Every home needs a little love and I have the perfect piece of furniture to give our front porch just that…..a love seat. We have owned this bench seat for a couple of years now and at first I stored it in the shed before dragging it out onto the porch to bake in the Aussie sun. It needed some love when I first bought it and after languishing in the sun for a year it was in desperate need of a makeover.
It actually looks a lot better in this before photo than it was and the drawers are not there, the wood had been bleached by the sun and it was very dry, it also looked WAY more orange.
I started by stripping what was left of the varnish on the seat and arms, followed by a light sand before staining with a Feast Watson stain. The rest I painted with Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint in Typewriter with Bonding Agent added. I gave it quite a heavy sand to distress it, I wanted it to look old and worn and not too perfect. Because this was going outside in the sun and heat I knew I couldn’t use Wax (which made me really sad as I LOVE the matte finish wax gives me) and I do not use Varnish on my furniture so my choice was between Tung Oil and Hemp Oil (I don’t mind either). I chose to go with Tung Oil as it is a bit more hard wearing and I know it will stand up to the Aussie sun really well as this seat will be hit with both morning and afternoon sun. It does leave a slightly shiny finish (which shows up terrible in studio lights and makes it looks patchy) but I am fine with that as long as it protects the paint and wood. What is great about working with an oil is that you can add more overtime and it keeps the finish looking just like new. For anyone curious it does not leave the wood all greasy either, it soaks into the wood and leaves a coating on the wood similar to varnish but it still allows the wood to breath. I personally think this is the perfect finish when working on exterior furniture as it allows you to refinish as needed overtime and is a lot more forgiving.
To apply Tung Oil I wear gloves and rub it into wood with a lint free cloth. I use a small brush to get into the grooves before going back over with the cloth. You need to be quite liberal in your use of Tung Oil as the wood soaks it up like a sponge. I came back 24 hours later and did a second coat, the more coats you do the more even your finish will be. This finish looks a lot better in real life but I will probably add more coats to even it out……..I was under time restraints and I had to get it photographed and blogged.
See how the Tung Oil does an incredible job of bringing out the grain in the wood? This angle also shows you how smooth the finish is with Tung Oil.
I went back and forth over what hardware to use, I had thought about having white handles for a nice contrast against the black but I didn’t really want them to stand out so these black cup pulls with slight copper highlights and carvings were my ultimate choice as they complimented the carvings in the back of the chair.
I have a simple printable for you today, because this seat is for our home I thought I had to make something that would compliment the theme…..Home Sweet Home.
Life is crazy here at the moment with our Front Porch project and my furniture business (I have custom orders coming out of my ears at the moment, some of which I will be sharing with you here) plus all my other DIY projects……and for some unknown reason in between all of that people expect me to keep my house cleaned and my family fed!? My days at the moment are ending with a swirl of activity and me exhausted cooking in the kitchen covered in paint and dust. I feel like the year is slipping away fast and before I know it will be Christmas and I will have to decorate around the madness. I get tired just thinking about it…..sigh! Are any of you feeling like Christmas is just days away, or is it just me?
I will be sharing the first part of the reveal of our front porch later this week…..which I am SOOOO excited about! I cannot wait to hear what you all think.