I could kick myself because I didn't take a before picture of the project I'm about to show you. So, you will need to use your imagination today as I paint a before picture for you.
My friend, Sarah, loves old stuff as much as me. She noticed some folks in her town emptying their basement of stuff that had been damaged in the flooding we had here not that long ago. And she saw a bench they set out to be thrown away.
Now the bench wasn't fancy to start with. It's basically a plank of wood on legs. It's probably something some guy fashioned for himself with some scrap wood that he could use while in his workshop.
It was splintery, with a piece broken off one end, and some flaking paint on the legs. And, it was covered in mud.
But, Sarah saw the beauty in it and rescued it. She also knew she didn't really have the space for it & that I enjoy doing stuff with old furniture so she brought it to me.
I wasn't sure what I thought of it. I really didn't have time for another project. But, at the same time I thought maybe it could be used in our sunroom/mudroom as a place for the boys to sit while putting on or taking off shoes. And, they could store shoes under it.
It sat on my front porch for weeks.
Finally, today I decided I should at least wash the mud off it. It was a sunny, windy day and I knew it would dry off quickly. So, with my children's help I dragged the hose out of the basement and washed it off.
Later after it had dried I looked at it and a thought occurred to me. The wood (other than those few random spots of faded paint) was unfinished. I had some leftover polyeurothane from another project. I could very easily just poly overtop the wood leaving it basically in all it's rustic glory.
So, that's what I did. I didn't sand or prep it in any way other than the wash I gave it. Boy, the wood soaked up that poly! It was simple. It took me about 10 minutes. And, Charlie (my 3 year old) helped me because there really wasn't anything to 'mess up'.
Now, it's still definitely rustic. But, if you like rustic...this is for you. Here is the after of my bench...
I think this will work well in our mudroom.