Full disclosure: I am an awful blogger, but a pretty decent DIYer. Sometimes you see the potential immediately, and you know. Which is exactly what happened with one particularly filthy piece of wood; I just knew it was a bench. A simple wooden and metal bench.
The patina (ie dirt + wear and tear) of the salvaged wood is the star, so we didn't want to lose any. Just a very light sanding and a wire brush was all the prep needed. Instead of washing or even wiping down the wood with a wet cloth, I opted for a dry flat paintbrush to remove loose dirt and debris. To help preserve the wood and provide a smooth sitting surface I chose to use Howard brand wax. The wood was so dry it took three heavy applications, instead of the usual one or two. Once the final coat was applied and buffed with a clean cloth we were ready for our legs. Hairpin legs, to be exact.
Originally designed and introduced in the early 40's, hairpin legs became an iconic part of 1950's modern design when they were used on many of the Eames chair designs. Mid-century modern matches the Zenneth Manor Inn's age and style so perfectly it almost didn't matter that Hairpin legs are quite expensive right now. The lovely retro revivals can go as much as $30 dollars per leg depending on height.
As a re-claimed DIY, it would have felt out of character not to DIY the legs too. Luckily, during our recent vintage skim board to coffee table conversion, I stumbled onto an entire bench (complete with hairpin legs but a less than stellar laminate top) for less than $40.
Essentially half price, we ordered an entire table for the legs alone. This time around, simple black legs suited the reclaimed wooden top. Another stool was ordered in, black hairpin legs, along with their strange 1980's throwback red and black laminate top. Circling back to being the less than awesome blogger that I am, I totally forgot to photograph attaching the legs. It took one quick bike ride to the hardware store to pick up screws and washers. One note, we did pre-drill a small pilot hole to not stress the wood and make our lives easier. Then it was as simple as screwing the legs on.
Eclectic and unique are not necessarliy complicated or overdesigned. Our little reclaimed bench is so simple, but does not lack in the character and personality department. Which makes it a happy DIY sucess that now lives in our Garret Loft. A modern + rustic bench fits perfectly with our casual beach style.