Hi ya’ll! Happy Friday! After a rainy, but restful and productive Memorial Day weekend, I’m back with the final reveal of this cute little vanity I picked up from our local thrift store last summer.
It’s been in the SheShop since then and had practically become a permanent fixture while I tried to figure out what to do with it. This poor little vanity had definitely seen better days. Someone had previously painted the entire piece dark brown as you can see on the spindles below. I don’t usually work on previously painted pieces. It’s basically a shot in the dark when it comes to surface smoothness and adhesion since you can’t be sure that the previous person prepped and applied the paint correctly. But, I loved the curved legs and simple design so I took a chance anyway.
My first thought was to sand the top and restain it, then paint the entire bottom and mirror white. You can see in the photo below that I was a bit too overzealous with my sanding and ended going right through the wood veneer to the plywood. See how splotchy and rough the surface is.
Ugh. So, I quickly restained the exposed plywood with my Minwax Finishing Clothes in Walnut (this is what you’re seeing in the photo above). Then, in desperation (and frustration, if I’m being honest), I pushed it back into the corner of the SheShop to work on another day.
Well that day, finally came and I love how she turned out!
I painted the vanity with a custom mix of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in French Linen and Pure White (1 part french linen to 1 part pure white). I love how the color turned out- it’s a very soft, warm toned gray. I honestly had no idea what it would look like. Normally I test my color concoctions, but this time I just went for it and I’m so glad I did!
I changed out the drawer hardware with this cute drawer pull from Hobby Lobby and painted the mirror hardware black then white with some distressing to match. I used Rustoleum Professional High Perfermance Enamel Spray Paint in Flat Black and Flat White for the mirror hardware. I love this spray paint. It applies easily and seems less susceptible to runs. It also dries to the touch in 15 minutes and dries hard in 1 hour. #timesaver 😉 (If you’ve been following me for a while now then you know any product that saves me time gets my vote!)
I lined the drawer with the same fabric as the vanity bench. Take a look at this post for details on how I line drawers, boxes and other containers with fabric.
When I bought this vanity, it didn’t come with a bench. I knew it needed one to really complete the look. After several months of searching and finding nothing in the style or price range I was looking for, I decided to get creative.
I spotted this chair from the Lenoir Chair Company on sale for $3 at Good Will. The Lenoir Chair Company was founded in 1926 by Ed Broyhill and eventually became Broyhill Furniture Industries, a company that continues to produce quality furniture today. I seriously love when my furniture finds include the original tags or maker’s marks. Learning their history fascinates me.
I originally thought I would use the chair as is, but the ornate back really competed with the simplistic design of the vanity. I also had my heart set on a more traditional vanity bench with no back. So, I pulled out my Ryobi Compound Miter Saw and got to work.
I cut off the entire back of the chair and then cut off the top curved piece. I had a plan to add that piece back to the chair bottom. My hubby used his hack saw to cut notches in the top of the chair bottom. I then attached the curve piece to the chair bottom using 2 inch self-tapping screws.
I rounded off the sharp edges using my Dewalt Oribtal Sander and filled the gaps with Elmer’s Carpenter’s Color Change Wood Filler. I use this wood filler all the time- it’s easy to apply and changes color from purple to tan when dry leaving no room for error. Once dry, I handed sanded off the excess wood filler and painted the bench with the same french linen/pure white mixture I used on the vanity.
Then it was time to reupholster the cushion. First, I removed the original fabric and padding.
Tip: Wear a dust mask and gloves when removing old upholstery. You never really know what you’re getting into and I’ve found mold before. Yuck.
This chair was in great shape though. I disposed of the old fabric and padding then gave the seat base a quick sanding on the top and bottom to ensure it was smooth.
I wanted a thick comfy cushion on this bench, so I used 3” high density foam (I purchased mine at Joann’s, but you can also order it from Amazon here). I placed the seat base on top of the foam and traced the shape with a permanent marker. I then cut the foam using a serrated bread knife (unless your upholstering all day long, there really is no need to buy a fancy foam cutting knife- this works great).
I cut a piece of batting large enough to cover the cushion on all sides and to wrap around the backside of the seat base. I always use batting when I use foam. I feel like it helps smooth out the corners of the foam and gives the cushion a better over all feel. I purchased mine from Joann’s, but you can also find batting on Amazon here.
I placed the foam in the center of the batting and then placed the seat base on top of the foam. I folded up the edges of the batting around the sides of the foam and attached them to the bottom of the seat base with staples using my Dewalt Multi-Tacker & Brad Nailer. This nailer makes the job super quick and easy, but a basic staple gun would work too.
I always staple the sides first leaving the corners for last.
Tip: Staple the top side first. Then pull batting taut and staple the bottom side. Similarly, staple the left side, pull batting taut and then staple the right side. This helps ensure there are no wrinkles in your batting or areas where it is loose. The same applies when attaching fabric.
To finish the corners, I pulled the very corner up over the foam and attached it with one staple to the seat base.
I then fold up each side adjacent to the corner and attach them with one staple each to the seat base. Think birthday present when folding up the sides.
I cut off the excess batting then repeated this same process to attach the fabric to the seat base.
I attached the newly upholstered seat base back onto the bench with the original hardware and tada!
I seriously wish I could keep this set. I’m so excited with how it turned out and am so glad that I finally had the guts to finish it. This is also the first time I retrofitted a piece into something else so this makeover has a special place in my heart.
What pieces do you have that you could transform into something different? Do you have a project you’ve put off to the side for far too long? I hope this post gave you the inspiration to break out the paint and get creating.
I’ll see you next week with the full Chalk Painting Tutorial I’ve been promising. Have a great weekend!