Telephone Bench Up-Cycle

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I will confess…this telephone bench was inspired by the July/August issue of HGTV Magazine.  Second confession…that was also my first purchase of that magazine.  I am hooked! It was packed full of things I love and I things love to do. This is my second project from that magazine in two weeks.

On page 108, they did a set of “Sunny Mismatched Chairs.” I have similar chairs in my antique dining  set and would like to do something similar. However, I will start with a smaller project first.

I found this bench at my favorite Roanoke consignment shop, New to Me located on 1504 Grandin Rd Sw, Roanoke, VA 24015.  I got a great deal and my total price was $25.00.  It was definitely “loved” over the years. Even had some little nibbles out of one of the rails from a family pet.  The size was perfect for the empty corner in my bedroom and I instantly imagined great things.

cropped benchphoto(20) Cropped!

I filled the chewed rail with wood putty and then lightly sanded the entire bench. I wiped it down with a damp cloth and then got to work.

I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in the color Emperor’s Silk, purchased from Black Dog Salvage, located on  902 13th St SW, Roanoke, VA 24016. You might be familiar with their TV show Salvage Dawgs on the DIY Network.  As far as I know, this is the only place to purchase Annie Sloan paint in Roanoke.  Be aware, this is “chalk paint” not “chalkboard paint”. Two totally different paints.


This paint is so amazing! You can paint virtually everything with it and the prep-work is minimal to none. You only need a tiny bit and it provides full coverage, very smooth, and seems to almost soak into the wood. By far the easiest paint I have ever used. I purchase a quart for this project and still have a full can. I believe I have enough paint left over to paint a table and  four chairs in my basement.


Once you have painted it and allowed the paint to dry. You use the Annie Sloan wax to finish it. I did not buy a special brush to paint with, but I did buy the Annie Sloan wax brush for the wax. It was recommended by everyone and proved to be worth it. You use just a dab of wax and rub it in with the brush. Once you are done, take a rag (I used a cotton t-shirt) and wipe it down. Easy and looks great!


I initially wanted to purchase an upholstered chair with a funky red print for that corner. The walls are icy blue and I have red accents throughout the room. Now I have my red bench, so I thought I could make my own upholstered cushions.

Cushion Supplies   (Jo-Ann Fabric and Crafts)

Soft-N-Crafy batting


Fabric (yards depend on size of project)

Measuring tape or yardstick to measure
*and of course all of your sewing supplies; scissors, pins,thread, sewing machine, etc.

Directions for Cushions

I purchased the Soft-N-Crafty batting and fabric from Jo-Ann Fabric and Crafts. I have never used this batting before, but the price was great and I thought I would try it. It comes in a very thick stack. Not sure if you are supposed to pull it apart, but I did. It would have been outrageously thick otherwise.


I measured the seat and back of my bench to determine the size of the cushions. I cut out three pieces for each cushion. One top square, one bottom square and one strip to go around the edge of the cushion.  Sewed them together, then stuffed them with the batting. Simple and complete.

Paint color and fabric selection really make this project stand out. Again, we love feedback and answering questions. Never hesitate to contact us!


Feel free to share this simple idea with your friends.


Find me on

American wife to this Indian life. I am a right-brained, American woman married to a left-brained Indian man. I love art, design, up-cycling and multiple DIY projects at the same time. He loves simplicity and order. Follow us on this cultural collision as I combine our personalities and cultural differences through art, design, food, and raising kids. When I am not working on a craft or project, I co-host a lifestyle/entertainment show called "Daytime Blue Ridge," on our local NBC affiliate, WSLS 10.


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  2. Diane

    December 11, 2014 at 2:02 pm

    LOVE this…can’t say enough. I am going to be doing my very first ANNIE SLOAN chalk paint project. Have done lots of reading, watching videos, asking questions, I guess that is probably the “prep work”..I am ready. Thank you for sharing your re-cycles, they are wonderful!

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