The foyer bench

I’ve got another DIY project for you from our painting frenzy this past weekend a.k.a my first attempt to whittle down my list of home improvement projects before the baby arrives.

Much of what we own in our home we purchased from the previous owners when we moved in. They were downsizing and wanted to sell a lot of their furniture and other miscellaneous items. We were upsizing and didn’t want to have to worry right away about furnishing all the rooms, so we jumped at the great prices they offered us. We came out with a fully furnished sun room, patio furniture, a garage full of tools and equipment and … this bench.

It (like a lot of our house) is oak and country looking, and that’s not exactly the look I want to play up in our home. BUT, from a functional standpoint, the bench is great – the seat opens up to hide store junk and the foyer definitely calls for something like it against the wall. So we bought it at a good price and used its seat as a dumping ground for everything we carried into the house.

When I, finally, earlier this year, found a mirror I loved for above the bench (it just screams for a mirror, doesn’t it?), the country oak became irreconcilable with the more modern look of the mirror.

Sorry, bench, I love the mirror more than you. BUT, being the practical person that I am, I am not ready to give up on you.

Enter Mom’s offer to help with any home improvement projects I wanted to get done last weekend … and it’s finally time to say goodbye to the oak and hello to a sleek, black coat of paint.

Step one: Remove hinged bench top from bench. This proved to be much more difficult than it seemed because the screws did. not. want to come out.

30 minutes of elbow grease later, voila.

Step Two: Sand it down. Nothing too crazy, just rough it up with fine grade sandpaper. Then wipe it down with a damp rag to get rid of the dust.

Step Three: Paint! Two coats of the cheaper brand at Home Depot, in black obviously.

(Color seems a little off in this picture … it’s really black, I swear!)

End result: An updated bench that matches (slightly better) the style of my beloved mirror. While it’s not perfect, I think it works. Total time: probably about 3 hours.

I really think it updates the look of the whole foyer.

Before (pre-mirror and pre-paint. Side note: why didn’t I pick up before snapping this picture?):


Next projects: Find a bold frame for my awesome elephant painting. Find a cool rug. Find a thin table for the wall opposite the bench. Paint the foyer walls a solid light beige color. This feather duster paint is too distracting (though if I say that around Peter, them’s fightin’ words. This project is going to take some convincing … like I need another reason not to start on it).

4 thoughts on “The foyer bench

  1. Lois says:

    I stumbled on this when researching how to paint my bench. I have the same bench just a bit smaller! I also did mine in black! Boy did I get a lot of grief for painting oak, I don’t care I love it.


    • Alison says:

      Ha – I’m with you on painting oak. I’ve since painted an oak dresser and bunk beds, and want to paint our oak cabinets and kitchen table. There’s just too much oak in our house! I do feel a little bad for covering high quality wood, but I love the way it looks.


      • Lois says:

        I tell people it’s not like I’m going out and buying new oak furniture and painting it. It’s pieces I’ve had for 20 years and they need updating! I’m drowning in golden oak over here. Just did all my wood work in white and it feels like a new house! Trying to talk my DH into letting me painting our oak buffet next.


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