I am SO excited how this project turned out. I had been looking for a bench with storage for my front door. Same old story…everything was either blah or way too expensive. I saw a headboard repurposed into a bench on Pinterest, so I summoned up the determination/motivation to make one myself. I searched for a long time on Craigslist until I found just the right headboard/footboard combo.
It was so filthy when I got it, I spent a long time cleaning it with a damp sponge and used a vinegar/water mix. The fancy wooden appliques were cracked, peeling up, and some were broken off completely. I glued them down and clamped what I could. I didn’t want to take it to a professional woodworker and spend a lot of money replacing the missing pieces, so I bought some Sculpey Clay, molded my own pieces, and baked them. I glued those pieces on. Now…how will that hold up over time? I have no idea. I’m crossing my fingers and hoping for the best! Next I used a LOT of outdoor caulk to fill in all the little cracks and gaps. The bench is covered by a roof overhang, so it will get some protection from the elements. My hope is with all the caulk used and several layers of outdoor paint it will last a good long while. I’ll try to remember to update next summer!
I cut the footboard in half and used each side for an armrest. I wanted a bench with storage, so I built a frame out of 2×4’s, covered it with 3/4″ plywood and used a piano hinge for the lid. Also, since the headboard and footboard are old antique wood, I made sure all the weight is on the new seat/storage area. I think I caulked, painted and retouched like 10 times after it was all said and done. Finally, I used a black outdoor stain and brushed it into all the details and wiped it with baby wipes to give it an antique look.