{DIY} Have a Seat, Right There on My (Garbage) Bench

I’ve been in organizing, rearranging mode lately and a few weeks ago I was telling the hubs that I wanted to get a bench for our front entryway.  Until now, it’s been just a place where you kick your shoes, race hotwheels around and thow the pug’s leash.  But I wanted a place to sit and put on your shoes, and perhaps hide said mountain of shoes a little. 

So I browsed around Craigslist, but didn’t really find anything I liked.  Two days (trash day) I was driving down my street and my neighbors were tossing this baby.  I reversed, drove past again to see if my eyes were playing tricks on me — after all, who would throw away a perfectly good bench?  Never mind the fact that it was covered in cobwebs, stained, warped and U-G-L-Y.  But I had the vision, so I hopped out, loaded it up in the van and went on my way. 

Here she is before.  Nasty, huh?  Never fear — she got the makeover she  deserved.

{1} Sand, sand, sand.  Power sanders are your friend.  Don’t have one?  Well then congrats on all the calories you’ll burn sanding.

{2} Prime.  I always use KILZ.  And it’s almost always the spray.  It’s the best and the easiest to use… but this time I didn’t have any, so I used the bucket.

{3} Paint.  A few coats of Rustoleum’s Semi-Gloss black spray paint.

{4} Sand again.  After painting, I decided to rough her up a little (looks like she’d been through a lot, thought I’d keep it real).

{5} I considered finishing here, but I’ve been seeing cute number projects all over the place, so I thought I’d try here, nothing to lose if it didn’t turn out how I wanted.

{6} To do my numbers, I printed out my numbers and eyeballed where I wanted it on my bench.  The font I used is called Greer, and I got it from these guys. 

{7} Then to transfer it to my bench, I colored the back of each number with yellow sidewalk chalk.  Then I turned it over, lined it up on my bench and outlined the numbers using a sharp mechanical pencil.  The chalk transferred the numbers and I knew I could just wipe it off when I was done.  I filled in my outline with craft paint that I had laying around and a small brush. 

{8} Then I let it dry for a bit — probably not long enough, because I’m impatient — and then sprayed a quick polyurethane top coat.  Perhaps not totally necessary, but I figured it was in a high-traffic area, so it couldn’t hurt.

And here she is, all done — Whatcha think?

By the way, when I was telling this to my friend – she was appalled.  “I’m all for your projects Lan, but this is yuck, even for you!” Ha!  Could not believe that anyone in this world would just take someone else’s trash… who’s laughing now?  (She has since retracted her scorn.)

And I’m linking up I’m linking here, here, here, here  here and here.

About Tara

I'm living a dandy life in the Lou.


  1. I think you have my bench!! Mine came from the Goodwill and you took yours to a whole new dimension than I took mine…I just painted mine black (mine is showcased in my Fall Tabletops post)! It is a terrific bench. I use mine in my entry and am loving it!! Great score and even better makeover!!


  2. That’s gorgeous!! I wish I had great luck like that. Nooo! If I want to do something like that I have to go on base and drive real slowly thru Officer housing… which will probably get me reported to base police who will kindly call my husband and promptly chew him out. 😉

  3. So cute!! How did you “un-warp” it?

    • I just sanded and sanded and sanded. And then I sanded some more… until it was smooth. I used a power sander — I honestly don’t know that I could have gotten it so smooth if I had done it by hand.

  4. We don’t have a “large trash” pick up where I live now, but I remember where we used to live being amazed at what people would throw out and watching people drive round the neighbourhood picking stuff up!

  5. Love it! Someones trash was a treasure to you…with a little elbow grease and an imagination!

  6. How cool! The numbers add such a unique touch that I’ve never seen before! Great idea!

  7. Thanks SO much for joining in on Thrilling Thursdays @ Paisley Passions. I love to see the creative talent of other fellow bloggers. Hope you to see you again soon 🙂
    ~Lori S.
    Thrilling Thursdays @Paisley Passions

  8. Very nice! You have a great eye and your friend will always have faith in you after this. 🙂

  9. I have been wanting to do a bench as well. I hope I’m lucky and someone decides to throw something away 🙂 Love the numbers you added, what a great personal touch.

  10. LOVELY – I’m SOOOO very jealous. It turned out just GREAT and the numbers are such a great touch. can’t wait to see what other things you’ve created – so glad I found your cute blog!

  11. Great job! It looks great! Amazing how you can take someone’s trash and turn it into something perfect for you!

  12. that is a great! i love how you did the number’s on the bench.. very great idea.. i like it now all i have to do is find me a bench.

  13. I love the bench! And the numbers are inspired. Of COURSE they look great! So glad you decided to try them out. And the last picture is adorable. 🙂

  14. I wasn’t going to comment as this was written a while ago, but as I have just read it a second time, I thought I say thank you for this great article.


  1. […] Life Ok, I can’t believe she found this bench in the trash – look at it now! @ Dandy Giveaway    I might be a little obsessed with this Entryway – but check out the rest […]

  2. […] Life Ok, I can’t believe she found this bench in the trash – look at it now! @ Dandy Giveaway    I might be a little obsessed with this Entryway – but check out the rest […]

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