Vintage Cane Bench Turned Dining Banquette
Posted By
Christy Black
Tuesday, March 12, 2019
Materials Needed: 
  • Super Finish Max
  • Paint
  • Staple gun and fabric
  • Nailhead trim
  • Hammer, screwdriver, and pliers (to remove staples and install nailhead trim)

Project Steps

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The only thing more fun than doing a DIY project is redoing it a few years later when your taste changes! Such is the case with this vintage French cane bench that I've now repurposed into a "banquette" style seat at our kitchen table. It's the perfect height and size for our somewhat petite dining room:

Cane bench with nailhead trim

This bench was new to me about five years ago, and this is how it looked when I scooped it up at a thrift store for about $35.

 You can read all about how I used my HomeRIght Finish Max paint sprayer to give it its first makeover (almost five years ago!) in this post. Here's how it looked until about a week ago:

French cane bench with nailhead trim

I really did love the dalmatian print fabric combined with the gold nailhead trim, but it just doesn't fit my current decorating style, which is more of a neutral palette. When I updated our dining room with a new rug a few weeks ago, I decided to replace our two ladderback chairs and use the bench instead. You can see that I already had two cane-backed chairs:

French cane bench with nailhead trim

I decided to use the same paint and fabric on the bench that I used on the chairs so it would fit right in. For this project, I used my new Super FinishMax paint sprayer (buy here | more info here). Trust me when I tell you that you never want to attempt to paint cane with a brush!! 

The first step was to remove the nailhead trim with a flat tip screwdriver (I saved it to reuse later) and wipe all the dust off the bench. It had been stored in my garage for several years and had more than a few cobwebs that needed removing. Rescue kitty Brontë helped with all aspects of my prep work: 

Painting was easy; I took the bench outside and set up my HomeRight spray shelter (buy here | more info here) to protect the bench from breezes and the surrounding area from overspray. I used the green nozzle on my Super Finish Max, which is my favorite for painting furniture, and white semi-gloss latex paint straight off the shelf (I thinned it just a little bit with water).  

It took several coats to cover the black paint with white and to achieve even coverage. The trick to any spray paint project is to use multiple thin coats instead of fewer thick coats, that way you don't wind up with runs or drips. Also, lighter paint colors tend to be less forgiving of surface imperfections. I noticed when the color went from black to white that I could see all the little dents and chips on the frame of this vintage piece in a way I'd never noticed before. That's not necessariy a bad thing, just something to keep in mind!


I left the dalmatian print fabric in place while I was spraying to protect the cushion underneath, but I removed it when I was done painting the frame. Then, I recovered the bench using the new fabric and my trusty staple gun, and replaced the gold nailhead trim I had saved.


Side note: I'm by no means an expert on upholstery, but I do have a couple of tutorials here and here if you'd like to learn some of the basics. 

Cane bench with nailhead trim



Cane bench with nailhead trim

 As is always true with a project, the best part is seeing the finished piece in its new place.

Cane bench with nailhead trim


Cane bench with nailhead trim


Cane bench with nailhead trim 

For more tips on using the Super FinishMax, more "after" photos of my dining room and bench, and a giveaway, please visit us at 11 Magnolia Lane, and happy DIY'ing!

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DIY Cane Bench Furniture Makeover Using a HomeRight Super Finish Max Paint Sprayer

Final New Christy headshot 2015 

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