It’s Amazing What People Will Give Away: The Bench

UPDATE: Click here for the details on how to make your own DIY Chalk Paint.

Isn’t this bench gorgeous? Would you believe that the bench + paint + a new paint brush were less than $20?! Yes, I’m serious.

Craigslist Bench with Grey Dot Pillow

So here’s the story of how the bench came to be.

Andy has a new hobby – checking out the “free” section of craigslist on the weekend. I think he’s hoping to find someone giving away a fancy gas grill. Instead he found an awesome piece of furniture for me.
Craigslist Bench in the car
On Saturday morning he casually mentioned that there was a cool bench for free about 10 minutes away from us. Then he showed me a picture and I was on-board with contacting the people. They said to just swing by & pick it up, so before lunch we were loading this cute little bench into the back of our hatchback! You can see in the picture above that the arm was damaged – but it was nothing a little wood glue couldn’t fix.
Craigslist Bench under inspection

Penelope hopped onto the bench almost as soon as we dragged it into the living room. Poodle approved!

I contemplated sanding and staining the bench (it definitely needed some TLC) but then decided to paint it a bright color instead. The bench was free after all, so why not have a little fun!

On a whim we stopped by Home Depot and I headed to the paint section. I pulled a stack of blue/green colors and a few brighter blues and teals. Then I stood back and just stared at the color wall and picked the color card that I loved the most. Resisting my risk-averse nature & knowing that I’d be making DIY chalk paint which lightens up the paint color a tad, I picked the second color down on the card called “Harbor” (by Behr). When the guy opened up the sample size can to show me the color I knew I picked the perfect color!

I sanded the whole bench & mixed up a batch of DIY chalk paint. I got decent coverage on the first coat & I’ve learned not to stress about brush marks and spotty coverage before the second coat. I did a second coat as soon as the first was dry & then I lightly sanded before adding a third coat. {I like my chalk paint on the thinner side, and I don’t mind doing three thin and even coats to get good coverage.} On Sunday I did two layers of wipe-on poly (with light sanding between the coats) on the whole bench and a third layer on the seat.

Craigslist Bench - Sideview

I love the color! It modernizes the bench & draws your focus to the gorgeous flat spindles in the back. It’s the perfect entryway bench, now we just need a bigger entryway…

Craigslist Bench in Harbor Blue

Have you had any luck with Craiglist’s free items?

Linking up here:


34 thoughts on “It’s Amazing What People Will Give Away: The Bench

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  7. That turned out so great! LOVE the color! I’ve never checked the craiglist free stuff (had a couple of bad experiences with freecycle and gave up on it)….but I think I should 🙂

  8. Pingback: How to make DIY Chalk Paint | This Sarah Loves

  9. I love this! I’m gonna check out your chalk paint recipe. The color is perfect! I feel so good about free stuff because – well obviously, its free! — but it is also keeping stuff out of the landfill! I use Freecycle. com – there is one virtually everywhere. I love getting rid of stuff I can’t use to someone who can ALMOST as much as I love getting free stuff! Kudos to you on an awesome project!

  10. Not Craigslist, but people put old mid-century chairs out on the curb the day before garbage day in my neighbourhood all the time. I have re-finished and blogged about one of my free chair finds so far. Super crazy that people get rid of them.

    • What?! Mid-century chairs on the curb? People are crazy. We have found some awesome things placed next to our complex’s dumpsters – Andy calls placing stuff there ‘donating to the universe’. Our most recent find is a large mirror & our TV cabinet was made over from a universal donation find dresser.

      • Actually a weird story – the owner happened to be there – he said he saved them from an old hotel they were tearing down. And then I guess he proceeded to leave them out in the rain. So much for saving them – one had a plant growing out of the seat! LOL

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