The Vanity of a Bench: Before & After

See this little vanity bench?

Vanity Stool Before

I acquired it a few months ago, placed it in the garage and then didn’t think much about it…until now.  I knew the bench had potential as soon as I spotted it.  I just wasn’t exactly sure what I was going to do to bring it back to life.  A few weeks ago I came across this creamy yellow and ivory trellis patterned outdoor fabric.


As soon as I saw it I immediately knew it belonged on my bench, so I brought a yard home with me and got to work.

Oh, the stories this bench could tell.  The frame was covered in nicks, scratches, gouges and flaws galore.  Once I removed the seat I took the frame and sanded, sanded and sanded some more.

Vanity Bench Before Leg Detail Vanity Bench Before Top Detail

I then primed, painted and sprayed 3 coats of water-based poly for good measure.  It was not easy work.

Now, tackling the seat was kind of fun.  After removing at least 100 staples I discovered a total of three layers of different fabric.

Vanity Bench Old Fabric 1 3 layers of fabric

The 2 newest floral fabrics are were almost identical and were actually in pretty decent shape (though a tad dated).   I cannot fathom why someone took the effort to recover fabric with something so similar.  Different strokes, I guess.  Anyway, I was super excited to discover the original fabric still tacked on with little nails (and yes, if something like this excites me I definitely need to get out more).

Vanity Bench Old Fabric 2 Vanity Bench Old Fabric 3

The original fabric had survived so many years, I didn’t have the heart to remove it.  So, I left it in tact to leave as a surprise for the next person might recover it yet again.  To add a little more comfort I covered the seat in two extra layers of batting before attaching the new fabric with a staple gun.

Vanity Bench Restoration 2

After I completed recovering the seat I was finally able to put the chair back together again.

Vanity Bench After 8

*Sigh* She’s pretty and she knows it.  Here she is showing off her before and after photos:

Vanity Stool Before Vanity Bench After 5

Vanity Bench Before Leg Detail Vanity Bench After Leg Detail

Vanity Bench Before Top Detail Vanity Bench After 2

Vanity Bench Before Back Detail Vanity Bench After Back Detail

Vanity Bench After 6

I love her.  I admit, I initially had every intention of selling her but I can’t bring myself to do it.  So, she is going to live with me for now.  I’m not sure where in my house she is going to go permanently, but for now she likes being paired with my 5 year old daughter’s desk.  I don’t know that it’s a perfect match, but it works well for now.

Bench with Pink Desk

Sooooo…does anyone else have “You’re So Vain” by Carly Simon stuck in their head?  Gah!


3 thoughts on “The Vanity of a Bench: Before & After

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