Benched: In with the New

I showed you this old bench and how I began its revival here.

Bench - Front View - Before

 The bench was primed.

Ready for the next step

 The remaining steps were:

  • buy supplies
  • paint topcoat

    Charcoal Metallic Spray Paint
  • attach wood slats
  • find a place for the bench.

I bought the paint (above) and stainless steel nuts and bolts (maybe these won’t rust) at Lowes for $18.13.

Stainless steel nuts and bolts

 Lowes didn’t have wood the same width (2.25 inches) as the original slats so I didn’t buy anything, but when I returned home I realized that a traditional 1 x 3 (which is actually only 2.5 inches wide) would fit in the allotted spaces. So I went to Home Depot to get seven 4′ long 1 x 3s. They didn’t have what I wanted either so I went back to Lowes and bought four 8′ furring strips ($5.30).

New lumber with one old slat on top

 I spray painted 3 to 5 light coats of Rustoleum’s Metallic Charcoal on all sides of the metal frame.

2 or 3 light coats of paint to start

 One can was barely enough but I wasn’t about to buy a second can for a couple of sprays since this is fairly expensive spray paint ($6.78 per can).

After final coat of Metallic Charcoal

 Then Charlie cut the slats to size.

Sawing bench slats using the wheelbarrow as a workbench

 On my way home from Lowes after buying the furring strips I had the brilliant notion that these furring strips should not just be left to weather naturally. Not wanting to spend anymore money on this project, I remembered I have 2 colors of blue wood stain left over from the kitchen cabinets. I took the Minwax stain I had on hand:

  1. Deep Ocean (a true blue)
  2. Island Water (a deep teal)
  3. English Chestnut (dark brown)

and tested each of them on a board.  I also tried layering #1 over #3 and vice versa. Here’s the tester board. While I was testing, Charlie gave each board a light sanding, then wiped them down with a dry rag.

From top to bottom 1, 2, 3.

 Shockingly, we both liked #1 Deep Ocean best.  (We hardly ever agree on color!)

I brushed on and wiped off with a rag 2 coats of stain on each side of each board

 After marking the hole sites using an old board as a template, 

Marking holes

 I drilled holes for the bolts to go through making sure each slat would line up with the bench frame.

Drilling the bolt holes

 The finish wasn’t quite right so I brushed on 2 coats of polyurethane which I had on hand.

Before Polyurethane

 Here’s our park bench painted, polyurethaned and assembled.

Park Bench in the morning light

 Here’s the before.

Bench - Front View - Before

And here is the final bench which I plan to put in the hydrangea garden when Charlie gets it cleared out on the east side of the house.


 Final Cost          $23.43 

I hope it lasts a good long time, another 20 years would be really nice.

I’m linked to the following parties:

Boogieboard Cottage

Transformation Thursday

Domestically Speaking


Benched: Out with the Old

I bought this bench ages (could it possibly be 20 years) ago from (I think) Home Shopping Network.  I’m pretty sure the bench cost less than the shipping.  It’s very heavy.  I can’t even show you a before because I never took a photo of it when it was actually sitable.

Bench - Before

 I like to have lots and lots a good variety of seating options in the yard at The Glade so I’ve been wanting to refurbish this bench for a couple of years now.

Bench - Front View - Before

 First, I removed the remainder of the rotten and moss-covered wood slats that actually make up the bench.

Bench - Rotten wood gone

 Then I had to remove the bolts that had been holding the wood on. 

Rusted on Bolts

 The nuts were rusted to the bolts so I took a pair of pliers to hold the bolt steady and a hacksaw and sawed partway through each (10 in total) bolt.

Hold with pliers - Cut with hacksaw

 Then broke the bolts in two by bending them back and forth with pliers.

Bend bolt back and forth with pliers until it breaks

 Next item: extreme rust situation. First I tried to remove the rust with a wire brush wheel attached to a drill that Charlie used here. I had limited success.

Then I pulled out the Dremel tool and all the attachments which includes buffing wheels.  I didn’t even bother plugging the Dremel in.  I’m sure it would have worked on removing rust but 6 months from now I’d still be Dremeling.

Finally, I took a piece of steel wool and some mineral spirits and gave all the metal a once-over. Little metal hairs from the steel wool stuck to the rusty metal so I wiped everything down with a rag. (Some steel wool was still attached but on to the next step.)

Then from my stash of spray paints I took Rustoleum’s Heavy Rust Primer and gave everything (both upside-down and rightside-up) a couple good coats of primer.

Rust-colored Primer

 So what remains to be done:

  • Buy wood slats, finish paint, nuts and bolts
  • Paint metal in finish color spray enamel
  • Cut wood to size
  • Decide color of slats and paint or stain
  • Drill holes in slats and attach with bolts (seat) or screws (back)
  • Decide were to put it.
Ready for the next step

 I hope to finish this project this week.  Check back to see the results. What’re you working on? How’s it coming along?

Graduation Gift

Our most darling niece is graduating from high school this week and we wanted for her the most special gift.  This young lady is studying nursing, has a crystal cruet collection and plays a plethora of musical instruments, quite a diverse personality.

Charlie and I wanted to get her something that would remind her of her BIG day and at the same time be useful for many years to come.  We decided to give her a silver serving spoon from the same pattern that she may some day inherit from her grndmother: Stieff Rose.

Engraved Silver Serving Spoon

 In the bowl we had engraved her school and the year in Roman numerals.

Bowl engrave "South Fork" MMXI

 Almost got her a fork since her school is “South Fork” but thought a spoon more practical. On the back her monogram.

Her monogram on back of handle

 Eleven years ago when my son graduated, he also received a spoon from me.

Silver Spoon

 As for dear niece, we think she’ll like it and hope she loves it.  Have you got any graduation gift suggestions (other than money, which is always welcome.)? When I graduated I got a scuba diving watch because Iwas into that kind of thing. What’s the best graduation gift you recieved (other than money, which is always welcome)?

Lighten Up-date

Woo hoo, my 100th post!! (Just a little excitement which took me mostly by surprise.)

I have had these little milk glass lamp sconces since I was a little girl.  When I grew up and had a house of my own my mother sent them to me. At some point one of them didn’t work anymore so I rewired it. I’m guessing it’s the one on the right.

Pair of lamps

They’re well-camouflaged but you can just see the brown cords on these lamps. To hang them in the pink room I decided the cords should be light so I spray painted them white.

Cords sprayed white

Then (I know, I know, sooooooooooo predictable) I sprayed the sockets satin nickel. Hmmm, I’m not sure how I came up with it, it just hit me.

Sockets sprayed satin nickel

Next is the issue of the shades.  I looked all over the place for something that would fit and finally came up with these from Lowes which are discontinued and, therefore, on sale. So for $13.93 I bought 2 shades not exactly the right color.

Lamp shades for sconces

I couldn’t decide whether to spray them or cover them but I definitely did NOT want gold in my pink and silver diva room (before shot). For now though, they’ll remain gold which kinda goes with the frames on the iris prints.

After adding the lamp I also changed the pictures on the wall.
After adding the lamp I also changed the pictures on the wall.

Another issue with the shades is they really only fit on a candleabra-shaped bulb but one with a standard base. They wouldn’t sit straight on a standard light bulb nor on a CFL (compact flourescent light bulb).

Flame Light Bulbs

I hung one on each side of the window: one for reading in bed and one for working on the computer. (I love a lamp near the bed so I don’t have to get up to turn it off when I’m ready to go to sleep.) Sorry, I took the second one down before I could get a picture of it.  The lamp was too dim to do computer work and the lamps are not as exactly the same as I thought they were, so they looked stupid.

Lamp turned on

There are is my vintage lamps lamp. Any suggestion for the shade? Maybe I can grey it down a bit so its more pewter than gold.  Or pink might be lovely. I’ll ponder it some more.

Sidebar: When I was a kid I told my mother I was not having any old junk in MY house like we had at home. Very seriously she said to me, “Oh, you want modern things like glass and chrome.”

I said, “You betcha.”

Now, I not only have old stuff, I have THAT same old stuff!

I’m joining



Were you thinking “food” when I said “pinks”? Bet not. The “pinks” I’m talking about are heirloom tomatoes.


For many years we had an old friend of the family who started his tomato seedlings with seeds he had saved from the year before. And he would bless us with a few or more of these plants.  In recent years he has had to give up gardening, and thus our supply of the most delicious, meaty, thin-skinned, great-for-sandwiches tomatoes has totally dried up.

Pink tomato on the vine in 2005

 Gone forever until we found a small plastic bag labeled “Pinks 2006″.  Charlie said, they’re too old to plant, they won’t sprout.”

Here's the little (2" x 4") bag of seeds we found and planted

 I said, “But I love “pinks” and if we don’t give these seeds a try they’ll definitely be lost forever.” (Last year we tried a couple of plants that were purported to be “pinks” but they weren’t the same.)  

Pinks in 2005

 So, dear Charlie, on the insistance of his demanding lovely wife planted the seeds.  Miraculously, they have sprouted and we have about 40 seedlings.  If we can get 4 plants to grow to maturity we’ll have continued an almost extinct line of delicious Maryland tomatoes.

2011 Pinks seedlings

 Don’t give up. Don’t use conventional wisdom. Try, try try. Be practical. Keep creating. Play the long shot. Will we have Pinks this year?  What do you think?

I’m linked to

Ring My Bell

Just kidding! Actually I want you to paint my bell, I mean suggest a paint color for it.

Here it is before we dropped replaced the Dutch door.

Black bell by old door

 I took the black bell down so I could paint the trim. When I replace it it will go back in the same place but the door now looks like this.

Naked without the bell

I’d like YOU to suggest a color for the bell. 

What color do you choose?

Should it remain black (just repainted and spiffed up a bit)?  Or should it be a color like green or blue or red? Maybe it should be a metallic like hammered bronze or gun-metal?  What say ye?

Glade Cottage: Color Palette

The Glade has a color palette which I try to stick with as much as possible. Glade Cottage has its own color palette unlike the one of the main house in a couple ways.

First, because of the compact size of the cottage, the palette is limited.

Cottage Color Palette

 The walls are Siamese Eyes by Martha Stewart and  Templeton Grey by Benjamin Moore, the colors of the sky and sea.  Accents colors are more of a sandy color with some black, white and bold color splashes.

Second, while I use true blues in the house, the cottage blues have a bit of green in them, slightly aqua.

Below is a picture of the floating wall before we painted it and rearranged the furniture.

Front of floating wall - Before

 Below is a shot of the floating wall in Templeton Grey with the mate to the twin bed I reconditioned here. This bed is on my to do list, too. And the round, 3-tier table needs some love also. The standing lamp was shiny brass but I satin-nickeled it. (Can “satin nickel” be used as a verb???)

Templeton Grey on Floating Wall - After

I was hoping the tropical prints above the bed would be sort of beachy but they’re not bold enough, the color is wrong and they seem a little skimpy so I’m searching for something to replace them.

And here’s just a teaser of the main color, Siamese Eyes.

Siamese Eyes by Martha Stewart

 How’s your color scheming?