For this month’s partnership with Ace Hardware, we were encouraged to break the painting rules. Think: colored ceilings, painted floors and hot pink furniture (which, by the way, we’d be down with!). We wanted to have fun with idea, but between completing the guest room and looking forward to the kitchen, we weren’t quite ready to commit to, say, a whole room color or larger furniture piece.
But! We did have a slab of wood, and we did have hairpin legs waiting for their match (more on those in a bit). You know we’re always up for a little burst of color, so we put a plan into action.
A couple months ago, our friend Eric – fellow flea market lover and seller! – came to our house. Before leaving, he told us, I have just the thing you need. Once home, he texted us this hunky live edge slab that he’d been hoarding from a flea adventure of yore, and he said it was destined to be with us. Um, are you kidding me and yes please and when can we pick up?
It’s a good 5′ wide and 2″ thick, but the surface was rough to the touch. Normally I would have started with an 80 grit sandpaper to smooth it down quickly , but once I got all set up outside, I realized I didn’t have any on hand. (Kim!) It took a little longer, but I used what I had: 150 grit sandpaper first, followed by a superfine 220 grit with our orbital sander. Almost immediately, I could start to see the gorgeous grain shine through, and a solid 45 minutes of sanding brought the whole surface down to a super smooth, super soft finish.
I wiped off all the sanding dust with a microfiber cloth and tapped along the live edge to get any lingering debris out of the nooks. Using a 4″ foam roller for the top and a 2″ paintbrush for the sides, I sealed the bench up in 3 coats (no stain) using our go-to Polycrylic in Clear Satin. Between coats, I lightly sanded the wood surface with a 220 grit sanding block, which helps the following coat adhere. Note: While pushing the polycrylic into the live edge with my paintbrush, it looked sort of white and foam-like, but it dried to a perfectly clear finish.
Now, about those legs. We’ve had these stashed since last summer (the summer of big demolition!). The 18″ hairpins were found in a Goodwill, painted a medium brown (to mimic wood, maybe?) and attached to a chipped up plywood top for $6! We tossed the top and kept the legs (you couldn’t even purchase half a hairpin for that price), and after spraying them with primer, I used a foam brush to give them a vibrant pink finish: Valspar’s Magenta Manicure. We wanted them to be durable, so we went with Valspar Optimus in a flat finish to give the illusion of being powder coated. Tip: Some Ace Hardwares are able to compress your purchased paint and turn it into spray paint! This was our original plan, but sadly, their machine was down at the time. Womp. If you’re in the Chicagoland area, the closest location that does this is in Wheaton, IL.
We waited a day for everything to dry, used wood screws to attach the legs to our poly-ed slab, and we brought it up to the second floor landing – for now. Eventually, it would look great at the foot of a bed, and it’s not so heavy that we couldn’t move it down to the living or dining rooms. We even tried it out in our funny little (teal-green) nook room, but the pink shines in the studio, don’t you think?
The wood slab is so, so pretty, and it’s a bit outside of the norm of what we would normally gravitate towards – and that’s been half the fun of experimenting in this home!
We’ll be back later this week with our finished dining room gallery wall (checking off those tiny to-dos – such a good feeling!), but for now, how about a bit of Ace cash for your own rule-breaking paint projects? Together with the Ace crew, we’ll be giving away a $100 Ace Hardware gift card to one lucky reader! The giveaway runs through Friday, November 21st at 5pm CST; simply enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. The winner will be announced within this post by Friday evening. Good luck and happy entering!
We’re excited to be collaborating with Ace Hardware as a part of their Ace Blogger Panel! Ace has provided us with compensation and the materials necessary to complete this project (hey, thanks, Ace!), and all opinions are our own. Thank you for supporting those that support us.
Wow — that’s looks awesome! Why can’t I stumble across some Goodwill hairpins?!?
We couldn’t buy it fast enough – before they realized what they had!
I love that you guys stepped out of your design comfort zone and came up with something incredible! My husband and I recently painted our dining room a nearly black shade and while it was super scary at first, we love it!
I’ve not had success breaking the painting rules. I spray painted some shelves Kelly green last fall. Don’t love them. :( I’m better sticking with regular colors.
I love the pink! When I’m feeling crazy, I usually end up painting something gold…
I havent broken the paint rules often, but hot pink is definitely one way to go. LOVE it.
I’ve been keeping my eyes peeled for a bench for the end of my bed. Maybe I just need to make one. Looks great and the pink is a lot of fun.
Ugh, I have been dying to do a project exactly like this!! I’m so jealous of your Goodwill find AND your amazing luck getting that live edge piece! So beautiful!
I can’t believe you got those pin legs at GOODWILL! I’m so jealous! And what restraint, waiting a whole year to use them.
We didn’t want to go slapping them on ANYTHING… these guys were meant to go together! ;)
Looks great! I need friends with amazing wood slabs to spare.
The bench is PERFECT right there! I think I shall be quite sad if you ever move it, because it so good there!
I love the unexpected pink! I love the new trend of treating the ceiling as an accent in a lively color.
Love the pink hairpin legs!
The pink is really fun!!!
I love this! It reminds me of the coffee tables my grandfather built out of cypress found in the river by their summer home. He let the cypress dry for two years before cutting it into three slabs for coffee tables. I have one of the smaller ones now, but unfortunately, after 40 years, the wood is deteriorating. I need to figure out if there is a way to save it. It’s wrapped in moving blankets in my attic right now.
I so need to make a bench for home. This is giving me inspiration!
LOVE the bench! That pink is perfect. I’m less adventurous when it comes to paint, but I will say that painting our bathroom ceilings a very light blue has given me a ridiculous amount of happiness.
I would never have thought of using the hot pink paint, yet I LOVE it! I have a live edge slab, made into a bench, and I painted the legs grey/black. I may have to copy your idea and go a little bolder with the color! Good job.
That pink is FIERCE!!! I love to paint picture frames to give my walls a pop of color that can change anytime!
I am a bit upset with my local thrift and goodwill because apparently that got wise to what people are looking for, and raised the prices on the cool stuff! I need a new hunting grounds! LOL
Chicago folks are pretty smart too… scores like this only happen a good 30-45 minute drive away. Suburbs!
I would love to hear about where you shop in the suburbs! I am in the ‘burbs and always looking for ideas :)
Haha, well, we go to Schaumburg for Ikea, Carol Stream for Jubilee Furniture (the best!), and Wheaton for their HUGE Ace Hardware!
When I paint, usually a room or a wall or something, I never tape things off. I prefer to freehand and be extract careful when I’m around ceilings, floors and corners. I know it’s not a big thing but it drives my hubby nuts!
And, I love, love, love your bench!
You never cease to amaze me with the ideas you have. This is gorgeous!
Super cute. It looks great upstairs. I love seeing all the plants upstairs, too. The shots reminded me to ask what ever happened to the hanging planter thingy that you had hanging from the wall? Did the plants make it?
We are still LOVING our Woolly Pocket! A few of the plants have died (surprise, surprise), but we’ve been cleaning it up as we notice which plants are thriving and which ones need a little more space. The asparagus fern that was on our front patio was brought in and planted into the Pocket, which seems to be working well! Our snake plants and a zz plant are going gangbusters. (The prayer plants didn’t make it all…RIP.)
That’s great. I will keep my eyes peeled for an updated shot.
What a great contrast with the modern pink legs and the rough live-edge top. I love this combination! Also, this should be a reminder for everyone to hit up Goodwill on a regular basis. ;)
Another fabulous job! Oh how I love the slab–I’d give my right arm for a hunk of wood like that and you guys made it amazing. The hot pink was a nice touch, fresh and unexpected. Well done :)
I love those pink legs. It takes so little of a bold color to make a big statement.
LOVE the pink! I keep turning to the same colors…I really need to try going out of my comfort zone and adding some pops of color to our house!
I’m a sucker for blues and grays.
You guys seriously have the most impressive sanding stamina! I’m always blown away with the length of your sanding sessions… not because they’re unnecessary, but because you can do them without a break.
Oh, man – I sort of turn into a crazy sanding lady once I start. There’s no point in making myself into a dusty mess, then cleaning off to come inside and then going BACK outside. I’m a stubborn girl.
I love adding in an unexpected pop of color like you did here! I painted the back of bookcase a dark blue and left the rest of the bookcase a creamy white.
I’ve gone with red in our kitchen and a gorgeous gold in our great room. As a family, we love to have color around!
Love what you guys are doing to this house – you have such a great aesthetic.
I am really conservative when it comes to paint. I wish I was brave enough to break the rules but I always seem to use neutrals and stick with what I know.
That’s a great looking bench. I love the hairpin legs!
Love the pink!
I would loooove to get brave enough to break the rules with paint! I’ve just gotten brave enough to bring some little (yet explosive!) pops of color into our bedroom with some pillows and art – maybe when we build a desk, I could try some bright paint on the legs or the chair? Hmmmm…
So gorgeous!!!! LOVE the bench!!! We haven’t done anything too crazy with paint lately – must be time!!! We did spray paint a metal side table bright blue this summer – such a fun pop of color for our living room!!! We love the new life it gave it!
We just painted the steps in our house — after pulling up the carpet FINALLY — with white risers and medium grey treads.
Another day, another really, super-impressive find!
It doesn’t come natural to me – it is totally blogs like yours that inspire me to break the rules and be daring. These pink legs look amazing, I would have never thought of doing something like this! Well done!
Oh man, I DREAM of finding hairpin legs while thrifting! And that live edge slab. Gorgeous. Do you have a recommendation for a starter sander for a baby DIY-er?
Luckily, sanders don’t need to be terribly expensive. We had a $35 mouse sander for a while, but it would die every year, so we payed a bit more and went back to the brand we love the best – Milwaukee! (Our entire tool arsenal is red/black/white, it’s ridiculous.) This orbital sander has changed our lives. Sand all the things!
I saw a few other comments along the lines of “I’m a rule-follower” — me too! I have been wanting to paint our front door the brightest color, but am scared to do it!
Your mix of styles is spot on!
Oh. My. I want to marry that bench. Where did the legs come from?
Thanks, Toni – they were found at a Goodwill on a chipped up plywood coffee table.
Love the pop of pink, really makes the bench stand out.
It looks great! I love the bright pink against the color of your walls.
The bench is super cute! I also love the plant stands you have around the house. I need some in my apartment and would love to know your sources!
Thanks, Jess! The tall white planter on the landing is from Ikea, the brass guy (with the cactus) was from Ebay, and the navy one in the workroom came from a local nursery. We always check the nurseries close to home first, but don’t forget Ebay or Etsy!
I love bright colors in small spaces! In my first apartment, I painted the tiny, windowless kitchen a warm goldenrod color. It brightened it up significantly, and always made me happy. Break the rules! Color is the best!
Thanks for this giveaway!
I like to mix up with a neutral wall and a bright ceiling!
Magenta is definitely not a color I would think to chose, but it works in your space. I love the color pairing with the hairpin legs, it’s unexpected but still ties in nicely with your studio and landing. I’m so jealous you have lovely friends who’ll share their flea market goodness with you! I have yet to score anything amazing. Here’s hoping, I guess. ^_^
I’m digging this idea! Beautiful work and I love the artsy pink legs! I think it would look awesome at the foot of a bed! Great post.
I love this bench!
I love the juxtaposition of natural & neon! Love it.
I totally didn’t know that Ace would turn their paint into spray form!! I don’t know why, but that blows my mind :)
Thanks for the tip!
Also, I want to touch that wood slab. It looks so smooth!
I didn’t know you could get regular paint compressed into spray paint. How does that work? How much/little paint does it require? Have you used it before, and if so are the coats as thin as regular spray paint? Thanks!
Hey Lauren, we haven’t tried it ourselves, so I can’t comment on how thin it is (I would assume it would be the same) but I remember them saying it takes maybe a half a quart or a little more to do. They literally compress it in a can, then give it to you for about $10, but the thing to keep in mind is that you ALSO need to pay for the paint that you want. So if you have paint at home that you’d like turned into spray paint, you could bring it in and they would compress it! Obviously your spray paint would be of the same quality and sheen of the paint you’re compressing.
The closest Ace Hardware to us that does this is actually in the suburbs (since Chicago laws prevent us from even purchasing spray paint in the city at all), but you could call an Ace beforehand to see if it’s something they can do!
this would be perfect for our master!
The bench looks great!
That bench is so fun! I’ve got a few painting projects on the horizon, including painting the outside of our clawfoot tub.
Gorgeous! I have bench envy.
Super cute project, you guys! I’m a sucker for a live edge slab! I love the hot pink too.
I am crushing on that bench hard! I love it. that style would make an excellent coffee table too! I love thinking outside the box…I painted my ceiling a fun pattern in our entry way for that reason! Fun and unexpected.
I break the paining rules by not painting the ceiling white; I think whit on the ceiling is so boring, I prefer a light color.
I’m totally copying your bench! Love it! Now I need to score hairpin legs – great deal. Last summer I painted an old bar cart with coral paint and Rub-N-Buffed the handle, frame, and wheel spokes gold. Sherwin Williams just announced the 2015 color of the year is coral – I was ahead of the trend….for once. :o)
I have so many home projects to do!
If painting things hot pink counts as breaking painting rules, then screw the painting rules. I love color and love painting small pieces of furniture or small details on pieces of furniture in vibrant, unexpected colors.
LOVE IT! I don’t think I’d ever have anything bright pink like that in my house (minus my 5 year old’s room) but I love it mixed with the natural beauty of the wood. What a great combo and a fun touch!!!
OMG I love that bench! Too bad I JUST sold 3 old hairpin legs this afternoon. Wah wah.
Oh I love those pink hairpin legs! You both have the best taste in design. For breaking the painting rules, I like a small touch ( refuse to say “pop”
I painted my dining room wall a deep eggplant, so I would see it as I walked into the pale blue kitchen (and painted the dining room before the kitchen, so it would influence me away from a brick/coral kitchen).
I can’t believe the prices of these hairpin legs. I always love using bright colors of paint and using patterns on ceilings.
Haven’t broken a painting rule yet! Maybe it’s time to start.
I love this project! For my new office I’m planning on finding a large live-edge piece of lumber and making it into a desk using hairpin legs, so it’s awesome to see a similar idea already finished. Question: do you feel the 2 legs on each end are enough support? Wondering if there should be a leg in the middle to keep the bench from bowing. Wondering the same about my desk plan. Thanks!
Oh, cool! Definitely no fear of bowing because the slab is 2″ thick.
I haven’t done anything too crazy with paint – maybe in my next house. We’ re getting ready to sell the house and travel for a year before buying a retirement property.
I break the painting rules by painting the ceiling a color other than white. I usually go with a light color, but sometimes I will use a darker color to help make a bedroom pop!
I really want to spray paint everything in aqua or red to make it all more modern and mine!
I have my father-in-law’s hairpin legs (I know they were thrifted!) that I insisted on bringing home, rather than my husband’s preference for throwing them with the attached nasty table top into the dumpster when we cleared out his house…they definitely need paint!
that bench is amazing! will be pinning it for my husband to build in our future home :-)
i love everything about this project, and i want it for my house!
love the pink legs! its just the right amount of pink
My favorite way to break painting rules is to do a graphic focal wall in multiple colors. Every time I’ve done this it always makes me smile and I get so many compliments on it that it makes the effort worth it. Why stick to single colored walls when you can have all your favs on one!
i enjoy your blog so much. Ive recently lost my dog of 17 years! She looks so much like the female version of your Jack. Thanks for sharing.
Thank you for stopping by to comment, Erica! So sorry to hear about the news of your dog. I have a pretty good feeling that my childhood cat Tigers (aka: BEST CAT EVER) is taking care of her.
I gotta say, despite the fact that the hot pink is way out of my comfort zone, it looks pretty awesome against the rustiness and the gorgeous color of the wood! Love it!
Gorgeous bench! The wood is sublime and the legs are so fun!!
Gorgeous! Love the pink legs
Getting up the courage to spray paint my currently green-and-yellow-floral printed chair navy!
That bench is perfection.
i break the rules by painting unexpected things unexpected colors!
I like painting fabric (curtains, etc) for an extra bit of personalization.
I have to spray paint a dozen plastic stars with glitter spray paint I did it on an old table so I was left with star outlines all over I decided to leave it in the cute
Buying a house early next year so I’m sure I will be rolling in paint at that point. If I get my own office space I want to paint it a deep emerald green with yellow on the ceiling and down on the top 6 inches of the walls. I love color! Can’t wait to have free rein to do what I want.
I love accent walls or pops of color.
I love painting things that I’m ready to toss out, it gives them a new life! Hairpin legs are dreamy!
Just getting up the guts to paint something is breaking the rules for me! I couldn’t believe how easy it was when I turned my old red metal drawer unit into a pretty bright white bedside table. :)
I really like the wood slab! We might need to do something similar in our own home.
Never use tape – just a steady hand!
I LOVE that wooden slab. As far as breaking painting rules go, I didn’t even realize there were rules, so I guess my favorite way is to just paint whatever I feel like :)
That raw wood looks amazing!
Does the Polycrylic darken the wood much? I have an upcoming project that will need a good sealant but I’d like the wood to stay as pale as possible.
Thanks! It does darken the wood a little bit, but not as much as if I had oiled it. Polycrylic is probably your best bet, since it also will NOT yellow over time!
This bench is so fantastic!
I love it.
[…] they’re not much – wood with unattached mirrors on top. BUT those legs! Just like Yellow Brick Home, we’re not above hoarding hairpin legs. At $30 a piece, these tables sets of legs are well worth the storage space. Future table or bench? […]
Since this is an old post, I hope you receive my comment.
I live in Naperville & the Ace by me can take your paint & put it in a spray can. But they don’t spray very well. You’d be better served by using your paint in a small sprayer, Like the Critter
I thought you should know.
Thanks, Mary! We’ve actually had Ace put some paint into a spray can for us in the past. They told us that Valspar paint was a little too thick to do so, otherwise, it would have been a great solution for this. We appreciate the feedback!
[…] If you decide to build a bench for your home, consider live edge wood for the seat. It would look exquisite, especially if the bench is long such as for four people for example. To balance out the sturdiness and heavy look of the wood seat, you can give the bench hairpin legs. The result would be a design similar to the one we found on Yellowbrickhome. […]
Hi there! this may be a silly question but do you also polycrylic the bottom? I’m trying to recreate this look this weekend with my own live edge slab! Thanks!!!
I didn’t, but one coat certainly wouldn’t hurt! I don’t think it’s necessary since it will essentially never be touched, so it’s complete personal preference. Good luck on your weekend project!
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Beautifully done! Love the wood finish and those pink pins! Cheers