This bench sparked my curiosity, when I first saw it. I could see the potential straight away, despite the unflattering photos, which showed it heavily coated in a dark brown stain and varnish.
The bench popped up on my Ebay feed. The auction was timed to go off early in the morning, which was far from convenient. We were also on holiday in Marrakech at the time. Despite the unpromising start, I knew from past experience that first appearances can be very deceptive.
The seat was pretty chunky. That was a huge plus sign – it meant in all likelihood that a quality cut of wood had been used in the construction. I could visualise straight away what the bench would look like once I’d got it into my workshop.
Was I going to bid? You bet!
I won, so there was something to look forward to at the end of the holiday, beside unpacking a suitcase full fo dirty laundry.
The previous owner provided me with a brief history, when I collected the bench. It had been hand made by his uncle, who was a carpenter. Uncle was sadly now in a home, so the bench was no longer required.
So how did I set about transforming the bench? I started by trimming the top to a regular shape, and then adding a bevel to soften the edges. I then machine sanded it, using several grades of paper (60 grit through to 240grit), before finishing with fine wire wool, to give a smooth finish.
The sides and shelf were then painted by hand, using Annie Sloan French Linen chalk paint, before a final finish with with clear beeswax furniture wax.
The top was then finished off with a very dilute stain (applied with a soft cloth) and two coats of wax, once the stain had absorbed and dried.
The final result, is a beautifully tactile contemporary console table. My furniture is now available on ETSY