Today, we’re going to delve into the rejuvenation of a classic — the gossip bench. A gossip bench, also known as a telephone table, is a charming reminder of a bygone era. With its petite desk for note taking and built-in seat for comfortable waiting during those long dial-up calls, it was a staple in mid-century homes. The faded finishes and wear of time may have taken their toll on our nostalgic piece, but with a little creativity, we’re about to bring it back to its former glory — perhaps with even more charm than before. So, let’s get started with this painted gossip bench makeover.
And, if you are completely new to painting furniture, you’ll find helpful tips and techniques for getting started at: Chalk Mineral Paint Basics.
Updating Vintage Furniture Is So Rewarding
The process of rejuvenating vintage furniture is as exciting as it is rewarding. It’s like a trip down memory lane, bringing back the charm of yesteryears with a contemporary touch. And painting furniture offers so much versatility. You literally have endless styles and colors to choose from.
So in this makeover, we are going to embark on such an adventure with this painted gossip bench makeover. We are transforming a neglected gossip bench into a stunning conversation piece. The magic lies in the details, and we’ll dive into each step of the process, ensuring you can recreate this look with ease.
In fact, this painted gossip bench makeover involves chalk mineral paint by Dixie Belle and a Redesign With Prima Transfer. If you’ve been around this blog before you know that these are some of my favorite brands to work with.
Prep For The Painted Gossip Bench Makeover
Before we begin, remember that preparation is key. Thoroughly clean the bench to remove years of grime, oils, and hidden dirt. Ensuring the bench is clean and ready to accept new paint is crucial. Your chalk mineral paint will stick much better to a clean surface. And therefore ensure a gorgeous outcome. I cleaned this gossip bench with Dixie Belle White Lightening cleaner but you can use warm water and mild dish soap if you choose.
After you clean, it is best to scuff sand to rough up the surface a bit to prepare for the paint. Scuff sanding can be done with a medium fine grit sandpaper, about 220 grit is fine. This will not only remove any remaining dirt but also create a slightly rough surface for the paint to adhere to. Depending on the shape of your project piece you may need to sand more aggressively or patch any trouble spots. But this bench was in pretty good condition.
This vintage gossip bench is a dark mahogany. Dark mahogany is notorious for bleeding through paint finishes. Even though I am using a navy paint color, I opted to prime to be safe. So I used Dixie Belle BOSS Primer in Clear. Two coats offered protection from bleed through and those “old furniture” odors.
Step Two: Apply Navy Chalk Mineral Paint
With preparation complete, we move onto the artistic part — painting! For this project, I chose a navy chalk mineral paint by Dixie Belle. This paint is appropriately named, In The Navy.
This hue is not only deep and rich but also offers a beautiful finish that will lend a sophisticated touch to your bench. What makes Dixie Belle paint a top choice among DIY enthusiasts is its self-leveling properties. And the fact it requires minimal prep work.
Apply two even coats of this paint, making sure to leave ample drying time between each. But this paint dries relatively quickly so you can finish projects even in a weekend, sometimes in one day!
Consider Also Using Dixie Belle Silk All-In-One Paint
Before you move on to the transfer step, I want to mention another option for the paint. Have you heard of Dixie Belle Silk Paint? It is an all-in-one paint, combining primer, paint and topcoat all-in-one. The Dixie Belle Silk color of Deep Seas is very similar to In The Navy and there is another Silk blue paint called Nautical that is a beautiful blue.
If you use an all-in-one paint, you can skip applying the primer and topcoat, so it saves time and product costs. You do still need to seal the transfer though.
Step Three: Applying The Transfer To The Painted Gossip Bench Makeover
Once the paint is thoroughly dry, we can proceed to the next exciting step — applying the transfer. There are several companies that make transfers, but my most used transfers have been from Redesign With Prima.
When choosing a transfer design, consider the overall décor of the room where your gossip bench will be placed. Whether you opt for a floral design for a more traditional setting or a geometric pattern for a contemporary vibe, the key is to have it complement your room’s aesthetic.
This eye-catching focal point will add a burst of personality to your vintage piece.
Once the paint is completely dry, it’s time for the transfer. This transfer, by Redesign With Prima, is called French Ceramics. And there are hundreds of other designs that would also compliment the In The Navy chalk mineral paint.
Transfers are not hard to apply. The manufacturer does recommend that the paint be dry completely before application. Usually I just let it dry overnight.
The transfer can be applied with either the little wooden stick that comes with the transfer or the Redesign With Prima Transfer Application Tool.
Step Four: Seal and Protect Your Painted Gossip Bench
The final step is to seal and protect your work. It is best to apply a topcoat to Dixie Belle Chalk Mineral Paint. I like to use a topcoat made by that same brand. Dixie Belle makes great topcoats that do not yellow and are very durable.
And anytime you apply a transfer it should be sealed and protected with a topcoat or wax. I usually choose a clear polyacrylic topcoat. A clear, matte topcoat will preserve the finish while ensuring your gossip bench is ready to handle daily use.
For this makeover I used Dixie Belle Gator Hide topcoat. Apply at least two coats for maximum durability, allowing sufficient drying time in between. Gator Hide is a very durable topcoat offering maximum protection from water stains, scratches, and other blemishes.
Last Step – New Upholstery Fabric For the Painted Gossip Bench Seat
Okay this final step was a necessary one. This gossip bench had a flat vinyl seat upholstery that was quite unattractive. So, I removed that and replaced it with something different.
Initially I used a white textured plain fabric, but that seemed to bland. So ultimately, I found this perfect white faux fur upholstery. It just really added the perfect touch to this painted gossip bench makeover – the cherry on top!
To learn more about how to replace old upholstery fabric on a chair seat read:
Summary: Painted Vintage Gossip Bench Makeover With Dixie Belle Paint & Redesign Transfer
And there you have it! With navy chalk mineral paint and a beautiful transfer, we’ve turned the forgotten gossip bench into a stunning statement piece. Not only does it serve as a stylish addition to any room, but it also carries the charm and nostalgia of yesteryears, proving that old can indeed be gold.
So, don’t let that old piece of furniture gather dust in your attic. With a bit of creativity, the right tools, and a dash of patience, you can breathe new life into it. Remember, every piece of furniture has a story to tell, and with your unique touch, its tale can continue. Thanks for joining me on this makeover journey, and I can’t wait to see what you create using these techniques. Until next time, happy painting!