DIYdiy projects

DIY Project: Brushstroke Upholstered Bench

by Grace Bonney

DIY Brushstroke Bench 1
I love a good bedroom bench. It provides a nice little place to slip on shoes and can even serve as an extra spot to display art and books in a unique way. The only thing I’m crazier about than a bedroom bench is fabric. Any opportunity I have to include more fabric in a room is one I’m taking. Thankfully, the shape of our bedroom (which is actually a lofted attic) demanded that I create a custom piece to fit our non-standard wall sizes. Since I was already building the bench from scratch, I decided why not throw in some hand-painted fabric, too? This project combines the simplest approach to make your own upholstered bench with a modern brushstroke upholstery style that you can easily tackle yourself in a weekend. –Mandy Pellegrin

DIY Brushstroke Bench 5

Click through for the full how-to after the jump!

-white canvas
-black fabric paint
-wide paint brush(es)
-a 2” x 12” wooden plank cut to your desired length
-foam or quilt batting
-spray adhesive
-black fabric
-4 – 18″ hairpin legs (source)
-liquid gold gilding


1. Begin with a piece of white canvas that is about 10″ larger than your bench board all the way around. Paint large, geometric shapes onto the canvas using a couple of wide paint brushes and black fabric paint. Don’t overload your brush with paint, and don’t overthink it. That’s the key to “effortless” brushstrokes. I added a few splatters as well. To do this, just dip the end of your brush in the paint, and fling it onto the fabric.

DIY Brushstroke Bench 11

2. Wash, dry and iron the canvas to set the paint.

3. Cut a piece of thin foam or a few layers of quilt batting to the size of your bench board, and affix to the top of the board using spray adhesive.

DIY Brushstroke Bench 10

4. Wrap and staple a piece of batting about the same size as your canvas around the board.

5. Wrap and staple the canvas around the board. Finish the ends like you’re wrapping a gift.

DIY Brushstroke Bench 9

6. Hide all of your raw fabric edges by stapling a piece of black fabric to the bottom. Press the raw edges of the black fabric under before stapling into place.

DIY Brushstroke Bench 8

7. Because I’m a sucker for gold/brass, I gave my hairpin legs a coat of liquid gilding. If you’re as dead-set on metallic legs as I was, you can also spring for a set of brass hairpin legs instead of painting them.

DIY Brushstroke Bench 7
DIY Brushstroke Bench 6

8. Finally, attach the hairpin legs to the underside of the bench using wood screws.

DIY Brushstroke Bench 2
DIY Brushstroke Bench 3
DIY Brushstroke Bench 4

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