June 23, 2010

Bench this, baby!

I could have sworn that I shared these with you, but after searching through my post archives, it looks like maybe I didn't! Back in November, I purchased these art deco bed benches from The Estate Sale Warehouse that I'm constantly endorsing (and, for the record, not being paid to do so).

Now, this is a class-A how-to-take-a-bad-picture example, but the bad flash highlights the many scuffs that these otherwise worldly beauties have on them.

I want to upholster them I'm going to pay a professional to upholster them in this gorgeous fabric that Ballard Designs is carrying (but I have found much cheaper elsewhere!). They call their style "Cantana."

But I have been debating back and forth over what to do about their finish. Did I want to paint them? That was my plan for a while, until I remembered this curvy cutie still sitting downstairs in our dinning room (again, please forgive the huge mess on the dinning room table).

At the time I purchased it, I also faced the same dilemma with this mirror. To paint or not to paint? The wood doesn't have a single flaw in it, and I hate the idea of covering up the warm color. So I had the idea to mix wood tones. It's working surprisingly well downstairs in the few areas I've started on, so I thought why not?

But first I had to make sure my what-looks-to-be-a-cherry-wood-finish-on-them benches would strip down to a natural wood color. So using what little Citristrip I had left, I went ahead and gave 'er a test run!

Hmm... I was very surprised to come back and find that the Citristrip made almost no difference in the finish. So I busted out my handheld power sander and gave it whirl.

Wow! That is some orange wood! I guess the faux-cherry finish isn't so faux after all! Too bad this looks nothing like the warm honey-wood color of the mirror. Okay, so paint it is! I'll find other ways to bring in some more "woodier" tones to match the mirror--maybe some baskets and some faux-wood wrapped candles will do the trick! ;)


  1. Those benches are awesome, and I am so envious of you having that mirror and it not being me... but, what can I do?

    I just bought an old rocking chair from the 60's and tried using Citristrip for the first time. I haven't had ANY luck with it! Have you ever had good or desirable results with it? All I wanted was for it to take the varnish off the chair, I didn't care about it taking the color off but I just didn't get any good results. Anyway - if you have any tips to share I would appreciate them!

    Also - I should have my blog actually started soon (instead of "Under Construction").

  2. Normally I have great results with Citristrip! I was shocked when it didn't do much on these guys. They say to let it sit until it bubbles up and then you can scrape it away. My only other tip would be to try again, and if that fails, it's time to bust out the electric hand sander. A royal pain in the arse, but if you want to stain your rocking chair it will probably be worth it in the end.


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