What Paint Can Do: Waking Up a Tired Bench

Years ago, I bought a wooden piano bench at a garage sale for a few dollars. Although its paint was chipping, the bench itself was solid. I brought it home, painted it pale blue-green, and placed it in my bedroom as a place to sit when I put on my shoes.


After a while, the bench's familiarity rendered it nearly invisible. It was something that was there, but not noticed. Plus, during the height of the pandemic, for nearly a year I didn't leave the house often, so who needs a bench to sit on when putting on shoes when you no longer wear shoes?

But recently, for whatever reason, I looked at the bench and actually saw it. I appreciated its compact sturdiness with fresh eyes, but the color, although pretty, receded tiredly into the walls. I didn't want to change the bench significantly; I simply wanted to brighten it. To do this, I painted three stripes in complimentary colors to hug the side and back.

I already had two colors on hand from other projects, but I bought a sample of soft blush paint from Lowes for the third accent color. (Paint samples offer the perfect amount of paint for small projects, can be tinted to any color, and cost only a few dollars.) Thick painters tape ensured crisp lines and equally-spaced stripes. Honestly, the most time-consuming part of the project was letting each coat dry completely before taping the next section for subsequent stripes.

The process was quick and easy, and I love the end result:

The stripes add just enough extra detail to make the bench worthy of notice. Do you have a piece of furniture that's become invisible to you? Take a look at it with fresh eyes. The simplest touch-up might make all the difference to bring it back to life!

Bench color: Delancey Green (Sherwin Williams)
Outer stripe: Green Water (HGTV Home by Valspar)
Middle stripe: Romance (Valspar)
Inner stripe: Belle Grove Sorbet (Valspar)

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