Headboard Bench Rescued – Painted Distressed White Makeover

This post may contain affiliate links (disclosure here).

I normally look for cheap bargains, like the $1, $2 items, you get the idea. However, sometimes a piece of furniture just touches my heart and I must bring it home no matter what the cost (eeek, did I just say that)! Like this thrift store headboard bench that I had to rescue!

I spotted this headboard bench. I couldn’t believe that someone went through all the trouble to build it, and then just give it away! So sad 🙁

Bench Before Makeover

Anyways, it was $59.99. That is the most I have EVER paid for something from the Goodwill, but I just had to rescue it. We were attending an upcoming Vintage Market and I knew it would be perfect for our booth. We also took this piece (see it here) and it sold immediately once the market started!

Thrift Store Headboard Bench Makeover

Here is what we did to bring this thrown out headboard bench back to life.

Supply List: (I have included my affiliate links for your convenience at no extra charge to you.)

Waverly Chalk Paint in White (Walmart has this for around $7 bucks for the small one).

220 Grit Sandpaper

DeWalt Orbital Sander

DeWalt Circular Saw

Spray Polycrylic in Matte

Zinsser Primer Water Based

Cricut Vinyl Machine (You can use a stencil!)

While getting the bench ready for the prep work, I noticed that the headboard post looked weird. They were too long for this size bench. The Hubs to the rescue! He used his circular saw and cut them down. I then sanded the tops of the post to smooth them out. I totally forgot to take a picture before I added the primer, but you can see how they were cut in this photo.

Smaller Post

Sanding the Thrift Store Bench

After I sanded the post tops, I gave the entire bench a light sanding concentrating on the scratch in the middle of the headboard (you can see in this picture).

Scratch on Bench

I cleaned the entire piece with vinegar and water and made sure it was dry before I started priming.

Painting the Thrift Store Bench

I applied two coats of primer. I did not want to have any bleed through. Normally when applying white to any type of cherry colored wood, you will have some bleed through in spots. Better to take precautions! Here is one coat of primer:

One Coat of Primer

I allowed the primer to dry overnight. The next day I applied the paint. The bench took two coats of the white paint, allowing about 2-3 hours drying time between each coat.

After the paint had fully dried (overnight preferably) I used a piece of 220 grit sandpaper and distressed the bench by hand. I wanted the distressing to be heavy because I wanted the bench to look worn.


After wiping the sanding dust off with a piece of tack cloth, I decided it was still missing something. I thought a farmhouse quote would give the bench a little more character. The Hubs made me the vinyl quote using our Cricut. I swear that man loves the Cricut Machine more than he does me! (haha) You can use a stencil if you do not have a vinyl machine, get creative! I have a link below to a similar one.

After applying the vinyl quote, I gave the entire bench two coats of spray Polycrylic in matte.

Rescued from the thrift store! Isn’t she a beauty!

The buffalo check pillows were also a big hit at the show! Here is my affiliate link. I make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

If you haven’t done so already, I would love to have you join my Facebook Group here! We share DIY projects and ideas. We would love to have you!


“It’s not about what it is, it’s about what it will be.”




4 thoughts on “Headboard Bench Rescued – Painted Distressed White Makeover”

  1. Christina, like you, I’ve never paid that much for a thrifted piece. However, wow…such a smart move. The way you’ve refinished it is truly outstanding. You’d paid several hundred dollars for a piece like that now. Fabulous.

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