Sunday, September 22, 2013

Mod Podge Bench Makeover

By Vicky Nardone

I've had this project in mind for a while, but I finally got the chance to actually do it a couple of weekends ago.  My grandma passed away last April, and while we were cleaning out her garage, I came across this old wooden bench that had seen better days.  When I was younger, this bench used to sit on the front porch of the home that I grew up in.  When my mom bought a condo and ended up selling the house, she must have been planning to sell or throw out the bench and my grandmother rescued it and it sat in her garage for the pas 8 years.  She was a little bit of a pack rat and didn't like to see things get thrown out.  Anyway, with all the furniture make over and redo projects I've been seeing on my favorite blogs, I figured that I could do something to bring new life into this bench.  I'd been wanting to try my hand at some furniture decoration and this bench was totally free, so why not?

Here is what the bench looked like when I started.  Pretty rough shape right?  The foundation of the bench was still solid but the paint was peeling all over the place!
In exchange for spray painting some wooden shelves he wanted to use to organize the garage (you can see one of them in the background of the above picture), Matt agreed to sand the bench for me so I had a nice smooth surface to paint on.
Here's what it looked like after he had sanded it.  His tool couldn't get all the paint off of the railings and I wasn't going to spend five hours sanding it by hand, but I figured it was better than what it had started out as, so good enough!

Months ago, when I had actually first considered doing this project I had picked up a small can of light blue exterior paint from Home Depot.  I used a paint brush and painted the bench with the paint.  I was actually a little disappointed with the color.  It came out really white looking.  It was definitely more blue in the picture at the store.  In certain lights, you see the light blue tint but for the most part it is white.

Next came the fun part.  I spent hours in JoAnn fabrics the morning I did this project deciding what I wanted to use for decorations.  I found the cutest scrapbook sayings and accessories pack with flowery garden type images.  Since this bench was meant to go next to the flowers in our front yard, I decided this would be the perfect way to decorate the bench!  Here are the four saying I chose to mod podge onto the seat.

To adhere these, I spread a thin coat of mod podge onto the bench and stuck the sayings on.  Once that had dried, I painted over the whole thing with another couple coats of mod podge to protect the paper.  If you plan to use your creation outside like I do, make sure you buy exterior mod podge, which is meant to hold up against the elements.  I also added various heart, cload and butterfly images to the seat and back of the bench for some extra decoration.

The finishing touch though was the layer of jewels I applied to the front of the seat portion of the bench.  I found this ginormous bag of jewels at Jo Anns and used a 40% off coupon to get them for $12.  I might have over-estimated the amount of jewels I needed because I think I have enough left over to last me the rest of my life.  I applied mod podge to small areas of the front and then stuck jewels on one by one till the front was covered.  It took about a good hour.

But it looks really pretty!

I then set the bench in the front garden so I could take some pictures of it  It will color coordinate better in the spring when we get really pretty tulips in the front.
I had mentioned that I was working on the project to my mom last week and she finally got over to my house the other night to see it and I found out the bench actually used to belong to my great grandma!  I had the privilege of knowing my great grandma for the first 8 years of my life and she taught me how to knit and needle point when I was growing up, so a lot of my craftiness definitely comes from her.  My mom said she would have loved to have seen what I did with the bench.  She loved to garden so I think having the bench in the front garden is a perfect tribute to her.