DIY Banquette bench makeover *

DIY Banquette bench makeover *

DIY Banquette

This banquette was almost thrown out.

We’ve had this banquette bench for years and it’s gotten its fair share of wear and tear.  But we’ve gotten even more use out of it. Having a banquette in your dining is worth the investment. You get more seating out of it and it just breaks up the familiarity of most dining rooms.

Mr banquette here was beat up out of shape as you can see in the picture below and was on the verge of getting thrown out. Can you believe the transformation? Reminds me of my first Chair makeover.

DesignELement - post divider

DIY banquette bench makeover

This project took two weekends to complete although the weekends were not consecutive. I would have done it in one weekend if I had all the supplies on hand and some extra time but anyway I’m just excited to be done and to actually be posting about it. I’ve been on a very long blogging break.

1. Phase 1 of the project

Painting furniture


  • Sander / Sandpaper
  • Paint brush – I use the Addis teflon brush (love this brush)
  • Paint – I used Duracoat Aspen blue for the bench body and columbine blue for the bench base board

I started by sanding the bench down as much as I could. I used an electric sander which I love because it makes my work much faster. I didn’t bother going down to the bare wood though.

I didn’t use any undercoat which was a mistake, I’ll admit. I will try to avoid skipping this step in future projects. If you are tackling any painting project please remember your undercoat. This will make your paint adhere much better.

I applied 3 coats of Duracoat’s Aspen blue. It looks pretty white. I would describe it as a white color with blue undertones. This color would be perfect for interior walls too.

Here’s what the banquette looked like after a major paint job.

DIY Banquette Kenya furniture

I had planned to paint the base board of the bench blue because in my head I was going to upholster the bench in blue (ish) fabric. But when I found this gorgeous damask print fabric in a green tone I knew the dilemma would be real. Perhaps some green paint would be better than blue?

I painted a bit of the board in the two choices I had, one was columbine blue from Duracoat and the other was a sea green acrylic paint that I got from textbook center a while back..

DIY Banquette Kenya furniture

I decided to stick to the original plan and used the columbine blue paint. I sanded the baseboard though before the actual painting.

2. Phase 2 of the project

Upholstering a banquette bench


  • Upholstery fabric
  • Staple gun
  • Hot glue gun
  • 10 mm cardboard strip
  • A pair of scissors
  • High density foam – for the seat cushions

This fabric I used here is actually curtain fabric. I got it from Dong Fang home mart on Monrovia street. I saw this damask print and loved it instantly. I hoped I could find it in a bluish tone but they only had this green one and a pink one.

DIY Banquette Damask print

Before I could make any cuts on the fabric, I needed to figure out the pattern placement so I draped the fabric over the bench and figured stuff out.

I needed one piece that would go over the backrest from front to back and the rest would be used for the seat cushions.

DIY Banquette draping fabric

Once I was comfortable with everything, I made my cut. In times like this, the old wise saying applies, measure twice cut once

I used a staple gun to secure the fabric on the front side of the back rest. For the back side I didn’t want to use the staples as they would be visible. I was going for a neat, clean finish.

I didn’t have any ready cardboard strips so I improvised. I cut out 10 mm strips of cardboard and taped them together until I had enough to match the length of the banquette.

diy cardboard strips

To finish the back side, I used a hot glue gun to first glue the cardboard strip on the fabric  about 30 mm from the edge then folded and glued this extra fabric back over the cardboard strip. This is easier to follow from the pics below.

Here is the back side with the fabric hanging lose.

DIY banquette bench upholstery

Here is the process of attaching the cardboard strip. Note that the cardboard strip is attached to the wrong side of the fabric.

DIY banquette bench cardboard strip

I then used the hot glue gun to glue this edge with the cardboard strip on the bench. By using this method I was able to easily achieve a straight finished edge.

DIY banquette bench upholstery

The seating cushion was made out of 5 inch high density foam with piping detail on the front face. I was in no sewing mode so I contracted a local furniture maker to make them for me. I had two large cushions made instead of several smaller ones. This was very intentional, I wanted to discourage the habit of picking cushions from the banquette.

So finally after several hours the banquette bench got a new lease of life and escaped the dumpster.. Don’t you love how it turned out?

DIY Banquette bench kenya


DIY Banquette bench kenya

I would love to know what you think, any tips or questions you may have. Please let me know in the comments section.

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As Always



  1. I love how it turned out. Total transformation.

  2. Love it! Love it!! Oh how i need those supplies!!

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