Category Archives: Furniture Projects

Vintage Metal Bench Restored

Vintage Metal Bench Restored

Mom’s metal bench was a fixture at my grandmother’s house for as long as I can remember. It was eventually turned into a swing, after someone had drilled holes into the armrests to run the chain through.

I was asked by Mom if there was anything that could be done with it.  Well, thankfully, I had already done some metal furniture which also came from my grandmother’s house, so I knew what had to be done. Here is what we started with. You can see the holes in the arm rest in the last one. Vintage metal bench beforeBack of metal benchArm rest of bench

I took the bench to my local headstone/monument place, which also does sandblasting.  They are the same people I used for the patio furniture I inherited. It took them about an hour to sandblast the bench because of the curled pieces on the seat. The sandblaster did mention just putting a clear coat over it and saying it was shabby chic, which I thought was funny. It was more on the shabby part, than the chic part.  Sandblasted metal bench

After I picked it up, the bench got its first coat of Rustoleum’s Clean Metal Primer.  It was November, so I was spraying that in my garage.  I wouldn’t recommend it, since I now have a fine layer of white dust all over everything. I put two coats on the surface.Primer on Bench

I also tried to figure out what I was going to do with the holes in the arm rests.  I have no experience in metal work, welding, or bonding agents, so I took the easy way out.  I just bought washers that were big enough to cover the holes, and fastened them with a bolt and nut.Nut and bolt to cover holes

After I figured that out, and got the arm rests primered, I got to finally see the first coat of color as I was spraying the bench.  The rest of Mom’s patio furniture is black, so we thought we would stick with that color. I used Rustoleum’s Black.First coat of Black paintBlack paint on back of bench

Once the bench was painted completely, and dry, I used Rustoleum’s Clear Enamel in satin to give it a nice clear coat.  Hopefully that will protect it from some of the elements outside. In this picture, you can see the clear enamel newly sprayed on the right side.  Also this picture provides a view of how pitted the metal was from the rust. Clear coat enamel going on metal bench

I couldn’t just have a black bench, so I decided to give her some lipstick.  I painted the arm rests Colonial Red, and loved how they turned out. I also painted some additional washers to go under the bolt that holds them on to the bench, so hopefully it will make the others look like they were there intentionally:) red arm rests

And here she is all put back together.  She turned out so pretty!Finished benchFinished metal arm rests

Now, because it was spitting ice pellets with a 30 mph north wind when we took it back to Mom’s, I don’t have a true finished picture.  That will have to wait till spring.

However, in the meantime, we couldn’t figure out why it sat so low to the ground, with the top of the seat at 13″.  I did some research, and it looks like it might have once been a glider, like in the below picture that I found on the internet. Some other metal BenchThat would actually make sense, since there are two perfectly drilled holes on each side, and why it was made into a swing later. I have some ideas to add some height but it will have to be in the spring.  I’ll edit this post to add new pictures.

For now, here’s a before and after.  A shocking change, if I do say so myself. Before and After

Edited to add:

This is what we finally ended up doing to get the bench up to a height that was perfect for the bench to be used. Basically, we bought some concrete blocks with holes, some treated lumber, and some u-shaped clips. We just slipped the lumber through the concrete blocks, and attached the clips to the back leg.  This made the bench usable again.

We also bought some extra concrete blocks, which we used to create side tables.  We ended up turning those around to give them a flat surface for people to put drinks, but after this picture was taken. 20160514_132159a

Thanks for looking!


Linking up to Between Naps on the Porch, Domestically Speaking, A Stroll Thru Life and Tip Junkie:





IKEA Hack to Add Legs to Old Trunk

IKEA Hack to Add Legs to Old Trunk

I’ve had an old green trunk for a while now, and I have picture albums stored in it.  I’ve wanted to add legs to the trunk since I got it, but I couldn’t find any that really wowed me.  However, since it has pictures in it, I wanted the trunk up off the floor, so I knew I had to come up with something.

One day, I was searching the internet for something totally different, and came across the IKEA Hackers website. I saw the Capita brackets, and it just clicked that I could use those for the trunk legs. They seemed like they would be really cool for this trunk.

This is what I started with.  Just your basic trunk.  Unfortunately, this is not a great picture, but you can get the idea.  Someone had taped the latch, which I ended up removing. I saw why they did that, since it would be really easy to lock this one, and there is no key.01 Trunk before legs

This is what the inside looks like.  Old, glued-on paper and a divided tray.  There is even one stay that is still attached and working, and all three leather handles are still on it!Inside of trunk

Double D finished this when I wasn’t home, so I didn’t get any pictures of the process of attaching the legs. Basically he positioned the legs in line with each other, and drilled a hole where he wanted them. I told him that I would like the outer side of the leg to match the outer side of the trunk. Also, most people use the rounded part of these brackets as the bottom, but I liked the look of the square, so he turned them around.IKEA capita Brackets

We probably could have cut the bolts off so they don’t stick up as much. However, the albums fit just fine, so we decided it wasn’t worth the hassle to cut them off.  This is what they look like from the inside of the trunk.Holes drilled for Capita bolts

Once Double D got all four legs on, he got this picture of the bottom side of the trunk.  Very cool!All four capita brackets installed

And here is the finished trunk, now on legs.  I love how it turned out, and I figure that I can always paint them later to match the black metal pieces on the trunk if I want. For now though, I’m just happy to have it up off the floor.Finished Green Steamer Trunk

Thanks for looking!


If you’re interested in trunks, feel free to check out my other trunk revamps:

flat-Top Steamer Trunk Redo

Everwear Trunk

Humpback Steamer Trunk Redo

Linking up with Between Naps on the Porch, A Stroll Thru Life and Domestically Speaking:


My Transformation of Vintage Theater Chairs

My Transformation of Vintage Theater Chairs

I’ve had these chairs since June 2005.  I know this because we got them right after we moved into our new house. My sister and I came across them at a garage sale and paid $25 for them.  I remember telling my sister that I didn’t care if she had to lay down across them, she wasn’t allowed to let anyone else have them while I went to go pay for them.  They even came with an extra seat and back, which I stored in the garage, while I put the actual chairs on the front porch. They were so beautiful.

Fast forward to 2012 when we built the screened porch.  We moved the chairs around to there, but it seemed that the time spent on the front porch had damaged them. Even though the porch is covered, they did get wet sometimes.

Recently, we added a piece of furniture to the screened porch, so the chairs had to be split up to make everything fit. I knew we would have to lose one of the chair pieces, but we kept all of the legs. This is what we started with. The veneer was peeling or cracked on most of the pieces, and on some, huge chunks were missing. The legs were in okay condition, just a bit dingy. Feel free to click on any of the pictures to view slightly larger.

Theater chairs in 2013

I got home from work one day, and Double D had all of the seats taken apart, including removing the two seat rests that were no longer needed. I’m not sure how old the chairs are, but those screws had a lot of rust, so he had to use some Liquid Wrench to get them apart. I changed out the worst seat and back for the ones I had in the garage, and then selected the second worse ones to take out, leaving me four sets.01 Taken apart

We got some wood glue, and spent an evening putting glue in between the veneer and the interior wood piece on three seats and one of the back pieces.  The other backs had some split veneer, but nothing pulled away, and the one remaining seat was the one kept in the garage.02 Wood Glue

Once the glue dried, I was able to apply the wood putty to all eight pieces where the veneer was cracked or missing. These pictures show the damage up close.04 Wood Putty Seat03 Wood Putty Back

I let the wood putty dry overnight, and then sanded each piece to a smooth finish. Here are all the pieces laid out, ready to be painted.05 Ready to paint

I used a primer that was rolled on, rather than spraying, because this wood was very dry.  It took two coats of the roll on primer, and I finished up with one coat of Rustoleum’s spray primer.  I kept having some of the original stain bleed through, especially on the arm pieces, so I’m glad I used primer before I painted.06 Primer coat

For the colors, I decided to go with different colors for each chair that I had already used for other pieces on the screened porch. I used Rustoleum’s Leafy Green, Warm Yellow, Colonial Red, and Valspar’s La Fonda Copper. You can see all of my projects that have been completed for the screened porch if you visit my Screened In Porch tag archive.07 colors used08 different paint colors

Double D was able to make an arm rest that was very similar to the others, for the one that had been missing since I had purchased them. I started by tracing the outline onto a 1×4″ board, and he cut it out using a jigsaw.  Once the shape was cut, Double D used our sander to curve the edges.  From there, we used a wood chisel to remove the inside part of the wood to match the original. This cutout allows them to sit on the metal with some overlap on the sides. I did primer the new one, and then painted all of them in Rustoleum’s Heirloom White.09 Arm template10 Cutting and sanding arm11 Top and bottom of arm

The next step was dealing with the legs. They really weren’t in too bad of shape, with a little rust on the bottom of the feet, and a few spots of gum that were ancient. That being said, I really wanted the wrought iron to shine, so I did go ahead and paint them. After I chipped all the gum away, of course. Maybe these were in some school auditorium, instead of a theater?12 Before legs First I started with spray primer.  This seemed to take forever because of the different angles, as well as having to move the seat rests in between coats to make sure the legs were sprayed everywhere.13 Primered legs

After the primer dried overnight, I was able to finally start on the Oil Rubbed Bronze (ORB) paint for the final coat.  I just love how they turned out. I also took the time to put a coat of ORB on the grommets, screws and nuts that hold everything together.14 ORB coat15 Grommets and screws

I let everything dry for a couple of days, since it has been so humid here. Next, we got a treated 1x4x8 to attach to the bottom of the feet, just to give it some extra stability.  We cut it up into six 16″ pieces and screwed those to the bottom of each leg. The treated lumber will blend in with the wood that is on the floor of the screened porch.16 wood balancePutting everything back together turned out to be easier than I thought it would be. We got out Double D’s work bench and clamped the legs onto it, then started with the seats. We had to put the hat rack holder together first so that we could put the screws for the seat through the loops on the hat rack holders. Once the seats were done, the backs went on pretty easily, and the arm rests just screwed in.17 Installing seatsI was able to follow the progression of the worst seat that I revamped.  Here is a picture of the different stages that the green seat went through.18 Green seat progression

And here are all four chairs completed with the seats down, and the seats up. They are bright, no question, but they do blend right in on the back porch with all the other items that have the same colors. 19 Seats up, seats downWe also took a picture of the backs, just because:)20 finished backs aI think the before and after picture is quite shocking so I’m adding one here.  I do wish I had taken better care of them in the beginning but I do like that I can add them to my back porch, where they will be protected from the rain. Hopefully they will last another lifetime.21 Before and After

Thanks for looking!


Linking up to Funky Junk Interiors, Between Naps on the Porch, Domestically Speaking, A Stroll Thru Life and Miss Mustard Seed: