Friday, September 23, 2011

Refurbished Old Wooden Bench

A new house, a new venture. Since I moved to the USA and bought a house, I've done a lot of things I wouldn't have dreamed of doing if I stayed in Indonesia. Fixing crumbling plaster, replacing moldings, reupholstering furniture, not something I would have done myself in Indonesia. Labor is cheap there, hiring people would be the way to go. Besides there are no home improvement stores there. DIY fixer upper is not common there, hiring contractors and/or handymen is.

We all watch HGTV, all the DIY fixes look so easy to do and fun over there. What HGTV didn't tell you is that painting cabinet has very little excitement to it and they didn't warn you about brush marks. Although I feel like I did a good job at it, I wish I'd just varnish those unfinished cabinets. Three coats of primer on each sides and repeat on 20 doors and drawers and I'm not even painting the colors yet. What a monotonous chore. So to take a break from priming my kitchen cabinets (a very boring thing to do, btw, if you didn't catch my drift), I reupholstered the bench I got at thrift store.

Again, something that HGTV didn't tell me. Decades old staples are very hard to take off. I had my work gloves on and used the staple remover tool. 10 minutes into working, I decided it would be easier if I just cut the fabric along the perimeter and work from there. I think in average it took me about 5 minutes to remove ONE staple! Got most of the staples off after almost 2 hours of struggling. Working on the floor killed my back too. I'm getting old :P

Since it was just a layer of fabric, I didn't bother to take off all the staples. I left some and just continued on reupholster the bench. Equipped with a staple gun borrowed from FIL, I stapled the poly sheets as padding and diamond patterned vinyl leather on top of it. I admit I'm a little bit of a perfectionist, So I made sure everything is aligned and fabric is evenly pulled. Took me a while to figure out how to round the edges nicely. But I'm proud of the outcome. Goodbye "grandma" fabric and hello sophisticated :)

I had problems with the bench made creaking noise when someone sat down on it. I did a little experiment to reduce the creaking noise. I added a piece of foam sheet, about 2 mm thick, sandwiched between the bench leg and then tighten the screws properly. I think it worked pretty well actually! :D Now this bench is sitting nicely inside my bathroom.

Notice "party on the bottom" non woven fabric. LOL. Maybe someday I'll change that to solid brown. I don't know.. Maybe..

I hope you enjoyed reading my little adventure with this old piece of furniture.