This teeny tiny telephone bench was just your average wooden piece, until I got my hands on it! I saw so much potential! Just because it’s small doesn’t mean it can’t be a bright, colorful statement piece! If you’re someone who is not comfortable with color yet, or if you want to get out of your comfort zone, starting out with a small piece of furniture is a great way to try out different techniques. This week on the colorful telephone bench makeover post, I’m going to show you how to use Wood U Bend products, colorful floral transfers, adding texture and dry distressing, adding wax to highlight AND mixing your own custom rose gold accent paint color. This is a lot! Don’t feel like you need to use all of these techniques on one piece. If you just want paint and texture, go for it. If you want to try something new with mixing custom paint colors, give that a try! I’m just here to show you what’s possible, so let’s get started!
Supply List for Colorful Telephone Bench Makeover
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Step 1: Clean and Scuff Sand
After cleaning this piece with White Lightening, I did a light scuff sand to take the glossy shine off so that the paint have something to adhere to. I used a microfiber cloth to get all the dust off after sanding. If you have a hard time getting the remaining dust off us a spray bottle and your cloth and it should all come off easily.
Step 2: Working With Wood-U-Bend Mouldings
If you’re never worked with Wood-U-Bend mouldings before, these are a really great way to add decorative accents to your furniture and I love them because they’re paintable, bendable and you can even drill through them. I’m using a couple on the front, just to add a bit of interest. Here’s how to apply the mouldings:
When you take them out of the package they’re hard to you need a hairdryer or a heat gun to warm them up and make them flexible like in the image below. I’ve heated it and now I’m holding it for a few seconds so that it molds to the table leg.
The next step is to use wood glue to adhere it to the leg. It may harden again while you’re applying the glue, so after the glue is on and you’ve used your finger to make sure it’s coated edge to edge, use your hairdryer or heat gun to heat it in sections and soften again. Push it into place and make sure it’s entirely flush to the surface then tape it down.
Put a lot of pressure with the tape and start with the top and then move to the bottom.
Sit for a few hours with tape on like in the image above.
Step 3: Painting the Drawers Before Applying Transfers
I wanted to have a little bit of color on the drawers underneath the transfers so I put a coat of Fluff, let it dry and added another coat of Fluff. Then I went around the drawer edges with Mermaid Tail which is a beautiful turquoise green/blue and blended the two colors. This gave a bit of a gradient look on the areas where the transfers are so it’s not stark white underneath.
I didn’t use any extra water here, just the moisture from the second coat of Fluff that wasn’t completely dry yet. I pulled the Mermaid Tail it into center and then did some circles and went in through the center, added a bit more Fluff and then pulled it out to the edges. Depending on how you want it to look, you can go darker with a bit more Mermaid Tail and you’ll have a darker more noticeable gradient of color.
Step 4: Adding Colorful Latin Floral Transfers
Just like I said earlier, this is a colorful telephone bench makeover so why not add some fun Latin Floral Transfers to the drawers?
When using transfers, you have to fit them to the area first. I like to crease it so I know where to cut it. You can also use the burnishing stick to go over it again and make the crease more pronounced to know exactly where to cut.
Once transfer is cut and fitted to the spot, pull it apart, remove it from backing and carefully lay it where you want it. Press lightly with your fingers and burnish it with the stick – it’s that pressing motion and moving the stick across the transfer that releases it. Burnish, pull away and keep going. If you find that it doesn’t transfer, put the transfer back down, burnish again and then lift slightly to check to see if it transferred.
Go over one more time once you have removed the transfer and burnish with a microfiber cloth one more time to make sure it’s adhered very well to surface before doing anything else.
Step 5: Using Color Theory to Choose Paint Colors for Your Piece
If you love color theory, scroll down to the video link below so that you can learn how to choose complimentary paint colors for all of your projects. It’s really easy especially if you are using a color wheel.
Step 6: Time to Add Texture to this Colorful Telephone Bench Makeover
I decided to add some texture and a couple of different chalk mineral paint colors. If you’re a regular reader, you know how much I love using the Sea Spray Texture Additive. Florida Orange is the color that I wanted as the base paint color so I mixed that with the Sea Spray Texture until it was a brownie batter consistency.
When applying this textured paint, you can use a cheap chip brush and dab the entire piece. You can apply with circles, load up your brush and brush it across; create peaks; apply it thicker or thinner, whatever you like. This is a very versatile product so you can play around with the consistency and the look. I want it a bit thinner so I didn’t apply as much as I would if I wanted it to be extremely textured.
Important! This needs to dry overnight.
Next up, time to dry distress using our Mermaid Tail chalk mineral paint color again. I used a premium chip brush and a thin layer of paint to apply overtop of the textured orange Florida Orange that was completely dry. I wanted some of the orange to show through so I wasn’t worried about full coverage. This is a thicker dry brush technique.
Step 6: Sanding and Sealing the Furniture
In order to bring more of that orange out, I used a fine 10mm pad and my Surf Prep Sander (you can do it by hand too but it takes longer) and went over the entire piece including the transfers to give them a distressed look as well. The paint must be dry before you start the sanding!
When the sanding was complete, I sealed the entire piece with Easy Peasy Spray Wax and rubbed it in with a cloth and let it dry for an hour. The wax is also going to be really helpful in the next step when I apply the purple wax.
Step 8: Applying a Purple Wax
If you watched the color theory part of the video, you’ll know that my colors for this piece were turquoise, orange and purple. I haven’t done anything in purple yet, so this next step is going to be mixing a colored purple wax to apply to random areas of the piece to highlight. To do this I used Best Dang Wax in clear and Amethyst chalk mineral paint and mixed them into each other. All you need is a TBSP of wax and TSP of paint. The Amethyst is highly pigmented so you can use less than a TSP if you like.
I used a premium chip brush to apply the wax on the piece.
In the image below I’m applying the purple wax on the Wood-U-Bend by stippling it on and then wiping it back with a shop towel. If it’s too dark, simply wipe it back until you’re happy with the depth and color of the wax.
Step 9: Mixing a Custom Rose Gold Accent Paint Color
The last step in our colorful telephone bench makeover is mixing a custom rose gold accent color that I applied as a shimmery highlighter to this bench. You’ll need 3 colors of Gemstone Mousse: Next is mixing a custom rose gold color with the Gemstone Mousse: 1 part of the Amber, an equal part of the Garnet and a dot of the Diamond. That’s it! Just mix and it turns into into the prettiest rose gold color.
YouTube Video Tutorial
I’d love for you to see the step by step video tutorial for this piece so you can see how it all comes together beautifully. Yes, there are a lot of techniques that I combined on this piece, but they all work, don’t you think?
Here’s the YouTube video of the Colorful Telephone Bench Makeover:
As you can see, you don’t need a huge piece of furniture to make a bold statement in your home. This piece is tiny, but wouldn’t you love to see this in a hallway? It’s happy, cheerful and so colorful!