Trash-picked Treasures

Last week was a trash-picking bonanza! There are several houses in our neighborhood that recently turned over. Much useful furniture was sitting at the curb along with two wool rugs (separate houses)! The house across the street from us had boxes and boxes of glassware and china collectables set out. My husband, who hates to see useful items tossed into a landfill, dutifully filled the van and drove the items to Goodwill. The first piece of furniture I tackled was this simple bench.

A piece like this is about the easiest to re-do. The fabric top is attached with screws from underneath. The old fabric (and cushion) were ripped off leaving a plywood base. I recovered the base with foam (I keep a big roll of bonded dacron on hand for my projects — a few layers of it did the trick) and stapled some cranberry linen on top. The legs were lightly sanded and received two coats of black oil paint. I didn’t bother to prime them. After a total time investment of maybe 30 minutes over 3 days, I now have a very useful little seat for the kids.

As an aside, this vintage telephone table was one of our finds.
It’s kitschy-ness called out to me. Alas, it really doesn’t go with my decor. I’ve tried to sell it on craigslist but no takers. I’m giving it a few more days on my porch — either for inspiration to strike or a buyer to emerge. Then, it’s loaded in the van, and joining all its former kitchenware at Goodwill.



  1. Dona said

    I have a similar looking telephone bench in my foyer. Mine is all wood. My mom had it first and she called it a “gossip bench” get it! I love it because I remember seeing her sitting on it gabbing on her phone.

  2. mom2fur said

    Shucks, I wish I lived in your area. I’d take that telephone bench in a New York minute! It’s really awesome, but maybe not as awesome as the nice job you did refinishing the other bench!

  3. Nancy said

    I wonder if it could be a plant stand, either left outside or on a porch. I see a large pot on the seat, a smaller pot on the top table and a dish-shaped pot on the underneath table with a vine plant trailing down from it.

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