As you all know, it’s not beneath me to stop and pick up a piece of furniture that was put to the curb by someone else. Some of my favorite projects have come from the curb, and although Sean shakes his head when I bring home the tattered and worn, he always appreciates my end result.
To my surprise, a couple weeks ago Sean actually shopped the curb.
He was on his way to his car after work and there on the sidewalk by his passenger side door was a worn and scratched up leather bench. After some serious maneuvering to fit this thing in his small compact car, he was off and bringing this leather bench home. A perfect piece that needed to be fed again.
After walking around the bench like a bird of prey, I planned out my refinishing plan. The bad paint job on the legs was the first point of attack. The paint was chipping and was a finish that really cheapened the bench. I sanded all that off, and turned my attention to the leather top.
The leather was scratched and in bad need of conditioning. There were so many scratches, that I knew that I needed more than leather conditioner to treat and refinish the top. My solution turned out to be an easy one.
Hey, if it’s good enough for shoes, why couldn’t I use it on a leather bench?! That’s exactly what I did. I used a brown polish and applied with a soft dry cloth. After the polish dried, I brushed the surface just as I would when polishing a shoe.
I then addressed the now bare legs. After looking at dozens of colors of wood stains, I decided on dark walnut. I applied 3 coats of stain, letting each coat dry completely before I applied the next. Once the stain was dried, I applied and buffed a thick coat of polishing wax to seal the wood stain and condition the wood.
Sean and I scoured online to see what the value of the bench was brand new. We found the exact bench online, priced at $499.
My cost: free + elbow grease.
It always pays to shop the curb. If you see something and it has potential, then by all means, pick it up!