How do I redo this bench?

Shirley pierce
by Shirley pierce

I have this bench i think its a old telephone bench i want to redo it but dont know what to do i dont like the two shelves but if i take them off its just another bench and i dont know what color to paint it to do it justice so i can reupholster it photo attached

q how to redo
  5 answers
  • This is called a "gossip bench." Back in the day people only had one telephone in their homes, generally in the foyer or public space. Phone and pencil and pen holder went on the top shelf and phonebooks underneath. I have one in my living room. Choose a color that coordinates with your decor. Take a paint swatch with you to choose fabric. I have recovered mine several times. Very easy to do.

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    • Gotcha! Well see what colors are selling by other vendors. What colors have sold well in the past for you? Keep in mind, many people have white, beige, tan or gray walls, so it needs at least some color so that it doesn't disappear visually. A butter cream yellow would be pretty. A pale sky blue or even a mint green. If you want to go bold, black always works, just choose a busy pattern fabric for the seat. Many like a pop of red, but that might be "iffy." Or strip it and stain it a walnut, which many people like.

  • Nan W. Nan W. on Jan 13, 2019

    Shirley: I would absolutely KEEP the two shelves!'s such a unique piece! How lucky you are! :-)

    You can easily "shabby chic" paint it:

    ...and then simply re-upholster the pad with a very fun fabric!!

  • Mogie Mogie on Jan 13, 2019

    If it was mine I would paint the shelves white and spray paint what appears to be metal legs a contrasting color (maybe black). You could put a design using black spray paint on the shelves using stencils. What are those purple designs on the seat? The seat would look nice recovered. The stencil color could even be one of the colors in the material used to recover the seat.

    • Shirley pierce Shirley pierce on Jan 13, 2019

      Its not for my home i redo furn and sell it so hard to decide paint colors sometimes

  • Lynne Lynne on Jan 13, 2019

    Yes, this a piece of furniture that might be found in the hall way of an older home. My grandmother used to have one. If you take the shelves off it would be another bench. You could do something to it to match the decor in your home. If it were mine I would strip the wood and stain it to match the mahogany furniture that I have and then, reupholster the seat to match my curtains or other chairs in my house. My home was built in 1926 ( not a Victorian home though) and this would match my furniture. If you have one of those Alexa shows that give information, plays music, etc. You could paint this to match your home, redo the seat to match your couch and put the Alexa device on here.

    • Shirley pierce Shirley pierce on Jan 13, 2019

      Thank you its not for me i redo furn and sell it at craft shows staining is a good idea

  • Elaine Elaine on Jan 14, 2019

    Oh boy that looks like harvest gold...I’d strip, stain and recover the seat. But since it’s a craft show you want to sell it and not antique, I’d scuff sand, paint a light neutral color - white, light gray maybe a light blue gray, light tan like hazelnut and reupholster the seat in an easy to wipe cloth, perhaps even a piece of leather. Put some batting over the foam so it sits nicely. Going neutral the customer can always fit it in their home if they fall in love. Get a piece of fabric and go to the paint store. Might want to use a semi or high gloss paint to help draw the eye to it. You don’t want to put a lot of time or money into it as your profit margin won’t be so high. Pick a fabric that won’t show pet hair or dust, easy to vacuum and you’ll have a winner!