't let me fool you, after that I went to town on distressing, because I like my wooden furniture pieces to look like they went to war and back. Hi, my name is Victoria and I'm obsessed and addicted to all things chippy and distressed.

So, here is where it gets interesting!  My intention was to do a photo transfer directly onto the wood, but after 2 attempts and an epic DIY FAIL (We won't get into details on all the things that went wrong! LOL).

We decided to come up with a different game plan. I applied mod podge onto the back of the bench where we wanted the photo to be, placed my image down and applied another good coat of mod podge over top of the image as well.

After the mod podge dried (I helped it along with a blow-dryer) I again, took my hand sander, sanded down the extra mod podge, and sanded down the edges on my images. I even went over my image lightly to give it a more distressed look- because remember, I'm obsessed!

after sanding to my liking, I then re-painted around my image where some paint was taken off.

not bad, eh? I mean not the look I was going for but overall- I liked it!

And how stinking adorable is this highland cow?!

After all that fun (did that sound too sarcastic?), I placed some stencils on the bottom of the bench, traced them out and painted with the black craft paint. A little tedious and time-consuming but calming! And of course, more distressing.

I gave it a good wipe down again. After cleaning it all up I got an old rag and my chalk paint sealing wax to seal it up and protect it against dirty hands and ketchup fingers.

I threw on some old hinges lying around and voila, she's done and sitting pretty!

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  • Maureen Maureen on Jun 15, 2020

    Absolutely amazing makeover!! The bench looks awesome. Thank you for sharing ❤️

  • Tawny Leste-Carlson Tawny Leste-Carlson on Mar 28, 2022

    This comes at THEE PERFECT TIME ~ a friend of mine was clearing out a late relative’s house and gave me 2 benches like that, one painted an ugly brownishreddish color and the other unfinished ~ I’ve been trying to figure out how to make them pretty in a unique way and you gave me the answer. Bonus points for having everything but the photo. However I have been collecting images I came across in magazines that I just had to cut out and save for SOMETHING someday. This is that something 😉