Antique Head/Foot Boards: Benches Please!

It's time for an update on the head board/foot board benches!  Since the series introduction a couple weeks ago,  a plan has been solidified. The wood has been purchased, and with the help of my hubby, it is cut too!   I have tackled the preparation phase including sanding and staining the new wood boards.  Since the original head/foot boards are a dark wood finish, and the new boards are light,  I had to begin by staining the new wood boards. Once those are dry, I can start the fun painting and distressing part!  

I will be making two benches from two pieces (a head board and a footboard) that at one time provided a bedframe.   These days you can't find a bed that width, so the owner requested benches out of them!   I love it.    

This job requires basic carpentry skills....and mine continue to be a work in progress.  I look forward to the day when I am proficient with saws, drills, and all equipment that make carpentry so great.   Thankfully the hubby is skilled in this area and can help me out (for now). 

Here is what my work space looked like over the weekend...... wood everywhere! 

Once each board was sanded down, I began staining them.   A staining job like this requires a basic "assembly line" set-up.  To see a very sophisticated example,  see below: 

I am kidding. There is nothing sophisticated about it!  Simply space the boards out (over some old boards running the opposite direction) and make sure you have a drop cloth underneath to protect your working surface. For this job my working surface is my garage floor.  Brown stain marks all over the garage floor isn't cool, so I was careful to protect it.   If you ever use stain, make sure you wear gloves too...for the same reason; no one wants brown fingers and hands.   Yuck! 

If you peek at photo on the right, above, you can see how light the new wood boards were before staining.   Staining them dark will allow the  distressing process to actually work!  I'll be sanding away the turquoise paint, while the dark stained wood beneath makes it's grand appearance.  And how about that paint....

I'm sticking with Sherwin Williams, flat sheen.  The color is "Aquarium".   I will be making a little "home-made" chalk-paint and then starting on the first coat this week!    Check in later this week for a look!   These pieces are so unique and will distress so beautifully (I'm pretty sure I said the same thing in the introduction post a few weeks back, but it's TRUE!)  Here's another look at them: 

And that is the current status of the the benches.  I look forward to running the  "aquarium"-dipped paint brush across that dark wood and over the nooks & crannies of these one-of-a kind pieces.  Be sure to check in for more updates and the final reveal over the next couples weeks.  

Have you ever re-purposed something old and made it into something useful?  It is so satisfying to be resourceful and use what you already have to do this!   I'd love to do a series in the future on YOUR re-purposed pieces.....hmmm.  I like it.   

Missed the story & introduction to the "Give Me Benches" series?  No problem!  Just click this link:

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