I believe in second chances, do you? It still gives me chills, I get to wake up and do this job every day. Painting furniture and running a booth space seems a far cry from being a therapist. This is my second chance. I’ve come to understand over the past few years these steps were ordered for me long before I ever picked up a paintbrush or discussed furniture placement with a client.
I know a lot of you have been following our progress on the renovation of my childhood home, Loblolly Manor. It’s actually a small cottage, the size of a carriage house, nestled between huge oak trees and loblolly pines. As most of you know, it’s taken a little over a year to complete but we’re so close to being finished. We’re down to 4 rooms – the living room, dining room, laundry room and kitchen.
About a month ago, my Mom and I were back in my hometown shopping for furniture at one of our favorite places. This opportunity store in particular gives second chances to boys that haven’t always made good choices. We usually find a little something to bring home each time go. As we made our way to the very back of the store, we spotted an unusual bench. Intrigued, we immediately went over to investigate.
With a little help we were able to set the bench upright. It was 84 inches long. The seat was bright red with roughly texture fabric and it was low to the ground. It didn’t take long to realize this bench was no ordinary bench. It was a kneeling bench from an old church that had probably been used a thousand times.
Lost in my own thoughts, I heard my mom say, “How much do you think something like this costs?” Honestly, I had no idea. I’ve never even seen a kneeling bench outside a church before. “I’m not sure. Why? What are you thinking?” I said. “I’m thinking we could take this home and use it in the dining room,” she replied. We took a few minutes to hatch a plan, pay the cashier our $15 and set off to get a bigger truck.
A few weeks later, the legs arrived and we headed back to Loblolly Manor to get started. Given our color scheme is white, grays and bits of pale turquoise we decided to paint the frame of the bench with Americana DÉCOR Chalky Finish Paint in a color called Everlasting. It’s a white that will pair perfectly with the linen colored fabric we chose for the bench seat.
We painted late into the night. Even after one coat we knew this kneeling bench would be something special.
The next morning, while my Mom and I were removing about 300 staples,
my bestie S was getting ready to help us attach the chair legs with a cordless drill and hardware we had ordered. It was all hands on deck for this project. The bench weighed about 100 pounds.
The legs are solid oak and have a slight curve. We didn’t want anything that would compete with the spindles on the bench so this subtle style was a perfect choice.
After both coats of Everlasting had dried and the bench legs were in place, we removed the old red fabric.
Then we used a staple gun to secure the linen colored fabric to the kneeling bench.
I used antiquing wax on the legs and
slightly distressed the spindles with 220-grit sandpaper.
Even though I fully understood the vision for this piece before we ever hauled it out of the opportunity store, I still can’t believe the way it all turned out. Here’s another quick look at the kneeling bench before:
Harrison Ford said, “We all have big changes in our lives that are more or less a second chance.”
I’m living proof it’s a really exciting time.
*I’m entering this bench in the Americana Decor Chalky Finish Second Chances Contest