Rustic Bench Gets Modern Moroccan-Inspired Makeover

Rustic Bench Gets Modern Moroccan-Inspired Makeover

(HEY! We're giving away a $200 Home Depot gift card at the bottom of this post! Read on to find out how to win!)

My dad was a jack of all trades as far as DIY was concerned. Plumbing, heating, engine repair. He did just about everything. The one thing he rarely did was make furniture. Only two such projects come to mind: a coffee table that was long gone by the time I came around, and there is the bench you see above. Dad's bench, as we refer to it, was never meant to be a 'beauty' piece, but rather a workbench of sorts for my mother. 

painter's tape, scotchblue painter's tape, tape

It went on the auction block when they downsized about 6 years ago. As I stood watching the auctioneer offer up the bench, I decided I couldn't part with it and entered into a heated bidding war with a total stranger. I paid five bucks for it.

For being 60+ years old, it's in pretty good shape, and, thanks to box nails, it's still super sturdy. All it needed was some love and some Moroccan spice.  Why Moroccan? For one thing, I love the style, and for another such patterns utilize straight lines, which means they can be created with ScotchBlue™ Painter's Tape.

The supplies for this project included the following:

  • sander and sand paper (180 grit did the trick)
  • wood filler
  • primer
  • interior/exterior paint, white satin
  • interior/exterior paint, yellow high gloss
  • paint brushes
  • a straight edge craft blade
  • ruler or tape measure
  • cardboard or heavy card stock
  • scissors
  • one roll of .70" ScotchBlue™ Painter's Tape

I started its makeover by giving it a good sanding and then filled the voids with wood filler. The sanding revealed a lot of issues. So many that I decided to install a new top and re-use Dad's original top as a lower shelf.

Gentle persuasion with a hammer and pry bar did the trick. 
A new piece of 3/4" x 12" pine was cut to fit and installed with, of course, box nails--just like the original. The old top was then repositioned below.
I didn't particularly like that step between the top and apron, so I installed a piece of quarter-round to smooth things out. 
Finally, it was time to paint. That started with a coat of good primer, followed by TWO coats of white, satin interior/exterior paint.
Next came the ScotchBlue™ Painter's Tape. I started by running a section of tape from corner to the edge and down the apron creating a 45 degree angle.
Then using the tried and true math + precision eye-ball combination, I applied more tape creating a lattice effect, making sure that the white squares between the tape were indeed SQUARE. (This is imperative.) 
Then I made a replica/template of the center square (another great use for paint chips).
I turned the paper square 45 degrees to the lattice squares and applied lengths of tape running down ALL FOUR SIDES. The first two strips:
And after the second strips:
I did that to each square along the top row, and, soon, the pattern you see below appeared. (It was at this point someone made a remark that I'd, "picked a complicated pattern", to which I replied, "Just wait.")
Then I employed my craft blade to cut out the horizontal and vertical center sections of the tape to create "plus" signs, of sorts.
See? Plus sign--with points.
When I was finished with all those sections, this is what the pattern looked like:
To make the eight-pointed stars, I used my paint-chip template to cut out the "points" of each of the octagons. 
Basically, the star is two squares overlapping each other.
When all the octagons were cut out, this is what the pattern looked like:
At this point, I almost didn't want to actually paint Dad's bench. The blue tape looked so cute! Be that as it may, I cracked open the yellow paint, BUT...NOT BEFORE USING MY FINGERTIPS TO ENSURE THE TAPE WAS STILL ADHERING WELL. Who knows what all that cutting and lifting did?!

I chose a very punchy, super glossy yellow as a nod to Dad's original color. I chose high gloss to play against the white satin, creating a tile/grout effect of sorts. 

When painting a design created by tape, I find it best to brush away from the tape. That way I'm not forcing the paint under the tape. 

I applied TWO COATS of the yellow. (I didn't want a wishy-washy stencil effect. I wanted the yellow to seriously pop.) 
I don't mind telling you that I was a little nervous about removing the tape. Would it peel off the white?  Would my design live up to my imagination?? The answers to those questions was no and yes!

Here's what Dad's bench looks like now:

And, once again, the before:

Yes, all that cutting was a bit time-consuming, but this family heirloom was definitely worth it.

This post is part of the Ready, Set, Paint Blog Hop. Check out some of the other projects:


- Find a summer painting project you love (it could even be your own!) and post the link on the comments on this post.

- Check back next week to find out who won! We'll randomly select a winner. Giveaway ends on Thursday, June 27th, 2013 at 11:59 PM central time. Only US residents are eligible to win.

painter's tape, scotchblue painter's tape, tape
painter's tape, scotchblue painter's tape, tape

This post was brought to you in partnership with The Home Depot and ScotchBlue™ Painter's Tape.

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Auntiepatch on Sep 04, 2013:


Auntiepatch on Sep 04, 2013:

I love the "map prints" popping up everywhere. And this is something I can do.  http://www.girlinair.com/2012/08/pottery-barn-knock-off-giant-map.html

Chris Gardner on Jul 01, 2013:

Thanks to everyone for entering the contest and sharing your dream projects. Our winner has been selected using Random.org, and has been contact via email.

Stay tuned to more giveaways from Curbly.com!

Kelly D on Jun 27, 2013:

I like this project that involves painting & personalizing a cooler


Jessica W on Jun 27, 2013:

I would love to make this dog "house"! http://pinterest.com/pin/86975836526575448/

Tracy on Jun 25, 2013:

I have been looking for ideas to refinish a coffee table that I got for free. I keep coming back to a paint/ stain technique.


Meaghan on Jun 25, 2013:

I've been wanting a desk for a while and was, ideally, looking for a free desk off of Craigslist.  The only free desks I could find that fit my storage needs were those great big ugly metal desks.  But then I thought - makeover!! I'm definitely going to grab one of those desks this summer and revamp it, like in the following post ... although I'd like give mine a bit more personality with a stencil, taped off design, or perhaps some sort of laminated collage covering the surface of the desk top.


Tracy on Jun 25, 2013:

There are so many painting projects that I've pinned.  I'm re-doing the art in my home and think a version of this:  http://mypartofspace.tumblr.com/post/24327072579/spray-paint-silhouette-leave  would be lovely above my dining table. 

oatesfan on Jun 25, 2013:

Thanks for posting each step in this.

Mami2jcn on Jun 25, 2013:

I love this painted peacock chair--http://pinterest.com/pin/400046379370526761/

Lisa B. on Jun 24, 2013:

I would like to do something like the DIY Make Over Table in the link below but I would use different colors.  I like the striped top theme and would also apply them to the table legs:


Suzanne on Jun 24, 2013:

I'd love to do this - I have have a long hallway wall that's crying out for a giant art piece. http://www.girlinair.com/2012/08/pottery-barn-knock-off-giant-map.html

andrea on Jun 24, 2013:

Sorry, I didn't post the right link!!! This is what I want to do, but in bright, fun colours!


andrea on Jun 24, 2013:

I want to do this, so badly!!!


melissa on Jun 24, 2013:

Here's a project that's cool:


Selena on Jun 24, 2013:

Great Tutorial! I love how there's two seperate shapes in this pattern, but it doesn't look so complicated I couldn't do it. 

Here's a paint project I plan to try this summer... http://diyshowoff.com/2013/06/11/chandelier-planter-tutorial-2/

Jeanne on Jun 24, 2013:

This is a wonderful project—and great practice for patience and attention to detail! It also gives lots of inspiration for using blue tape for other designs.

I want to paint pots, like these from Design Sponge: http://www.designsponge.com/2010/04/diy-project-garden-pot-pick-me-up.html

Aidel.K on Jun 24, 2013:

Amazing transformation! I saw this little fan project on Pinterest. It isn't linked to a blog, but it seems easy to figure out--plus I have an old fan just like that. It could use a fresh look.  http://pinterest.com/pin/126804545731107372/

I'm also thinking of doing something like this http://pinterest.com/pin/126804545731038952/   in my kitchen. Like the kitchen owner (linked to Design Sponge), I can't afford to remodel my kitchen right now. I think this whimsical design could cheer up my falling-apart mdf cabinets, too.

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