Tutorial: A DIY Monk's Bench

When we moved into our home last year I knew I wanted to add some items I had worked on myself, to create a personal touch as well as have pieces that would be just what I wanted. I had already bought a loveheart garland from a seller on facebook which featured in the living room in our last house. This time it would go in the hallway, along with a green and pink colour scheme.

I found this image on google and loved the idea of a bench with storage in for the kid shoes. I also thought the colour was just what I wanted.

I found a lovely little monk's bench on eBay and snatched it up. It came in a rather ugly (in my opinion) orangey wood finish so I set to work to make it my own.

First I sanded it down to get rid of the varnish finish and create a key for the paint. I generally do this by hand as it's easier to get in all the nooks and crannies, but it can be time consuming and my hands certainly don't thank me for it!

Next I painted a white undercoat all over the bench and left it to dry for 24 hours.

After this I set to work with my green paint. I used Olive Green by B&Q Colours, which matched some cushions I'd already had made really well. I used two coats of this to make sure it came out even with no streaks.

I didn't add a varnish or wax to this, but I would recommend doing so if you don't want to be touching it up every couple of months! However mine has actually lasted quite well despite a lot of use.

Once the bench was in place it looked lovely and really finished our hall off. It is the perfect height for the children to sit on and put their shoes on and off and doesn't take up too much space.


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