Step 2: Sand everything. It's easier to do it at this point than wait until the whole thing is assembled. (No photo, but let's face it....it's a sanded bed...not that interesting).
Step 3: Figure out where the sides will attach to the back and pre drill holes. Okay, so I didn't get the best pictures of step three. My brain was a little busy trying to figure out where exactly the footboard halves (my bench sides) were going to attach to the headboard (my bench back). And then there's the table centerpieces for the wedding. My niece likes vintage, shabby chic, eclectic, bird cages, nests, vintage stuff, lace, no flowers, and she doesn't really want them to match. No worries, I've been collecting "stuff" for years knowing that it will come in handing one day; thank God!
For more information about one of my favorite tools, the Kreg Jig, please refer to my post "I Built My First Piece Of New Furniture". Here you'll see exactly how it works.
Living in an imperfect world, as we all do, #@&*$ happens.
When I attached the screw from the other side, a bit of my turned leg popped off.
This is not the end of the world. Boo boos like this are pretty easy to fix.
A little wood glue and pressure with a craft stick (or recycled popsicle stick) puts the piece back in place.
Step 5: Patching and filling. Being the perfectionist that I am, the unattractive gap between the turned leg and the flat piece of the side will not do! That's a pretty big gap to fill. This gives me a deja vu moment from our remodeling years--"nothing a gallon of caulk can't fill." Sad, but true. We have just finished my workshop remodel and, yes, I was in charge of all the caulking. I remembered I still had a tube in the gun. (Here's a tip: when you have an unfinished tube of caulk, just back off the pressure and stick a nail in the open end of the tube to serve as a cap.)
You'll have to do this in several layers that need to dry overnight. Add a little, smooth it out, let it dry; repeat.
Since I have to wait for this caulk to dry anyway, I decide to start patching and filling other holes that might show in my finished bench.
They make these little wood plugs for the holes made by a Kreg Jig. I decide to use a couple in spots that might show. You simply glue them in. They do sit a little proud of the hole so you just sand them down until smooth.
When working alone, I like to use horses and clamps to attach the plywood to the horses both at the point where my finished piece sits, and the fall-off piece sits. That way, I don't have to worry about everything tumbling into a bad accident.
Using a very large "square" tool, I draw the seat on the plywood, make a cut, and move the clamps and horses accordingly.
Okay, so I forgot to take a picture but once the seat is cut, I used a jigsaw to cut the notches where the seat wraps around the legs.
And now we can FINALLY move on to Step...what is it now...8?
I grab the milk paint chart and decide to start with the buttermilk (far left yellow undertone), add a little oyster white (far right blue undertone)...and then see where it goes...
Note: If this is your first visit to my blog, you might want to refer to previous posts for more information about working with milk paint. Check out How To Build A Bench With A Barn Red Finish for another look at Old Fashioned Milk Paint products being used.
Milk paint comes in powder form that must be mixed with water. Warm water works best because it helps the powder to dissolve. I use an old plastic bowl and wire whisk. It's sort of like mixing pancake batter. If you don't mix it well enough there will be little clumps and the texture will be gritty.
One of the things I like about rustic distressed finishes is that they are very forgiving and there are many ways to achieve them. That's also one of the things I like about milk paint, you can control the texture of the paint which will allow you to give your project more distressing and opportunity for character in the paint finish.
Step 10: Final Sealing. For those of you who love white, you could stop here and just seal the whole bench with Milk Paint's Clear Coat which will give you a permanent durable finish but will require drying time. Or, you could use a paste wax like Fiddes Supreme in Light (which is actually clear), for a natural looking finish that is fast and doesn't require the drying time but may need to be re-applied in the future. You know, I just can't help myself. I'm struggling here because I love all the texture, crackling, and layers of paint and know that if I wax the bench with Fiddes Supreme in Rugger, all the character will be highlighted even more. So, I decide to test a spot on the back of the bench.
I decide I like the "antiqued" look, big surprise! It's a matter of preferring an ivory wedding dress to a stark white wedding dress. I'm thinking of making an under-skirt for the bench out of an old lace tablecloth; sort of like how a bedskirt would look.
Step 11: Upholstery. I chose a soft natural twill to upholster the seat. Check out my post, Upholstery 101, for detailed instructions on this type of upholstery job.
I was also a little concerned about having a bench with a white seat in the store. I picture little kids climbing all over it and getting the seat dirty before it has sold.
Step 12: Accessorize. Being the fabric junky that I am, I dug through my shelves of fabric and found some pretty reds that looked great with the antiqued white finish on the bench so I made a loose seat pad to protect the seat and a couple of pillows.
Now this looks like something you'd see and say, "That looks like something Sherri made!" A pop of color and it has it's own individual personality.
Funny thing is, when I posted this photo on my Facebook page, the first comment was from my niece saying, "I love this!" She had no idea I was thinking of her the entire time I was working on it.
Unfortunately for her, this cutie sold in one day; except for the pillows which are still available. Guess I'll just have to build another bench for my niece....it could happen...
As for the wedding plans, while digging through all my old lace to see if anything would work for the bench, I found this wide vintage lace and started building centerpieces in my head.