Turning an Antique Rope Bed into a Bench

Oct 16, 2020 | Antiques, Furniture Wax, Upholstery | 0 comments

A Functional Way to Repurpose Old Beds

I’ve seen folks turning antique and vintage beds into benches for years on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest. There are a handful that have left my workshop as well, and today, I’m happy to share another bed/bench with you!

Antique rope bed turned bench painted in greige paint with upholstered bench by Eight Hundred Furniture
Antique Rope Bed Repurposed Into A Bench

Finding a Good Bed

The trick for making these benches is finding a good antique bed to repurpose. I personally love using old rope beds.

Antique rope bed repurposed into a bench
Antique Rope Bed Fashioned Into a Bench

My favorite style of rope bed is a Jenny Lind. This style is named after the Swedish singer, Jenny Lind, who became popular in the mid 1800’s. The Jenny Lind style bed is one that she supposedly slept on during an American tour, and it has been associated with her ever since.

Jenny Lind style furniture is characterized by little spools or turnings up and down the legs and slats on beds, tables, chairs, etc.

Lamp Black Spool Bench, General Finishes Milk Paint, High Performance Topcoat, Lamp Black Milk Paint, Milk Paint, Eight Hundred Furniture, Sweet Annie Acres
Lamp Black Spool Bench
Antique Rope Bed turned into a bench in Coastal Blue Milk Paint by General Finishes
Coastal Blue Bed/Bench

Whatever style you choose to use for your bed/bench, make sure it comes with both a head and footboard along with the rails. These will come in handy when you construct your bench.

How to Construct a Bed/Bench

I’ll be the first one to tell you that I don’t know how to construct a bed/bench! This is a project that is outside of my skill set, so I outsource it to a friend who is a very talented woodworker.

With that said, there are LOTS of tutorials on YouTube that can help you if you’d like to try it yourself. Here are a few good ones I saw:

As you can clearly tell, there’s some skill involved with cutting, measuring and creating new joints. This is EXACTLY why I outsource mine to someone who is much more skilled than I am.

Choosing a Neutral Color

Believe it or not, this antique rope bench sat in my workshop for months. I simply wasn’t inspired by the fabrics I had on hand.

Antique rope bed repurposed into a bench

It wasn’t until I attended Miss Morgan’s Milkweed Antique & Artisan Show for 2020 that I got my spark of inspiration. I found a bunch of gorgeous antique fabric for sale in Morgantown Market’s booth, and snagged a few prized linens.

One of them is a gorgeously nubby sheet of homespun. To compliment the neutral antique fabric, I opted for General Finishes Chalk Style Paint in a combination of Cardamom Brown and Empire Gray.

Unfortunately, General Finishes discontinued their Chalk Style line, so my current stash of this gorgeous color is all that I have. I’m using it sparingly to make it last!

After I primed the bench with BIN Shellac Based Primer, I applied 2 coats of my Chalk Style paint concoction and sealed it with Miss Mustard Seed’s Lavender Scented Furniture Wax.

Lavender Scented Furniture Wax by Miss Mustard Seed
Lavender Scented Furniture Wax by Miss Mustard Seed

This isn’t normally a wax that I stock (because it’s rather expensive) however I had a tin on hand and decided to crack it open. My workshop was instantly filled with the heavenly scent of lavender, making the sealing process quite a treat!

The combination of a neutral “greige” chalk style paint and nubby antique homespun fabric makes this rope bench one of my favorites!

Antique rope bed turned bench painted in greige paint with upholstered bench by Eight Hundred Furniture

Then again, I say that about everything I paint!

For this rope bench, I used General Finishes’ Coastal Blue! See more about this bench here.

Antique Rope Bench in Coastal Blue Milk Paint by General Finishes

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I'm Jenn Baker - Milk Paint lover, photographer, blogger, and QVC Guest Host. Click below to learn more about me and my creative business.  LEARN MORE ABOUT JENN

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