Here's an oldie but a goodie. It's one of my favorite makeovers from my column Weekend Shopper at House Beautiful, for which I traveled to flea markets around the country, giving new life to old things.
This trip took Brendan and me to Renniger's in Mt. Dora, Florida, northwest of Orlando, where I encountered a piece that had wandered far from home.
It was an outdoor wooden bench, bearing the mark of an Eastport, Long Island department store. I loved how the seats were all connected, but each folded and functioned separately. On closer look, I noticed that some of the seats were warped and the veneer was cracked in spots, but the piece itself was sturdy. And at $45, I couldn't pass it up!
After distressing the wood with steel wool, I primed and painted the bench with a creamy semigloss spray paint. If you're trying something similar yourself, don't worry about scuffs and scratches. Just touch it up! Then, to soften the piece, I had new seat cushions and backs made by an upholsterer from ¼-inch plywood and a fresh ticking stripe from Zimmer + Rohde.
A little Velcro to attach makes clean-up a snap, especially in high-traffic areas like a mudroom. Oh and by the way, how cute is blogger Lisa McGee's daughter pulling on her Wellies? Lisa and I used to work together at House Beautiful back in the day, and her daughter Sophia made the perfect model for the shoot!
Flea markets are full of hidden treasures like these. Just keep an open mind, and you never know what you'll find!
I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE this bench. I’m a flea market junky and love what you did with this bench. Great idea adding the fabric. Looks amazing and the little girl in the wellies – looks like a print ad. Adorable.
Absolutely am in love with this. Your site is my new obsession…and (confession!) I even went back and watched your entire season of Top Design, just to see more of you.
That bench is amazing… do you still have it?
you are so brilliant. this is one of the best before and afters i’ve ever seen! what a darling little girl too. xoxo
Wow, I seriously don’t think I would have seen the potential…
Love what you did with it, and it’s PERFECTLY styled in the pic with little Sophia!
That is spectacular. I would have looked right past that one. My Grandmother was so good about making something great out of something that looked past it’s prime. She was frugal before it became stylish to be so. Thanks for helping us look at things in a different light.
This IS a goodie, boys! So fresh!
Eddie, I adore that BENCH! I have a 3 seat version I purchased at an occasional sale in Bethany Beach DE. I LOVE that you’ve used it inside and those sweet little cushions…I don’t think I would have thought of that and it’s FABULOUS for a mudroom! GREAT inspiration as always!
What a great makeover. I love the crisp white of the “bench” and the fabric you used for the cushions. And how adorable is that darling little girl?
Love to you both!
Absolutely stunning…Lovin tha ticking fabric!!! So perfect in a mud room. Love it!
Gorgeous! I love the fabric that you selected, and it looks perfect in the hall (especially with the precious model!). My in-laws use a church pew that they bought at a tag sale that adds a lot of personality to their back hall. Maybe I could convince them to have a cushion made for the bench – I love the stripes on the one you made over. It adds so much personality to the piece (and I bet it’s a lot more comfortable to sit on too). Christine
Love that bench…it’s fabulous and the little girl is pretty darn cute!
HUNNNNNSSSS, Eastport NY. Not far from CO’H and where we went on our first antiquing excursion xx
EDDIE DOES I AGAIN! Love the transformation. I am heading down to Rennigar’s in Feb. to meet up with my best friend, Amy who lives in the area. Thanks to my Eddie shopping tours – I am now armed with unlimited enthusiasim and knowledge for the hunt. I will make you proud dear teacher!
oh dear! that’s beautiful. I actually have four of these exact chairs! oh my. they were my great gradmas. i think.
i borrowed them from my mom. think she’ll notice if they are missing? i just LOVE this idea!
i want … need to do this!
what a gorgeous idea! i always hear the saying, when in doubt paint it white, and it looks like you have done just that. way to give something with good structure a second chance 🙂 bravo!
Go ahead and raise the bench, Eddie & J. You all make it look easy peasy.
So true about finding treasures, this one came out fab!!
Eddie, this is a brilliant solution!
April at Just Verte
Shut the truck door!!! I love Rennigers and go there every other weekend. How come you can find something like that and whenever I look I find nothing. LOL I would have loved to seen you there to see you in action.
Eddie amazing makeover! I love the change, perfect!
New giveaway is on my site!
Art by Karena
love love love. Sophia is just too adorable. Now I want a pair of wellies.
You are inspiring me to find some flea markets to wander through with an open mind! That is one wonderful bench!
Eddie, that is such a beautiful transformation. Fresh & clean, what a great idea for a space like this. Love the fabrics too.
what a fantastic makeover! And velcro!!! I always learn something from you.
What a transformation. I love the new life you’ve given this bench. You’ve got such a good eye for spotting treasures.
Too cute! I’ve also seen church pews at flea markets, you could probably do a similar thing with them!
That got me excited! I’m SO on the hunt for a flea market with a bench like that. I love the makeover – thanks for the inspiration!
I love this bench what a great find… I guess there is a reason I call you “fabulous” right?
Thank you sooooo much for the comment love today, I swear ever since I saw a comment from “Eddie & Jaithan” I have been feeling like a rock star :+)
Wow, I could barely tell that it was the same piece! You little model is precious. Hope all is well…hugs.
I HAD to brag about you:
In all honesty I don’t think I would have given that bench a second glance. But what a great inexpensive find though and that bench came out beautifully after you worked you magic! Sophia looks like the perfect model too!
Eddie & Jaithan…thank you for stopping by 24C and also for the well wishes, it was a nice surprise and very sweet!
btw- the bench is amazing…a piece of history wonderfully saved!
Love the bench even the way it was for some applications but love your makeover even more. Thanks for visiting me today. We are both flea market and antique junkies.
So fresh and I am in love with the wire baskets too.
I couldn’t help but think of this upcoming weekend’s gizillion mile yard sale when I saw your post about this great bench. Keeping an open mind is half of the fun. You never know what you may discover! Are you and Jaithan hitting the road for the big sale? I suspect that I’ll explore the souther portion! Have an amazing, treasure filled weekend!
Ok, so Round Top is around the corner. Shouldn’t you & Jaithan TRY coming?? I bet we could score such a bench. But if so, since I’m an hour from Round Top, uuhhhh….it’d come home with me. 🙂 Eddie – this is FANTASTIC!!!!
OMG — did not see that spectacular make over coming. Genius….again, pure genius!!!
I want your job…how lovely to be paid to travel, shop and then write about it. When you retire give me a call! In the meantime, great bench save.
Well done! It’s all fabulous – bench, model (and the wire baskets under are perfect touch). Just love Mt. Dora but haven’t been to Rennigar’s (gasp!). It’s moved further up my “to-do” list now. Thank you!
We are blessed to have you Eddie. You always inspire me!
Is Debra (5th & State) with you and Jaithan still? Her mailbox is full and I can’t get hold of her. She told me she was going to one of your events..
I would love to go flea marketing with you! Love the photos!!!
trust you to see potential, to claim total chic-ness on a forgotten bench! if i were you, i’d fly myself and jaithan to run a DIY makeover camp with some Aussies in the Blue Mountains, where i reside. 😉
Ok, this is genius…I could never imagine that before and after. And, I love the wire baskets…what a great idea for a mud room!
a.m.a.z..i.n.g redo! I love how it turned out! always love seeing another take on how to breathe new life into old furniture. Fantastic job!
E & J, This bench is wonderful and what a fun piece for a mudroom. I love your vision, you are so inspiring. I am going Goodwill Hunting tomorrow with a friend, she has never been, should be fun!!! I found a few pieces last week that are really pretty cool. I hope to post on them pretty soon on my blog!! Keep the inspiration coming I need some Eddie’s Motivation!!!! Hugs Kathysue
PS thank you guys for your sweet visits and comments. It just thrills me when you come by, xoxo
Eddie, you live the life of a man with a open mind indeed! The transformation is amazing.
Love it! Love the velcro idea too. I just bought a bunch of old chipped folding rental chairs to pull out for the big holiday meals. Maybe I’ll do something fun with the fabric like you did.
p.s. I just saw a really old issue of some magazine where you (Eddie) made pillows out of vintage scarves. You looked like you were about 15 years old. — too cute!
I have an old theater seat ($20) that needs to be reinvented too, been on my list…thanks for the inspiration, your post might just be the push I need to get it done!
WOW! What a lovely piece of furniture. I am so inspired to go to flea markets now.
Thanks for the wonderful post.
you have my dream job! what a transformation! i wouldn’t have given that bench a second look, now maybe i will think differently next time i’m at a flea market. thanks for the inspiration, as usual!
Ooh, love the bench makeover with the striped fabric! As luck would have it, I’m headed to the Worlds Longest Yard Sale. I will add this to the ridiculously long list and probably come back with something completely different! haha – that’s how we roll!
I am never disappointed when I visit…love it !!! And you’re right your little model is adorable, she even has my maiden name 🙂 !!!
I hope you and Jaithan are enjoying your summer !!!
All the best,
I love a good before and after. What a great way to spice up an old bench!
Wow, what a beautiful transformation! The paint and fabric add such a wonderful sharpness. Love it! And so great that it’s function was also brought back to life.
That’s bloody brilliant. Love to you Eddie, you never fail.
This bench turned out sooo cute! We’ve been hitting that same great Mount Dora Flea Market for the last several years, each January for their extravaganza! Wow, at the goodies!!This week we’ve been shopping the World’s Longest Yard Sale the past two days in Tennessee. That’s hard work,hehe!!
Thanks for stopping by my blog!!What a nice surprise!
Carol in GA
It is beautiful…as one would expect from you Eddie! You really need to come to Australia for a junkin trip =0)
That is the best DIY I’ve ever seen. You are Eddie Ross for a reason.
Wow! I doesn’t even look like the same piece – the styling, photography, and of course that little girl are lovely!
FANTASTIC! I think it would make a great bench for a banquette in an apartment . When your lease is up it goes with you:)
Absolutely fabulous. Why on earth do I not find things like this? You always find the best treasures!!
Eddie, you Rock my friend…. Everytime i visit your site , there is something amazing you have done. . Very good job this bench.You took a old worn piece and you gave it life and a new meaning.LOVE the stripes.You are a mastermind and you give me ideas for my house.Keep up the good work ..
v.cool! love it, what a brill make over.
A wonderful project! Could someone identify the maker of the adult wellies on the right side of the photo? Thanks!
wow , this work is awesome I just love how the bench looks.
I cannot begin to tell you how impressed I am with this makeover. It shows incredible vision and the fabric you selected is sensational. How I would love to hijack it for my mudroom! Great work.
How fun to see my daughter in this photo shoot so many years ago – we have a whole selection of images from that shoot hung up our stairs here in Ireland.
Was so fun working with you on that Eddie! Hope all is well you are looking very busy!
Eddie, I always love your work and this project was a resounding success. Hope you don’t mind I’ve just featured your makeover on my blog. http://lwlp.blogspot.com/2010/08/love-your-work-eddie-ross.html
I absolutely L O V E the outdoor bench! Will you sell it ? ? ?
Really? This is a direct copy from a JUNKMARKET story in Country Home Magazine. A little originality is always appreciated!
I can see that the author of this blog does not accept or acknowledge that he has copied someone’s work. I will take my comments elsewhere to expose it.