This is my first deliberate and official Ciburbanity furniture flip. I’ve reached the point around here where I can only rearrange the furniture so many ways and we’re just plain full to the brim. So time for a little fun with resale. Here’s the original listing on Craigslist.
Why this one? The size is right… 33″ long, 16″ deep, 18″ tall. Not too big, not too small… just right. I also liked the simple but interesting legs of the bench and the price (which was actually $30).
So how to get this puppy sold for a record profit? Paint and fabric. Classic upholstered benches like this go for anywhere from $495 like this one at Ballard Designs:
Or this one from Restoration Hardware for $340:
I wasn’t about to ask for this much, but… I figured I could do better than the $30 I paid!
The two woven seats came right off with a screw driver, and I cut some 3/8″ plywood to fit in their place. I pieced together some foam I had in the basement and wrapped this with batting for the newly upholstered seat cushion to be.
Last is the fabric. Put a few staples on one edge. Pull tight and staple along on the opposite edge. Then repeat on either end. Work back and forth along your edges, moving towards the corners. Check out my other posts here, here, and here, for more info. on upholstery. If your fabric lends itself (which this did), you can also use the weave of the material to help you pull everything straight and evenly taught. (This fabric is actually a lovely simple green, but it photographs as more of a dowdy olive color…) I placed the upholstered top on the bench frame and screwed it back in!
I like the softer look of a lighter bench frame, so I decided to go for my chalk paint and antique the base a bit. I gave it two coats, and then sanded it down to add an aged patina. Then, I waxed.
I listed it on Craigslist with plenty of juicy details and photographs for $160. I figured I could always drop the price, but why not aim high! I’m no expert, but when I post things, I try to be clear and direct. I mention WHY I’m selling this item (i.e. nothing’s wrong with it), give an honest description, and include as many pictures as I can. Buyers typically ask for dimensions so I include those as well. When I’m shopping on Craigslist, I’m skeptical when people try to oversell their pieces, so I try to avoid exaggerated or overly effusive language (e.g. “must see!!!!!”).
“This bench is a little small for our space, but it’s in perfect condition. We used it as both an extra seat in our living room, and also as a coffee table with a tray on top. Because it was in the living room, it never got used! The legs have an aged patina to the gray paint and the seat is a simple green linen. Similar to benches found at Restoration Hardware or Ballard Designs. Measurements are 33″ long x 16″ wide x 19″high. Cash only and no spam.”
- $30 original bench
- $10 plywood
- foam, batting, and foam… already had
- chalk paint… already had
I originally listed it for $160 and had to slowly reduce the price until I got so sick of looking at it that I took it down to $80. This was the magic Craigslist number as I all of a sudden got a couple of different offers! So 200% return which I’ll take any day!
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