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A hub for all things to do with design, furniture painting, photography, style, event planning [and some foodie bits for good measure].  

Taking a Bench From White to Black

As much as I love trying to work with existing paint colors and finishes [like with this dresser], I love even more when I get to completely transform a piece of furniture. In this situation, things went from white to black, about as stark a contrast as you can get!

antique-black-bench

This story began with a cute, church-pew style bench, painted in a glossy white, which was bubbling and peeling in a less than appealing way [in fact it sounds like I may have just described some unfortunate skin disease, bleh].  The photo below is after I did some serious sanding on it to try and get rid of the overtly shiny, almost oily look it had.  I probably could have just continued working with the white until I got it to an attractive, rustic state, but... 

before

As I was prepping it, I remembered a client who was in search of a bench for her entry way, and after showing her the initial photos, she was sold.  She had suggested doing an antiqued black, since she was placing it on a white wall, and other black pieces would be in the mix.   

antique-black-bench

I promptly picked up Annie Sloan's Graphite color, and painted several coats.  Whatever paint [maybe oil based] that was on the bench initially was proving to be a burden, but eventually I had the bench covered in this charcoal/black.  Once it was completely dry, [which in this case dried to a lighter charcoal color] I brushed and buffed in copious amounts of dark wax, which helps it keep that satin/matte finish, but brings out the texture of the bench, while also darkening the color to more of a black.

antique-black-bench
antique-black-bench

I then did just enough distressing using medium and fine grit sand papers, which takes it from looking one dimensional and adds that extra bit of depth and interest.  I sanded the bench based on where the light hit it this morning [my kitchen has amazing natural light early in the day].  I finally went over the newly sanded areas with a bit more dark wax, just to mellow out the white the peaks through.  I may still darken it more, but right now I'm liking the way the white and the black work together.

antique-black-bench

Some of the photos have a bit of a sheen, which is mostly due to the bright sun that was shining directly through my kitchen windows, but in person, the bench has a nice, soft black tone.

antique-black-bench
antique-black-bench
IMG_2081.jpg

Benches are another incredibly versatile piece of furniture.  I could see this piece in an entry way or mudroom, outside on a porch or patio, in a kitchen [it looks pretty amazing in mine!], or even at the foot of a bed.  My dog, Watson, especially loves to use it as a fort that he can crawl under [insert obligatory adorable puppy photo!].

watson

I'm so excited to show my client how the bench came out and I'm probably even more curious to see how it looks in her living space.  This one required a little more elbow grease than usual, but the results are well worth it! I think it will be the perfect accent piece, and a great spot to put on shoes, or sit and read a book [this may or may not refer to my strategically placed styling props...]. 

antique-black-bench