There are pieces of furniture that have withstood a change in style and design, like this solid wood bench. It was passed down to my family many years ago and was originally part of a small black dining room set. It has been placed in a laundry room, guest bedroom, dining room, bedroom and has gone from black to crisp white to old white with a linen ticking stripe accent. And now it has taken on a whole new look for a new place in our home, an all time classic combination (at least in my eyes): turquoise and faux cowhide. Love ♥.
I knew that I wanted some sort of seating area close to the front entry, mainly for a fun visual burst of color but also for practicality of having somewhere for guests to slip shoes on and off. The placement of the bench is between two rooms, one more in green tones and the other more of blue tones, so it needed to also serve the purpose of pulling the two rooms together…the paint color would be key to pull this off. I did not have the perfect tone of turquoise: the Florence Annie Sloan Chalk Paint is on the greener side. Fortunately, Aubusson Blue mixed with Florence adds in the right amount of blue.
Initially, I painted the entire bench Florence hoping it would be deep enough of a color. It wasn’t. You can see in this picture my test combinations of using various mixtures of the two paint colors. After I painted the test strips, I put the bench in the garage in eye’s view so that I would see the colors in various light before making my decision. My choice for the two colors ended up being roughly 1/4 Aubusson Blue to 3/4 Florence. The unintended benefit of having painted the bench initially Florence is that it gave a nice base layer of color.
This is after repainting the bench with the mixed colors….the perfect turquoise combining blues and greens.
Wait a day before sanding if you can. Sanding chalk paint not only gives added character to your furniture piece, it also smooths out the rough paint streaks, and allows for more dimension with wax application. Remember after sanding to remove all of the excess dust before moving on the waxing steps.
This is an up close and personal picture of the paint “grains” where the Annie Sloan Dark Wax found its groove. The finishing wax comes in both clear and dark. For this project, I wanted as much depth as possible, so I used a heavier application of dark wax followed by a very light application of clear wax. With applying the wax, you can purchase a sturdy brush which is, in my opinion, the best wax to apply the wax. However, a very doable and easy way to apply the wax is with a clean, old cotton t-shirt. The best part: no clean up…pitch it when you are done. The wax does need some time to set. I had enough patience to wait a full day before moving on to the finishing touch.
A faux cowhide cushion allows for the addition of fabric and therefore texture into this piece. I used a 2″ thick foam on this bench. If you are lucky, the fabric cutter will graciously cut your foam to size. If not, you will need a sharp utility knife and patience to cut it to size. Not my favorite part of the project. After cutting the foam to size, spray a light layer of fabric adhesive to the bench top or foam bottom and set carefully into place. You will have a small amount of time to adjust the foam pad before it sticks.
After giving the pad a few minutes to dry, lay out your fabric wrong side up on the clean ground and then place your bench and foam pad upside down, centered on your pre-cut fabric.
Then trim around the fabric giving yourself room to pull the fabric up into place with the plan to staple it into place. How much extra fabric will depend on your bench width and your foam width.
For a clean-looking edge, fold your fabric under itself before stapling into place. I like to start in the center of the long edge and then work my way out (on this one side) to the corner. This way, you can have a nice taut pull on the opposite side so that you do not end up with wrinkles in your fabric. My preferred stapling order is: long side A, long side B, short end of your choice and remaining short edge.
To create a corner edge, practice perfectly wrapping a gift. The staples are your tape. Then add an extra staple or three to smooth it down.
And there we have it: a trendy yet classic turquoise and faux cowhide bench revival.