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IKEA tjusig bench makeover with Rust-Oleum

Earlier this year Rincy of a little bird very sweetly messaged me asking if I could update a piece of furniture for her and her boyfriend's new apartment. I do love a good update, and especially after Rincy explained the thoughtful details she was looking for, I couldn't refuse.

Rincy bought the IKEA tjusig bench with shoe storage, which was black along with a lot of new pieces in their apartment. She wanted something a little more personal, so she asked for it to be painted along the lines of a duck egg blue and for her favourite lyrics to be included on the piece. I immediately contacted Rust-Oleum and asked if they would like to partner on this project with me, and a few days later I had all the supplies I needed.    

Rincy decided on their 'Blue Sky' Satin Finish Furniture Paint which as you can see, is the sweetest muted blue. I started by disassembling the bench, cleaned it and applied a layer of Surface Primer. This took the longest to do as I had to wait for good weather during a time that Robert was home so I could spray paint the bench outside and safely away from Cora. It was a while before these two conditions occurred at the same time [because Irish 'summer'], but once I had a break in the weather I started painting the bench. Using a small roller, I painted thin and even layers of Blue Sky onto the bench. I painted between 3 and 4 layers of paint across the disassembled bench, leaving a minimum of 12 hours between coats to give it ample drying time [EDIT - I should say that so long between coats is not necessary, I was just being cautious].

Once the bench was reassembled, it came to writing Rincy's sweet chosen lyrics [which had my singing for the rest of the day]. As Rincy explained, her favourite song ever ever was Frank Sinatra's 'The Way You Look Tonight'. I did 3 mock-ups of the top of the bench with different ways to write the lyrics on top and sent the options to Rincy. She loved the simple straightforwardness of the first option, so I got writing. 

Using a white graffiti marker from All City Graffiti, I slowly and carefully wrote the lyrics across the top of the bench. I had a large [like, really large] envelope to hand that I taped across the top and used as a guide to keep my wonky handwriting straight. Once one line was done, I moved the envelope down for the next line and continued on until the bench top was covered.

I [incredibly nervously] returned the bench to Rincy just the other day and thankfully, she really liked it. I always find when I work on something for so long by myself, I inevitably start to worry if it actually looks good. Like I'm too far down the rabbit hole to see out of it and I can't remember how things are supposed to look. But thank you, Rincy, for asking me to work on this project for you and for thinking my skills [and shoddy penmanship] good enough to have in your home and walk by every day. It was really special. 

DISCLOSURE - while this blog post is not sponsored, I did receive this paint and surface primer free of charge from Rust-Oleum. As always, all words and opinions are my own. I only work with companies I like and of course, think that you will too. Thank you for supporting the companies that support The Interior DIYer. 


  1. Oh my god, Alex, this is so good - I can't believe you actually wrote those lyrics by hand onto the piece - I would never trust my hand-writing to do something like that!

    What a lot of time and effort you've put into this - waiting for the right weather conditions, the priming, the many coats, the drying times, then the painstaking hand-writing of the lyrics on top! What a labour of love, and it really shows in this gorgeous bespoke piece of furniture!!! I love it! Rincy is one very lucky lady - I bet she can't believe her luck to be the proud owner of this one-of-a-kind item! Excellent work, as always! xx

    1. Oh trust me Maria, I had to take some Stress Less before I wrote on the bench - I was actually quite nervous about messing it up! Luckily, in any places I did mess up, the paint marker didn't dry immediately so I was able to wipe off a small mistake here and there. But it was completely nerve-wrecking.

      I didn't get too lucky with the weather for painting this piece, but this is the first update to furniture I've made since having Cora and I'm very conscious of paint fumes now so I unfortunately had to wait for the right conditions. I didn't want to do a rushed job on it because you can always tell a rushed job from a mile away and they usually never hold up as well. It takes time, but I love doing it :)

  2. This is amazing. I just love this makeover. The final result of the bench turned out so well. Nice post.

    1. Thank you so much! I'm so pleased with how it turned out and Rincy has messaged me saying the same :)


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