The orange glow of the lamplight shone right on this sad little bench left by the dumpster. I made TwinDad turn around. He may or may not have grumbled a little bit and doubted the potential of this rickety, grungy, chipping mini disaster. But I loved it. Vintage spindle benches are the perfect touch to any home since they work with modern, vintage, primitive, bohemian, and farmhouse decor…it all depends on the finish.
So we took it home. Every now and again you can “take and paint” furniture and be done in a flash. Most of the time, however, you need to do some sort of prep whether it’s patching chips, replacing hardware, sanding rough spots, etc. This little bench took a LOT of prep work. First I scrubbed off the dried grass and cobwebs. Then I scraped as much of the nearly 10 layers of chipping paint off as I could. Then I sanded the spindles by hand. Then I took my orbital sander to the flat parts. After patching some deeper chips and cracks with wood filler I sanded with the orbital sander again (it just goes so much faster and it was a beautiful day…why not spend it on my tiny porch sanding?)
It always looks worse before it looks better. Boy did it look BAD. I gave the whole thing a thick coat of shellac, a clear sealant, to keep the remaining paint from chipping. It also provides a good surface for new paint to “grip”. I could have gone in a million directions for the style of this bench…classic black, trendy white distressed, bright and bold, textured layers…but I went with Country Chic Paint in color “Hurricane”.
I received this paint as a free sample and have already used it for other projects. It’s thinner than some other chalk paints, but goes on incredibly smooth, dries rapidly, and shows no brush strokes. “Hurricane” is a Transformer of a color; sometimes it’s more gray, sometimes more blue, sometimes more purple. It’s fun!
After a couple coats, this bench is ready for a new home! It’s far from perfect, but the crackle look adds charm (in my opinion) and is only noticeable up close. Even with all the flaws, this sweet little bench deserves a second chance instead of being left by a dumpster.