the french bench.

A while back one of my regulars, Suzy, emailed me because her neighbor had a headboard and foot board at the curb with a free sign on it.  She thought it might be something I’d like and she was willing to pull it off the curb and save it for me if I wanted it.

Here’s the photo she sent me.

Naturally I said yes.  Mr. Q and I drove out to Hudson, Wisconsin that evening to pick it up.

Although it was a bit plain looking (especially compared to that gorgeous bed I finished earlier this month), to me it looked like the perfect blank canvas for something creative.

However, the bed didn’t have its side rails.  There are kits that you can buy to add modern metal rails to a vintage headboard and foot board, so I was going to go that route.  But then I gave it a little more thought.  I’ve always admired benches that are made out of beds (in fact, I have one myself), so I wondered if my handyman Ken would be willing to turn these two pieces into a bench.

So I called him over for a consultation.  I showed him some examples on pinterest.  Then we took a few measurements and came up with a plan.  We made an agreement to split the profits equally on this piece since it would be about as much work for Ken to build the bench as it would be for me to finish it.

Then we carried the pieces over to Ken’s workshop (he lives just next door).

A few days later Ken called me and asked if I wanted to come over and take some photos of the bench building in progress (Ken’s workshop is so neat and tidy compared to mine).

So far Ken had cut the foot board down and attached a section to each side of the bench.  There was about a 15″ section of foot board from the middle that wasn’t used.  Then he built a framework for the future seat of the bench to rest on.

He attached it with screws.

The next day Ken called again to say the bench was ready to go!

We had discussed the type of seat I wanted, planks that were perpendicular to the back of the bench and were varying widths.

I had considered doing some sort of upholstered seat, but in the long run I felt like a wooden seat was a better option.

Ken also added that trim board under the seat along the front.

Now it was my turn!

I sanded the headboard and foot board portions of the bench and then cleaned it all with just a damp rag.  Then I painted the entire thing with Fusion Mineral Paint in a color called Putty.

This is a great pale neutral greige sort of color.

Once the paint was fully dry, I sanded the edges of the headboard and foot board portions of the bench to distress.  If I had wanted to also distress the new wood seat, I could have stained it to match the older pieces before I painted so that the wood wouldn’t have looked quite so new in the distressed areas.  But I skipped that step.

Next came the pièce de résistance.

I added one of my favorite Prima Marketing furniture transfers to the bench.

I was careful to get the design centered and level, but otherwise it was very simple to apply.  This is the Specimens transfer and I’ve seen it online for as low as $14.39 from

I didn’t use the entire design.  There was a little chunk in the middle that I left out.

By the way, I had to laugh when I started editing these photos.  My boots look positively huge in most of them.  Yes, I have giant feet.  Size 11 to be precise.  Maybe I need to buy some adorable size 6 boots the next time I’m at the thrift store just to use as a prop for photo shoots like this one.

Those are Limelight hydrangeas on the bench.

I’m going to try and pull together a blog post about the various hydrangeas that I have before the summer is over, but suffice to say the Limelight is one of my favorites.

I’m going to share a separate blog post about the pillows too.

So you’ll have to stay tuned for that!

So what do you think of our french bench?  I know Ken is really proud of the work he did on this one.  He enjoyed the challenge of taking something that was no longer useful (without its side rails) and creating something functional out of it.

Ken makes things functional and then I make them pretty.  We make a dynamic duo.

If I didn’t already have an amazing bench, I’d definitely be keeping this one.  But, I do.  So this one is for sale while it lasts.  If you are local and interested in more details, be sure to check my ‘available for local sale page‘!

Thank you to Fusion Mineral Paint for supplying the paint for this project, and Prima Marketing for supplying the Specimens transfer.

54 thoughts on “the french bench.

  1. I’ve pinned a lot of bed benches, but this is my favorite by far. I love the curved arms…so unique and of course, the transfer is the cherry on top.


    1. Thanks Melissa! I’ve always loved the curved foot boards on a bed, but I wasn’t sure how well it would work for a bench. As it turns out, it works perfectly 🙂


  2. This is a masterpiece. So many of these headboard/footboard benches you can spot as a former bed immediately. Not this one, it looks like it was made originally as a bench. The color and the transfer just complete the look. Everyone will want this for their entryway, porch or end of bed bench. It’s a statement piece. Well done Ken and Linda!


  3. It has all been said. Beautiful, Masterpiece, Doesn’t look like and old bed,Colour and transfer complete it. Perfectly lovely!


  4. Gorgeous! You and Ken make an incredible team. I bet it made him feel like a million bucks to give this bed set a new life. And the color and designs finish it off beautifully. And most importantly…it looks like this was the way it was meant to be! Bravo Team Quandie!


  5. This is absolutely beautiful you and Ken are Masters of the Art.(I bet Mom loves it too) by the way you Do not have big feet you just have a good “understanding”. Luv Betty


  6. Wow! Gorgeous!! I love the style of the bed and the color is perfect! You also used my second favorite IOD stencil. And yes you both do make the “perfect dynamic duo.” Just love this piece 😊


      1. I was going to guess that was the one! I love that one too. Next week I’ll be sharing one of the new designs from Prima Marketing, so you’ll have to be sure and stay tuned for that (hint: it’s gorgeous!)


  7. Dynamic Duo indeed! I especially love that Ken kept the curved portion of the bed frame to create the bench. It’s a special piece.


    1. Shoe shopping is always an eye opener because the display pair of shoes is always a size 6 or so and they look so adorable. Then you pull out the size 11 and suddenly those adorable shoes look … well … kind of like boats!


  8. Wow!!! Love this so much! If I were Ken’s wife this would be mine!!😃 I could keep him busy! Just beautiful! Now you should both sit on it and have a glass of wine!
    He is such an awesome woodworker! You did a great job too!


    1. We should sit on it and have a glass of wine! But what if we spill? We both drink red. Maybe we’ll wait until it sells, and then we’ll just drink a toast to it as it’s being hauled away in someone’s vehicle.


  9. What a beauty! You and Ken are such a fabulous team but if he ever starts a blog, I’m gonna have to follow him too!😉. You two were born with a special vision for making the old new and helping all of us appreciate the beauty in vintage things! This one won’t last long.


  10. Beautiful job Ken did creating the bench!!! Love your color and transfer stencil. What a great team creating beautiful items.


  11. I am astounded! ken did an amazing job! I didn’t even notice the footboard was curved until you showed the pic where Ken had cut it down to make the sides of the bench. He is a treasure and quite the artist. I’m always afraid that woodworking is a dying art. So few people now know how to make furniture, etc or know how to hand carve wood designs and appliques. It’s sad to think that someday that talent will be gone and all we’ll have left of it is beautiful vintage/antique furniture and plastic replicas. This bench is gorgeous and you chose the perfect color – which I know can be very difficult to do. I love Putty. You and Ken are the dynamic duo!!


  12. What an absolute treat to open up this blog post tonight and see this lovely bench. It’s beautiful!
    Unique to me I’ve new seen on like it. You two have outdone yourselves. Love everything about color
    and transfer and composition.


  13. Wowza – that’s not what I saw sitting on the curb!! You’ve got the eye, beautiful work! Great color choice – should work in just about any setting. Good work 🙂


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