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French Farmhouse Inspired Bench

Oh man, you guys, this French farmhouse inspired bench almost whipped me. This might be TMI, but I was literally sweating when I finished. No playing, I was all, “You’re not gonna beat me today. I don’t care how long it takes!” channeling my Scarlett O’Hara as she stumbles into the field ha ha. Just to refresh your memory, this is how the bench started out…

Let me just say, this French farmhouse inspired bench turned out much like the hutch in the breakfast nook. My original vision did not work out in real life like it did in my head. I’m telling you this because if this situation happens to you, don’t give up, ok? You can work it out! It was raining almost the entire day I was painting this bench, so I’ll try to walk you through the process as best I can.

Truth be told, I really wanted this bench to be a creamy off white. But as with the hutch, it just wasn’t meant to be, and I knew it almost immediately.

In the words of my genius bestie S, “This will go so much faster once you stop resisting gray.” So, I relented and used two coats of General Finishes Milk Paint in Sea Gull Gray on the bench. I’m not sure if it was because I was all but scraping the bottom of the paint can because I was running out of paint, or what but the color was just a bit too dark for me. Yes, the walls in the entry are white but the door is painted in Valspar’s Cathedral Stone.

My solution to this issue was to add a whitewash on the entire bench. After the paint dried, it was…I don’t know…too chalky. Although, I gotta say, very French farmhouse inspired.

So, I lightly sanded the entire bench with a piece of steel wool which helped to add a bit of texture by bringing out different layers of gray and white.

Next, I used a solid piece of dark furniture paste wax to “shade” over all the nooks and crannies in the French farmhouse inspired bench…

…before finally softening the edges of the dark wax with a coat of clear furniture paste wax.

Now, let me say here, you can apply with dark furniture paste wax with a brush. It will just have a softer patina than using a solid piece of dark wax.

After working on the bench for hours, I finally realized what was missing – the vintage farmhouse feel we love so much. Also, the top seemed to be missing something too, but I knew that was an easy fix. Over the summer I had picked up random bits of architectural elements while we were at the cabin. I found this one for $1.

I spray painted it with Valspar’s Rivera Dunes Spray Paint which is one of my favorite colors and nailed it to the top of the French farmhouse inspired bench.

I mean, such a big difference, right?

The bench cushion is on the way so hopefully it will be here soon. I’m not 100% sure about the color because it’s sometimes hard to get a feel for how true a color really is from a computer screen. I borrowed these pillows from the bench in the breakfast nook and a rug from one of the bedrooms just to kind of see how it might all shake down.

I’m almost embarrassed to share this but I was SO close to putting this headboard bench out in the garage and not using it in the entry. I kept thinking about how hard my parents worked to be able to buy the entire suite of furniture back when I was 2 years old and it was cool to have matching furniture though.

Thankfully, I got my wits back because it doesn’t even look like the same bench. Here’s another look at the bench before…

and after the French farmhouse bench makeover.

We still need to hang the light and decide what to do about the shelf and hook situation, but it finally feels like things are coming together in the entry!

See you guys back here tomorrow. As you can imagine, the paint cans are piling up around here and we’ve found the cutest way to repurpose them. Until next time, I’ll see you on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.

Many blessings,

CoCo

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4 Comments

  1. It’s weird you’ve used almost the exact same colors, yet this bench looks completely different Coco. The transformation is really nice

    1. I was thinking the same thing, Bonnie! I was SO hoping I would be able to use the off white and white combination but it just felt too washed out in the entry. Thanks so much for your kind words, CoCo

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