Mr. Bench.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

I spotted this bench at Goodwill a few weeks back. It had a price tag of $20 and I immediately knew it had found its match. It was dingy and beaten up, but I had a feeling it had some potential.

Yep, I painted the last layer inside. It was freeeeeezing in our garage!
I'm kicking myself now that I didn't take a true "before" picture. Let me just assure you... it did not look like this in its original state. It was a beaten up piece of reddish colored wood with a stained and broken bench seat. I'm thinking the reason the owners probably got rid of it was because of the broken wood in the seat. It was unusable without some work.

So after sanding the bench down and painting it several coats of creamy white, it was time to work on the seat. I wanted to try my hand at tufting, and it ended up being so rewarding!

The only piece from the original seat we were able to save was the foam, thankfully. We had another piece of wood cut at Lowe's to replace the broken piece.


For the tufting, I had Shawn measure out six spots for buttons and drill through the board at those places. For the buttons themselves, I was determined to have matching burlap buttons, but I found out pretty quickly that those metal button kits are not made for thick fabric. Oops. With a little hot glue and some clamps, we made it work - but this little mistake set us back lots of time.


The basic idea of tufting is that once you recover your seat with fabric, you go through the holes in the wood with needle and embroidery thread, thread the button on the other side, pull it reeeaaaallly tight, then staple the thread to the wood to hold it in place.

You also want to try to pull the strings evenly so the buttons are at equal depths.

When put back together, I am so pleased about the new life this bench has been given! It's clean, current, has storage in the bottom, and now... it is the very best seat in the house.


  1. Whitney, I really think you should be going to school to be an Interior Decorator (instead of a nurse...of course I'm not going to argue with God if that is your calling!) I just *love* your DIY posts & decorating style!

  2. that's a great goodwill find! i rarely find anything that cute at goodwill.. but if your looking for pressboard furniture from walmart, they've got ya covered!

  3. Oh my goodness, no way! SO beautiful! If those current owners could see it now, I bet they'd kick themselves for not having your fabulous vision!

  4. The bench looks so great! Now a question about the tufting, did you do this pre stapling the fabric before placing the buttons? Or did you drill through the fabric? Forgive my ignorance, please.

  5. Again, nice job on giving old furniture a new life. I wish I could find treasures like that at Goodwill...maybe I need to go in more often to be on the lookout!

  6. Incredible! I've been looking for a bench for my I'm really determinded to get one.

  7. Holy Goodness! That seat looks amazing!!! I am pretty much crazy about Goodwill and go there often. What a steal! Nicely done. Thanks for sharing honey!:)


    Molly Jane

    PS. Hope you had a wonderful New Years!

  8. Perfect!! What a find and your hard work definitely paid off! Love it!

  9. Love this! You did such a beautiful job! And the arms on that bench are gorgeous!

  10. That is so cool!!! I wish I thought of those kinds of things more often!

  11. Wow! Woman! I am so impressed with your creativity and determination! I probably would have given up at the buttons! Well done you!

  12. Classy, Classy! I love the finished product!

  13. Adorable! I love it! hey being a nurse is a good choice, you can always decorate on the side, but have a guaranteed job. I have been an RN for 27 years. No regrets.

  14. That look amazing- I hope I can get so lucky at gw!

  15. Unbelievable gave new life to that piece! It's beautiful.

  16. hey whit, i hope it's ok, but i just posted a link to this on a blog that i regularly post for that focuses on vintage/thrift store lovers. Here's the link in case you want to check it out

    I just love all of your makeovers. thanks for sharing!! glad all is going well in school!


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