Desire a side table with storage? Here’s how to flip a simple bench into the unique side table must-have with paint, stencils and a wooden crate! Includes video on how to achieve a flawless painted furniture finish using Fusion’s Oakham with no brush strokes!
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Raise your hand if you too love to collect benches.
Oh goodness… a small bench is as much fun to collect as TV trays! Not only are sitting benches generally quite affordable and easy to use thanks to their smaller dimensions, they are also fun to customize to use for various reason, other than just sitting!
12 other creative ways to use benches:
- A compact bench coffee station
- Buffalo Checked bench as a riser
- Rustic bench by a front door entry outdoors
- Long entryway storage bench with storage for boots
- As nightstands or end tables if stacked up or tall enough
- Use a bench as an offshoot to store clutter near an office desk
- Entryway bench to sit while putting on shoes
- As a compact sitting spot for small entryways to put on shoes
- Extra seating in any space
- Hallway display table
- Great storage bench to hold pillows or blankets at the foot of a bed
- In kids’ playroom spaces for sitting on or storing toys
So when I landed this yellow vintage bench from a neighbour for free awhile ago, I gave it its first instant makeover. With no intentions of using it as a sitting bench!
Bayberry green painted bench with Chestnuts snack box crate
The previous bench’s look
Isn’t the bench amazing as a side table with storage? The handy snack box elevated the bench to the perfect side table height!
And the durable shelf offers ample storage space for coffee table books, magazines or board games.
Even under the bench can be used for storage compartments if you put sliders on a tray! Every nook and cranny has potential.
Sitting bench turned coffee table during a Christmas tour
The bench is actually the exact size to become the perfect coffee table, which I shared HERE in my Christmas tour!
Painted in Bayberry by Fusion Mineral Paint, the tone is a pretty sage green, which blended into year around decorating beautifully and provided that small splash of color I’ve desired.
But what really elevated this from a simple solid wood bench to a side table or coffee table was the added crate, which added a unique storage space or drawer! The open shelf on the bench is such a good design, since it can basically house anything.
However about a year later, I got a hankering to try some new Fusion Mineral Paint colours and paint the little bench turned side table with storage into a deep moody neutral tone instead. The bench had some scratches at that point so a quick refresh would get things quickly back on track once again.
Durable DIY furniture paint
Meet Oakham by Fusion Mineral Paint! This is a dark moody furniture paint tone that to me resembles antique bronze. It’s warm and has this wonderful yet neutral deep anchoring effect that I desired in my living room.
Get all Fusion products for 10% off HERE
Fusion Mineral Paint’s new colours
Fusion Mineral Paint (read my own Fusion review HERE) actually came out with 9 deep moody colours not long ago, and I personally vow to use each and every one! So stay tuned as I work my way through them so you can see all the new paint colours in action!
So let’s play with the paint colour Oakham today! And flip this cute little antique sitting bench once again into a revamped side table with storage, but this time, with some stenciled images to create a unique vibe!
From sitting bench to unique side table with storage
Supplies I used:
Vintage wooden small bench (landed on the curb)
Oakham by Fusion Mineral Paint (get 10% off HERE)
Coal Black by Fusion Mineral Paint (get 10% off HERE)
TSP Alternative by Fusion Mineral Paint
Cleaning the bench
1. Prep your bench by first cleaning it with Fusion’s TSP alternative.
While Fusion has incredible bonding power, it’s important to clean your furniture piece first so your paint gets the best chance at good adhesion.
I personally like to use Fusion’s TSP Alternative. It’s a phosphate-free cleaning product that is safe to use, that you don’t even have to rinse off!
About Fusion Mineral Paint’s TSP Alternative
- phosphate-free and non-toxic
- safe to use with no gloves
- no need to rinse off
- cleans off dust, grease, grime, etc.
How to use TSP Alternative
- Fill a container with warm water.
- Add 2 capfuls of TSP Alternative to 1 litre of water, then mix.
- Clean your project using a rag dipped into the solution.
- Allow to completely dry before painting.
2. Scuff sand the bench with a sanding sponge.
For the most part, a simple scuff sand will prep most surfaces.
Because I had Fusion Mineral Paint with no added topcoat on the bench, a small scuff sand was all that was needed to raise a little tooth for the new paint to adhere to.
Prep may look different depending what is on your bench already. Yours may require an orbital sander to break up an old finish. Or any previous wax finishes will need to be removed with mineral spirits prior to painting.
Painting the bench in Oakham
3. Paint the bench in Oakham using a paint brush to cut in, then a velour quality roller to finish painting the bench.
Now the fun part! I couldn’t wait to play with Oakham soon enough! And the outcome was even better than I imagined! What a deep, pretty tone, however just light enough that would showcase black stenciled details that would come up next!
(I had added a video of the painting process to this post, however it caused issues so I had to remove it! You can watch how I painted the bench on my Instagram stories HERE)
How to paint with a Staalmeester velour roller
To avoid brush stroke potential, I decided to try Staalmeesters quality velour rollers for the first time. The outcome was phenomenal! Very little texture was left with the roller so it didn’t require any orange peel knock-down afterwards with a paint brush.
So if you want to avoid brush strokes, this high quality roller is your best friend!
- Using a quality paint brush, cut-in the tighter corners of the bench where a roller won’t reach.
- Load roller with paint until well covered.
- Roll paint onto the bench overlapping the cut-in edges while they are still wet.
- Once paint is on the bench, use very straight, even rolls from start to finish until you see no obvious rotating directions or start-and-stops. Even application is key to achieving a flawless finish.
Video of prep and painting bench
View above short video to watch the full prep and painting of this bench!
Stenciling the bench
4. To add more interest to the painted bench, two stencils were used to elevate the custom look!
Grain Sack Stripes stencil G1L
Stenciling with Grain Sack Stripe G1L
Since I planned to position the snack box crate in the middle of the bench, I positioned the stencils to work around it.
Grain Sack Stripe G1L was centered in between the crate and the edge of the bench.
- Slightly wet a stencil or wider brush with water, then remove most with a rag.
- Dip stencil brush into paint, and remove most paint onto a rag so the brush feels dry.
- Apply the paint in long even swipes so the stripe goes on even and has a slightly transparent look.
Video – how to paint a wide grain sack stripe
View a short video above of how I apply wider grain sack stripes evenly.
Stenciling with Pallet Stamps
Next up, some pallet details were stenciled with parts of the Pallet Stamps stencil.
Lot No 6/42 was added across the front of the bench, with a Product stamp slightly off-center on the shelf below.
Discreet without looking to busy, but still interesting!
Basic stencil tips for no paint bleed:
- load the stencil brush with paint
- off-load most paint onto a rag until the brush feels dry
- tap or swirl the paint through the stencil for the desired effect
Read more about How to stencil in THIS POST.
Visit the full tutorial: Chestnut-themed wooden crate snack box HERE
Building a small storage crate
5. Build a small wooden crate to place on the bench to elevate the bench to side table height.
The wooden crate was built previously, to not only store my favorite snacks in a unique way, but to also raise up the bench to an appropriate side table height so it would work beside a sofa!
This wooden crate tutorial is an easy build that can be customized to any crate size desired, and of course, decorated any way desired.
View the Chestnuts stencil used HERE
The finished side table with storage makeover!
And what a beauty this combination is!
I just adore the deep Oakham paint color with that wooden crate! And the stenciled grain sack stripe and pallet stencils added just enough interest to personalize the little bench turned side table with storage further.
This style of wooden storage bench is so sturdy, and would also make a wonderful sitting bench, show storage bench, garden storage bench or otherwise.
In fact, I’m tempted to build one from scratch however longer so it can be used as an epic mudroom bench or to use at the foot of my bed in the primary bedroom!
However today, this little bench is perfect used as a side table with storage. But my son just spotted it and wants it in his room! Nooo… I want it!
So I guess I have a legit reason to build another one now… because I’m not letting this one go!
What do you think of Oakham? Isn’t it a decadent tone? I think it would look fabulous on my kitchen island myself. Hmmm… the Oakham story just may continue!
Other unique side tables with storage:
Pallet-style side table with fire log storage
IKEA hack table with added shelves and pallet stamps
Visit other super unique side table projects HERE
Check out other unique bench makeovers HERE
View how to use Fusion Mineral Paint in my own review HERE
8 thoughts on “From sitting bench to unique side table with storage”
The side table is beautiful. Moody colors are my favorite, although I have been thinking of painting a small section of a wall with a pop of brighter color. Must be the change of seasons. The snack box on top of the storage bench is a great idea. Remove the lid and place it on the coffee table and put your drinks on it while snacking. You think of everything. The thinking part takes time and that I get impatient with. Wish I was a little measured. I get ideas and whoop, on I go. Haha! I am going to order the stencil with all the grain sack lines. I love it. Really enjoyed this post.
Thanks Joanne! I’m really loving this tone. I keep visioning painting an ammunition box with it, this bench kinda has a deep green military vibe to it! Will I do it? I sometimes dream, then move on too because in my mind it’s already done so I may as well move on! haha And thank-you for your stencil order, you are going to be amazed how easy grain sack stripes are about to become on any given surface!
That colour is gorgeous. So classy and well put together without being snobbish. And, as always, your stencils take it to a whole new level. The pallet one must be one of my favs. It’s so easy to use for so many different things.
Thanks Michelle, the tone does have an upscale feel for certain! The pallet stamps stencil is one of my personal favs because… well, pallets. haha I will NEVER change!
I always love your upcycle projects, you have quite the talent. I keep saying I am going to attempt the laundry sign you made years ago, but I still have yet to do so. Love the color of this bench, and of course, I love your stenciling.
How awesome! So glad it’s green; that’s my favourite colour and it’s a perfect shade.
Thanks Sara! Oakham has a slight deep military green undertone to it, but my first impression would be antique bronze without a doubt. It’s very unique!
Walnuts, pretzels and pistachios. Now I know your weakness. I also know I have been meaning to try some Oakham, so I better plot out a course and see if I can find a bench to make cute.