$6 Thrift Store Bench Makeover

Welcome back, sweet friends!  On one of Nancy and my thrifting trips last year, we came upon two benches outside of one of the thrift stores that were almost identical. They were long and narrow and both were painted barn red. We thought they would be perfect for each of us to make over. Then we discovered one of the ends of one of them had been chopped off. What a bummer! It would have been fun to see what each of us came up with for them. I did, however, bring home the one that was still intact for $6:

I’m not sure what this was used for and was kind of stumped with what to do with it. By adding it to my latest pile of treasures, I committed to doing something with it! (LOVE that…it’s helping me get rid of it all! 🙂 )

I’ve included a few affiliate links so you can find the products I love.

I decided to give it a Summer beach-inspired makeover!

What better place to photograph a summery piece than beside the pool?

$6 Thrift store bench painted in Dixie Belle's Vintage Duck Egg Blue from confessionsofaserialdiyer.com

It was pretty rough in its before state and both outside ends had this gross mold/mildew on them:

Free mildew? Yes, please!

Honestly, this is probably why it took me so long to make this over! This one never made it to my storage room. It had to stay in the garage!

I put on my mask and sanded it with my rotary sander, and it was ready to paint in no time:

I started painting the underside using white chalk paint and it began to bleed through for some reason, so I switched to BOSS in white by Dixie Belle to give it a good base first.

I let it dry overnight and then followed up with one coat of Vintage Duck Egg Blue mixed 50/50 with Cotton.

Then I added “Sandy Salty Happy” using my Silhouette and my old faithful Bit of Sugar DIY chalk paint (recipe HERE). :

I gave the letters two coats of the Bit of Sugar using a small brush and removed the contact paper (I use that in place of pricier vinyl.) right after applying the second coat.

I sanded with 220 grit sandpaper and sealed with Dixie Belle’s clear satin topcoat, using their blue sponge applicator to apply:

Dixie Belle Clear Satin Topcoat

Rinse the sponge with water as soon as you’re done with it and you can reuse it over and over again. I love using it to apply sealer! The satin topcoat gives just a slight sheen.

$6 Thrift store bench painted in Dixie Belle's Vintage Duck Egg Blue from confessionsofaserialdiyer.com

I used the ST Song font for the words.

$6 Thrift store bench painted in Dixie Belle's Vintage Duck Egg Blue from confessionsofaserialdiyer.com

I actually have a stencil that has this saying on it that I bought HERE, but the size I bought was too small for this bench.


It was really hard capturing great photos in the bright sunshine, but this bench looks right at home by the water!

I took the first photos on Sunday, but I put this bench out on the deck yesterday afternoon while the kids were swimming and I actually kinda like it out here…

$6 Thrift store bench painted in Dixie Belle's Vintage Duck Egg Blue from confessionsofaserialdiyer.com

So I snapped a few more pictures to add…

$6 Thrift store bench painted in Dixie Belle's Vintage Duck Egg Blue from confessionsofaserialdiyer.com


$6 Thrift store bench painted in Dixie Belle's Vintage Duck Egg Blue from confessionsofaserialdiyer.com

The bright sun didn’t help capture this gorgeous color very well, but this is what it truly looks like:

$6 Thrift store bench painted in Dixie Belle's Vintage Duck Egg Blue from confessionsofaserialdiyer.com

Isn’t it so yummy? I just love this Vintage Duck Egg and Cotton combination. Both colors I used to mix it are available in my Esty shop! FREE SHIPPING on all orders over $50. Use the code: FREESHIP50 at checkout! ($8 flat rate shipping on all orders under $50.)

Although this is really cute on our deck, this one will be heading to my booth!

$6 Thrift store bench painted in Dixie Belle's Vintage Duck Egg Blue from confessionsofaserialdiyer.com

Not bad for $6, right?

And that’s another one done!

If you missed the first two pieces, you can see what I did with them here…

Grandma’s Side Table

Sewing Machine Table Makeover

I’ll be back on Thursday sharing how I gave this lamp a little lift:

See ya then! 🙂

UPDATE! See the new look Mr. Rooster got HERE now! 




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  1. I love it 🙂 Being down-under anything beach-style gets my vote!!! I’m so looking forward to seeing what you do with the lamp 😀

    • Thank you, Petra! I love all things coastal too! I’m not sure if I mentioned to you before that my dad was born and raised in Sydney and we live on the NW Cape when I was a kid! I’d love to get back there someday! XOXO

  2. Michelle says

    I don’t know if you realize how much you inspire people, Christy! After seeing your darling blue bench, I was inspired to paint a table blue!!l Love the bench!! Thx for sharing!!

  3. Omgosh…adorable, it doesn’t even look like the same piece! And can’t wait to see what you do with that lamp Christy!

  4. Cecilia from Georgia says

    Icky! I would have passed this piece up. However, you jumped on it and now have such a unique piece of furniture. I’m sure it will be a quick sale. But, I love it on your deck! Do you make your stencils with contact paper? Any advice when cutting? Do you set it on vinyl? Thanks

    • Thank you, Cecilia! Honestly, I didn’t realize it had mildew on it until I got home, and then sitting in the garage it probably has spread a little. So gross! I’m really glad this one is done for sure. And yes! I use contact paper instead of vinyl and I just set it on the same setting as vinyl. It works great! XOXO

  5. Janice Holt says

    Love the bench and it looks right at home by your pool.

  6. Denise V Cox says

    I love it! And coastal decor is my favorite anyway!! Boy, Dixie Belle has lovely colors… plus the way YOU “concoct” your own color magic!!
    Denise.. ????????

    • Thank you so much, Denise! Coastal is my favorite for sure as well! And yes…I am loving this color combination, especially! XOXO

  7. Christina in SW FL says

    Oh Christy, you saved this bench!! It looks beautiful!! I mean it really had potential and you let it shine! It will go fast in your booth. I adore benches. 🙂

  8. I couldn’t imagine what could be done with such a short bench! What a great idea it turned out to be!

  9. Susan Homeroad Stevenson says

    That turned out great! It looks good everywhere around that beautiful pool!

  10. Marcie Lovett says

    We’ll throw in the mildew at no extra charge ???? Of course it looks fabulous now and someone is going to grab it for their own backyard!

  11. I don’t know why, but this lamp/shade remind me so much of that really popular old movie where the father has a ‘leg’ lamp that he thinks is very valuable. Maybe it’s that shade? Anyway I’m dying to find out what you will do with this treasure!

  12. I love this little bench, I would keep it by the pool like your first photo.

  13. Another amazing project!!! You never cease to amaze me!

  14. Wow, what a difference! Love the color and the sentiment. Looking forward to seeing what you do with the lamp.

  15. Charla W Durden says

    Oh my gosh! This is so adorable. When I saw it I was wondering what you could with it too! You’re amazing! Love, love everything coastal too. I grew up on the Texas coast. We recently purchased a house and I’m doing my upstairs bedrooms in coastal themes and have some all around the house. Thanks for all your inspiration!

  16. Julie Briones says

    Super cute, Christy! Love the different places where you photographed, too!

  17. Lorraine Castellon-Rowe says

    Hi there, this bench is darling!!! Love the color. I’ve never thought of mixing paint to get a different color. (Duh!) I clicked the link to your way shop but it keeps taking me to my Etsy home page. Ugh! Can you please tell me the name of your shop? Thanks for the new idea (missing paint). Love your blog!!!!

  18. I adore everything you find and make over. Christy I tell ya honey here in Arkansas the prices at the near by thrift store and or trading post might as well be as high as the mall…yes seriously..at least where I live.. its sad actually..they use the DIY’ing against us or to their advantge I could say..when you say $6 for that bench I just WANT TO YELL HOORAY FOR YOU…here i would have to give $20 being the least..I just dont get it..and the seller tells me, ”Well thats what every one is buying now days”….OMG really…Drives me nuts ..what do I say to that..BAHAHAHAHAHAHA..I suppose i need to come there and stock up on my DIY furniture and decor.. I love all you do..Always Beautiful and Always inspirational!..Oh and the Rooster lamp..I loooooove it..#clapclapclap

    • Thank you so much, Margie!! That is just crazy! We have stores like that here as well and I don’t even waste my time stopping there! Luckily, we have a lot of thrift stores to choose from! Rent a U-haul and come on down ha ha! XOXO

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