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DIY Trash To Treasure Sitting Bench Makeover

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What is it about furniture makeovers that just make us DIY’ers swoon?! Maybe it’s the repurposing of something that was once forgotten about, almost like reviving it’s history. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to loving a good furniture makeover project. I think my How to Refinish and Reupholster a Chair or DIY Vintage Heirloom White Desk Makeover is a testament to how much I love to work on furniture projects. But what is even more satisfying is seeing the before and after pictures of my projects.

What made this particular sitting bench project even more fun is because it was free. Yes, free. We found this bench at the curb or as my father-in-law says, “dangerously close to the road” (which is code for put it in the truck!). This sitting bench was also the one featured in The Benefits of Planting Fruit Bearing Trees garden post.

Technically, when we first found the bench it looked like the picture below. I just cleaned it up and put it in our upstairs hallway. On its’ own it really had a good stain color to it, but I still wanted to make it over. The bench must’ve sat in water for a period of time because the bottoms of all four legs had water damage and some deterioration of the wood.

You can see the damage (in the picture above) showing a darkness/discoloration on the bottom of the leg. But those imperfections don’t bother me because they all tell a story. It would just be nice to know what that story was. I wasn’t a big fan of history when I was in school but now it just fascinates me.

Notice those pillows?! The picture above was also taken when I was into my primitive decorating style. That was some years back. I’ve since “gone to the light” as a friend once said to me (about the dark “cubicle” I worked in). But I digress.

So this cute little bench sat in our upper hallway as I pondered what I wanted to do with it. Again, because I was into the primitive style at the time I anticipated painting it black. The next hurdle was actually getting to the task of doing the project. When the time came, my husband was so sweet to sand the bench down. Now I only had the task of choosing a color….another delay. So many colors, so little time!

What I really loves about this bench was that it was the perfect size to easily use around the house. As I said, it was in our upstairs hallway for a number of years and now it’s downstairs in our dining room. We are using it as a sitting bench for guests to be able to sit and put their shoes on or take off. But, if we have a lot of guests over, I could easily pull this bench over to our table and use it as a table bench too.

In hindsight, after it was all sanded down I should’ve just lathered it up with some clear polyurethane because the natural color was actually really nice. But, I was draw to paint it a black color because I do still have black accents all around our house. If I should I change my mind, well, I (i.e., my husband) can just sand it down again!

For now -I love how it came out! It also matches a curio cabinet that I made over. I’ll link this post to the cabinet post when the cabinet makeover goes up. The paint I used was also one I already had. It’s the same color that I’ve used throughout our home. All our exterior doors are painted the same black color.

Again, I don’t know much about the bench but I do feel like it has a colonial vibe to it. What do you think?

Sitting Bench Makeover

To complete this project, all I had to do was shop my basement. I love that when I’m inspired to start and (hopefully) complete a project I am able to use materials I already had on hand.


  • Behr paint in Black Suede, satin finish
  • paintbrush
  • foam roller and tray
  • sander

01. Clean

On this project I was lucky enough to just have to wipe the bench down with a damn cloth. I cleaned it this way because I knew I’d be sanding it down. If I sand items, I rarely clean it first. If it’s necessary I will TSP cleaner.

02. Sand or Stripe Paint

This was another project where I employed my husband to sand the bench down. It was easier that way and he didn’t mind. He used a palm sander for the flat surfaces and hand sanded the detailed areas. He also used some wood filler on the legs that had wood deterioration.

03. Paint

This is my favorite part of any project. It’s like when you’re all dressed up and put your jewelry on, it’s the finishing touch that makes any outfit shine. It’s the same when painting furniture; this part of the process truly shows the beauty of each piece.

Remember this sitting bench was pretty dry and so it took two good coats of paint to fully cover it. The best part of this paint is that I don’t need to use a top coat. It goes on like butter and has a great finish to it; which is why I’ve used it in numerous places throughout my house.

I absolutely love the finished look of this sitting bench! Don’t you?!

If you are inspired to create a new furniture piece from trash to treasure don’t forget to share by tagging me on Instagram and using #btdinspired, I’d love to see your work (and I just might repost your photo)!

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Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post. I just really love the product(s)/brands I’ve willingly chosen to feature. All opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.

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