Monday, September 23, 2013

Flea Market Flip: Coffeetable Bench

I've been working on a new project!  I should really be packing, but I needed this for the new apartment, so I had to take a break...

A little over a month ago I went to the Elephant's Trunk Flea Market in New Milford, CT (Randy's town, I digress) with Karen and Dave and we had a blast.  Because I am secretly a middle aged person, who loves antiques and vintage things, etc.  This particular flea market is often featured on the HGTV show, "Flea Market Flip" with Lara Spencer, and I adore it.

Anyway, I have been on the lookout for a new coffee table, and I had it in my head that I would rather refinish a bench or something because most coffee tables I find are way too wide and over-sized for an apartment space.  Well, I was in luck.  I picked up this solid wood bench for only $30.  It was in pretty great condition other than some wear on one corner.  Also, the construction is pretty old school.  No screws, no nails.  Just wood pins, dovetails and probably glue.

Micah helped me sand and clean it all up.  It was adorable and he was a great little helper.

So, as I said, I sanded it all down after cleaning it.  I decided to use the same Behr ultra premium plus black shade I had used on the dresser and nightstand previously.  The color is actually closer to a really dark charcoal or a soft black, not a jet black, but I like it.   I rolled it on with mini rollers, and at that point, Shannon came over and helped too.  I did two coats all over the top and bottom.

color close-up

first coat

After it dried, I sprayed it with an acrylic varnish to waterproof the top only.  And?  After 24 hours, I hated it.  Absolutely hated it.  It looked splotchy and greasy.  I tried to save it by using a liquid varnish instead, hoping that would make the entire surface shiny and not splotchy.  It helped a little, but the original areas that were coated too heavily still showed through.  I knew that the perfectionist in me would be so annoyed every time the sun shone in the living room.   Can you see what I mean in these two perspectives?  It looks greasy.

So, I sanded the varnish off and did one more coat of black on the top, then coated that with the liquid varnish. 

Here is the final product.  Shiny, but not splotchy.  I will update you all with a pic when it's in my new living room next week!


  1. I LOVE it!!! And I love that you redid the top after, I agree, the after looks so much better! and I am in awe, because I couldn't even do any of that ;-)

  2. I love that! You are going to inspire me to do refinishing. :) I can't wait to see how it all looks in the new apartment.