I am really going to try and share more of my smaller and larger projects this year. Last year really got away from me. We recently got a new sectional and the two lounge chairs that we had just didn’t work with it. We thought that a bench might work well and look nice. With this bench I was willing to actually spend a little more money than “hope to find a good deal at a thrift store”. On eBay I found a seller that was selling a pair of chrome and leather benches, the price for the pair was fairly high. I asked the seller if they would sell just one, we agreed on a much lower price. When the bench arrived I was pretty disappointed (partly my fault). The bench had what appeared to be crayon or some type of colored wax particles melted into the top of the bench. You could also tell that the bench had seen some moisture and dirt which = smells! I did a few cleaning tests and decided to try and save it.
The first thing I did was take off the legs, they were pretty pitted and dirty. I decided to try the vinegar and tin foil trick, it worked really good on a pair of Eames DCM chairs that I restored. Take some tin foil and bunch it up. Dip the tin foil in the vinegar and scrub the metal. I would always do a test spot first, you never know what may happen.
As you can see the leg on the bottom came to an almost new chrome shine. The leg on the top had not been cleaned yet. The property tag from an Avon office was still on one of the legs, I thought it was pretty cool.
Obviously we skipped a step here as I have “lost” or “they got deleted” pictures of how bad the top was. The bench is not leather so I took some Goo Gone and a tooth brush to the melted wax particles and was able to clean the whole thing.
Next it was time to replace the cover material on the underside. When I took off the original, the smell was of a really bad mildew. I used what seemed like half a bottle of Febreze to try and tame the smell. I went to my local craft shop for some black material used on the underside of furniture. I decided to use small nails instead of a stapler.
Next it was time to put the legs back on. I bought new wood screws as the old ones were pretty stripped out.
So you may be thinking, I thought this was for your family room. Once I had the bench done and after we tried it out in the family room, we decided a bench was not the best solution, go figure! It has now found a nice home in my den, underneath the window.
A few lessons learned with this experience. Be careful conducting business outside of eBay. Make sure you have detailed images (I didn’t), the one I had was pretty vague and showed the bench straight on, not the top of the bench. All in all, the bench turned out well and I like how it looks in my den.