easy upholstery.

A while back my friend Cathy offered me a vanity bench.  I initially thought it would work with my stenciled vanity/dressing table.  However, when I put them together, they just didn’t suit each other.  The bench is too wide for the vanity.  Nonetheless, it is a fabulous little bench, and I’m sure it will find a good home with another vanity, or maybe just on its own at the foot of a bed.

I painted it with Miss Mustard Seed milk paint in Trophy, and then reupholstered it in a simple linen with a stencil added.

This is so simple to do, and the linen stencils beautifully.  Here are my tools.

bench supplies

A stencil, some craft paint, a stencil brush, paper plate, paper towel, some new batting and some plain inexpensive linen (not pictured).

The original seat to the bench is underneath my supplies.  As you can see, all that was left was a remnant of the original fabric.  I ripped that off, and then cut my linen about 2″ bigger than the seat all the way around.

Now, this next tip is important, so I hope you are paying attention.  You should stencil the fabric on a hard flat surface before you upholster the bench.  You won’t get crisp lines on your stencil if you try to stencil over the batting.  I’ve learned this the hard way.

stenciled fabric

I just laid my linen flat on a table.  I squirted some paint onto the paper plate, swirled my brush in it, and then blotted it on the paper towel.  You don’t want your paint to go on thick and goopy or runny.  You could tape the stencil in place, but I like to live dangerously, so I just hold it in place.  Then, just stipple the paint on.

The Martha Stewart paint I used dries pretty quickly.  I probably only waited about 10 minutes before continuing on to staple the fabric over a couple layers of new batting onto the seat.

stenciled bench close up

The trickiest part of this process was being sure the design was straight before I stapled the fabric in place.

bench no 3

I just came to the realization that I did a pathetic job staging this one.  I meant to go back and add in some accessories, but I got distracted by laundry and then some gardening.  With the end of daylight savings time, it was getting dark out before I remembered and then it was just too late.

Let’s just imagine there is a lovely rug under this bench instead of my dirty photo cottage floor.  Or maybe a cute pair of shoes stashed under there.

stenciled bench again

Try to focus on the pretty upholstery and paint job, OK?

16 thoughts on “easy upholstery.

  1. After my initial shock of the lackluster staging, I was pleasantly surprised by the cuteness of the stencil and bench. LOL You know I’m teasing…I know what a beautiful job you do with your staging and how long it takes to get it just right, so just had to throw that comment in, as I know you are smiling reading it. Have a good one – you did a great job with this one, as always!


  2. What a cutie! I think it looks great. I totally understand about getting distracted. I hate it when I think a piece looks great and then in a close up photo you notice a drip or part that didn’t get waxed. Such is life!


  3. Wow, I knew when I saw this piece looking sad & pathetic, it was calling my name!! My husband thought I was crazy because the top fabric was nearly ripped off! But I know POTENTIAL when I see it and Linda, you bring that out with your talent!!


  4. You continue to amaze me! Love all that you do and look forward to seeing more! Only wish I lived closer to you and could buy some of your pieces!


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