Thursday, January 29, 2015

A French Country Bench Makeover

This last weekend, I finally was inspired to paint and makeover this bench. I had visited a few participants in the Funky Junk Interiors link up party and saw graphic transfers on furniture and decided to dive in and do it! I got this bench at a garage sale (over a year ago) and it was waiting for a makeover. I had always envisioned a graphic on it, I just didn't know what to do. 
After spending lots of time on the Graphics Fairy website, I finally decided on a French advertising logo that would look good on my bench. It had a dog and chicken on it - very country and "us". I read a few how to's and got busy. 
This is a before picture. I decided to paint out in the greenhouse, so excuse the background mess. 

I used Ivory Lace by The Plaster Paint Company - its my favorite paint and I just love the color name and that I can by it locally. It's cheaper than some of the name brand chalk paints as well.

 So here came the technical part that made me think! This was the image I decided on. There were a few more images I loved, although they wouldn't fit correctly on my skinny bench. I decided on the wax paper image transfer method, described here. You print on wax paper and then it transfers your image to your project.

 I had to save the image to my computer, reverse the image and then needed to resize it. I read about an option to resize using and then tried it out, only problem was it was going to print on three pages and I was going to have to piece it together. With wet ink and wax paper, I didn't think that would work for me and having to line up three separate images sounded like more precision than I cared to get into.

I opened my image in Microsoft Word and figured out how to resize my page setup to 22 x 8.5 and stretched my image to fit the page. I cut my wax paper neatly and tried feeding it through my printer. After it wrinkled up three times, I broke out the spray adhesive! I glued scrap paper to the wax paper and it fed trough the printer fabulously. Now on to getting my image on the bench!
Insert tiny squeal of excitement here! It worked! 
Now on to waxing. I waited until the next day and took the bench back to the greenhouse for better ventilation and fresh air. I get ask about waxing all the time. I use the paste wax from the Plaster Paint Co and tint it to give the piece an aged and distressed look. Scoop out a helping of wax on a paper plate and a squirt of stain. Think lumpy mash potatoes with some BBQ sauce mixed in. Take an old sock and wax the furniture.This was all it took to give it two coats of wax.  One tip when using stain - go with the wood grain or you might get a look you don't like.
The wax can have an odor problem that bothers some (not me), so out of respect for the Mr. and the pets, I left it out in the greenhouse a couple more days before it came back indoors. 
 I had fun rearranging furniture and staging my living room for a photo shoot. I also printed out the French typography sign on a piece of drop cloth and framed it. (Next week, I'll share more about it.)

 Now, I'll admit, our living room is really crowded and our furniture is really close together. I refer to it as layered or #smallhouseproblems.

I was excited how it all turned out and I'll definitely be adding graphics to more furniture pieces. It was so easy, once I figured out the sizing issue and gluing the papers together. I never really thought of our house as French Country, but I'm loving the look!


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