I am SO happy with how these turned out...
The dark faux leather was so bad in person... and when I say "so bad" I mean "SOOO BAD". The leather was rock hard, super shiny, and had no give - it was like sitting on a slippery brick... but I saw past their sad exterior, and whipped them into shape quickly.... here's how it went:
Step I: detach the cushions from the base. Easy peasy...
Step II: Spray the bases the color of your choice (I went with Rustoleum's trusty gold spray paint - never fails my friends) - while the paint dries on the bases, head upstairs to gleefully rip off the faux leather from the plywood using whatever tools at your disposal.
Step III: Throw away horrible faux leather and breath a sigh of relief.
Step IV: Lay out beautiful new fabric that you will be covering the cushions with, and cut the fabric to size (leave ~3-4 inches around the sides of the plywood and foam)
Step V: Staple fabric securely to the cushion starting with the sides, and finishing with the corners
Step VI: Grab the fully dried bases from the garage, and re-attach the cushions to them (or in my case, get lazy on this step and vow to attach them tomorrow)
Step VII: Stand back and admire your handiwork
What do you think?? Pretty good right?!
I fid that taking pictures of my projects is super helpful... it really allows me to see the imperfections that I want to go back and fix. In this case, there is a bit of marred wood on the front side of one of the benches that I'll want to patch, sand, and repaint for a smooth finish...
I also see now that I'll want to trim down the extra fabric from the bottom of the cushions and that I really do need to reattach the cushions so they sit flush with the base - easy fixes, but you get the idea overall!
Big picture, these benches under-went a major overhaul! I think it's a huge change from dark-and-sad to light-and-bright.
So let's recap costs and savings for a minute... the two benches cost ~$110, the fabric was marked down to $30 a yard, (I needed just 3/4 yards which came out to $22), and the two cans of spray paint were $14.
All together, this pair of benches cost me $146!
It's not the least expensive project I've ever done, but considering I'd been seeing single benches for $200 each, it's $146 compared to $400.
Pretty dang good if you ask me!