second summer.

I’ve been wondering lately whether the term Indian summer is no longer politically correct.  I think you have to go back to the origins of the term and see if it was meant to be derogatory to determine that.  So I did some research and found a few good articles including this one on MPR.

It seems that no one knows for sure why early Americans called it Indian summer but the term has been around for well over 200 years.  I always thought that it was an exclusively American thing, but recently our Venetian tour guide, whom I follow on Instagram, posted a lovely photo of the Grand Canal and mentioned their Indian summer temperatures.  So apparently the term has caught on outside of the U.S. as well.

Since the jury is out on whether or not it’s offensive, I think I’ll start calling it ‘second summer’ instead.  Sort of like in The Lord of the Rings when they have second breakfast (two of Mr. Q’s favorites; the movie and the 2nd breakfast).

And boy did we ever have a second summer here this past weekend!  Beautiful, sunny days in the 70’s.  Since we’d had temps in the teens and measurable snow just a week or two ago, it was quite a change.

I took Friday off at the day job so I could enjoy the weather, and I tried to cram as many of my summer favorites into second summer as I could.  We had my niece and sister over for a BBQ, nnK and I helped Ken’s wife Arlene clean up her garden and then we ate lunch on the deck (albeit without furniture, since that was already put away for the winter), I hung my laundry out on the clothesline, I did some work in my own garden (mostly planting bulbs) and best of all, I was able to work in my unheated carriage house workshop for three days in a row.

I took advantage of the opportunity to do a makeover on the bench that Ken made out of a headboard way back in January.

Here is the bench before I painted it.

And here is how the bench looked up until this past weekend.

And it did not sell.  I tried reducing the price, but still it didn’t sell.  Ken was convinced that the problem was that I left the legs and that piece on top unpainted.  Maybe he was right, but I think the bigger problem was my color choice.  No one is really decorating with pale, smoky blue these days are they?  I also wasn’t entirely happy with my transfer choice.  It looks like the very top of it was cut off a bit.

Regardless of the reason, I decided it was time for a do-over on this one.

So I took advantage of the nice weather and moved the bench back out into my workshop where I attacked it with an orbital sander and 80-grit paper.  It took a fair amount of elbow grease, and several sheets of sandpaper, but I sanded off the transfer and then I re-painted the bench in Dixie Belle’s Drop Cloth.

And this time I painted the whole thing, legs and all.

Once it was fully painted, it really looked rather boring.  Up until that point I hadn’t decided whether or not to add a different transfer, but the plain-ness of the bench unadorned convinced me that it needed a little something more.

So I added part of with prima’s Parisian Letter transfer to the back.

And I added another section of the transfer to the lower part of the bench.

That little bit of trim at the top of the bench definitely needed something too, so I went with the bee from the Classic Vintage Labels transfer.

One bonus to having to re-paint this piece is the layered effect I got when I distressed the edges.

You can see hints of the pale blue underneath the white.  Having a couple of layers of color always gives a bit more ‘age’ to a piece, and I like that.

So now the question is, will this piece have as amazing a ‘second summer’ as we had here in Minnesota this weekend?  Will it sell now that it’s painted in a more neutral color?  Or will it continue to linger unsold?

Which version is your favorite?

Thanks to Dixie Belle Paint Co for supplying the paint and wax, and to with prima for providing the transfer used on this project.

If you’re local and you have just the spot for a bench, be sure to check out my ‘available for local sale‘ page for more details on this one.

34 thoughts on “second summer.

  1. It is absolutely beautiful, Linda. Both colors are! Can´t decide which one I like better. I liked the unpainted legs, too. I am sure it will sell within days! Regards from Germany, we had a second summer on the weekend, too!


  2. I usually love blue over white, but i prefer the re-do. I agree with Ken about the legs 🙂 and I love your term “second summer”. You are always an inspiration to me and love when I see a new post hit my mailbox


  3. I believe you have a winner Linda! White always sells. Other painters think white is boring but I kind of love how clean it looks. I was inspired by your bed benches so when I found a vintage bed for $4 at the Restore I knew it was time to create one. Lucky for me, my brother in law is willing to create for me. Thanks for showing us the re work on this project. I think you’ll find this sells quickly


  4. We made one almost identical to yours. I wanted to paint it a color but did it white and made a cushion. It is in my booth and I can’t seem to sell it either. I think it’s just such a big piece it will take that person with the right space for it. I love how you did the original one with the unfinished legs. And you never know about the color! We live on the coast and blues usually sell for me. 🤷‍♀️


  5. the solid drop cloth is sooo much better. this coming from a blue fan too. I love drop cloth for the classic timeless color that goes with anything

    big question, how did you remove the first transfer and if painted over do you still see it?


    1. I sanded it off with 80 grit on an orbital sander. It takes a bit of elbow grease and a few changes of the sandpaper because it gets gummed up. You really do need to remove it entirely though if you don’t want to see an outline after painting over it.


  6. The original bench was one of my favorites you had done. But I understand about the blue.
    I sure hope it wasn’t the “naked” legs as I just finished a hutch that way. But I did paint it farmhouse white so its neutral.
    Both the before and after are beautiful! Good luck in selling it !


    1. The look of those naked legs has really grown on me over time, but I remember when I first saw them I thought it looked pretty weird. As though the person just forgot to paint the legs. This bench was my experiment with that look, and obviously it fizzled. Maybe not everyone is quite ready for that look 😉 But hopefully your piece will do better!


  7. Well, little Miss Johnny One Note here loves the cream and black……..but the blue version was really a masterpiece and I’d noticed that it hadn’t sold. Maybe because it’s such a large piece, a buyer would have to be committing to a big blue influence in their room. Anyway, I LOVE the cream version!


    1. Yes, I agree with you on that Connie. It’s a big piece, and would add a big blue influence for sure. Well, who knows. Maybe the color wasn’t the problem at all and it still won’t sell. But, like you, I LOVE the creamier version as well.


  8. Drop cloth. It’s difficult for me to see any piece of furniture painted anything but white. Not a true fan of the legs being a different color…seems unfinished to me. Kinda like the old gal sitting there with shoes on but can’t decide which dress to put on😜. Stay warm. Missed the Wednesday treats!


  9. I really like blue so was surprised it didn’t sell. I love the new drop cloth look! Gotta have room for a bench though. I had to turn down a beautiful FREE hutch that I loved because…no room!
    Love these beautiful warm days. Still working on leaves. One more day…then rain…again. So I’ve neglected all the inside things to take advantage of the weather.


  10. Love both versions. But thought the blue and black was stunning. Wish I lived closer(PA) I would have snapped it up in a second.


    1. Thanks Valerie! For saying the first version was stunning 😉 I wish I’d been able to sell it in that color, but after this long I usually go back to the drawing board.


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