Building a “Jenny Lind” Bench

I love a good project. When I came across a full-size Jenny Lind headboard and footboard my original idea was to somehow turn them into two twin headboards. (See Guest Room Twin Beds; A Great Idea!)

Lind bed.jpg

However, when I went to pick it up, one of the interior spindles on the footboard was chewed up, and another one was completely broken. The woman that was selling these didn’t mention the broken spindle in her description, but once I got there she did tell me that she had planned on turning it into a bench but that she no longer had the time; she and her husband had begun a major kitchen reno by themselves that was all-consuming and about to swallow them whole.

This sweet mom also had two littles in diapers, and a whole garage full of projects she no longer had time for, so I gave her $20, wished her all the best on her home renovation, and took this project off her plate.

Footboard with broken spindle wrapped in electrical tape.

She left me with a great idea. We had recently also completed a major renovation of our house and my craft room/mud room/office needed a bench by the door. I went to work designing one.

As you can see, the headboard became the back of the bench, and I cut the footboard into two and used it as the bench’s arms.

We had a lot of leftover wood pieces from our home renovation, so we built a box out of 1x6s and laid the thinner wood pieces across the top of the box.

After I built the seat box, I added supports (joists) that run from the front to the back from more 1x6s. (Those are not pictured.)

Lind project
Seat box without the seat joists installed.
Seat box with slats glued and nailed on top.

Once the bench was completely built out I needed to get down to the business of sanding. I loathe sanding. The work, the time, the mess — ugh. I farmed that job out to the hubby. 🙂 He doesn’t mind it, and it gives me time to figure out how I want to finish the piece.

I wanted the bench to pop. Canary Yellow sounded like a great popping color (Sherwin Williams). I first primed the bench with a spray paint and primer combination in a close yellow tint.

Afterwards, I painted the Canary Yellow with a decent brush. It took a couple of coats. After the paint dried I waxed the bench with Minwax to give it a protective finish, since it resides in the craft room/mudroom/office. To be honest, I will probably redo the paint job at some point. I normally like to use my favorite RePurpose Chroma-Color paint, but since I was looking for a specific color I decided to go this route. If I were painting this piece again in this color, I would add more Floetrol to the paint to decrease its viscosity and make it more fluid-like. Since I completed this piece back in 2018, I have found a new finishing product I like better than Minwax — Gator Hide. Stay tuned, I will go into more detail about this product in a later post. 🙂.


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