Asked on May 14, 2013

Paint an heirloom or leave it natural?

Frankie LaneyPam Perkins ZirbelS


To paint or not to paint? This little cedar picnic bench belonged to my Grandparents. They have been gone since my very early 20's. It's not only vintage but to me it's a family treasure. I'm putting the bench on my porch pallet nook and I just can't decide if I want to paint it or leave it natural. I have already painted a rickity old wood chair that is a fav of mine red so I would probably paint the bench in yellow or blue. (I love bright colors!) Even if I don't paint it, I'll need to poly seal it because it will be out in the weather. What are your thoughts?
Cedar bench that belonged to my Grandparents.
14 answers
  • KMS Woodworks
    on May 14, 2013

    I like the painted idea...this appears to be built from simple cedar or pine. so it will need to be protected from the elements. I'm sure you will do your grandparents proud. post some pics when you get it completed

  • Peggy
    on May 15, 2013

    I prefer the seal, every time you look at it you will no doubt think of your grandparents whether it's painted or not, but with the seal somehow, for me, it would mean they feel closer. Call me sentimental or not.

  • Lisa Mueller
    on May 15, 2013

    I imagine your grandparents would want you to do what makes you happy, and are grateful that you think of it as special because of the memories of them. Paint...go for it!

  • Tina @ What We Keep
    on May 15, 2013

    I am in conflict about this same issue. If I were able to ask my grandmother, I think she'd tell me to do as I please. I like to look at it as adding my own contribution to a piece of family history. Do whatever feels right to you!

  • Donna Shipley
    on May 16, 2013

    I'd just seal it. I love the rustic, natural look :)

  • Nancy Hand
    on May 16, 2013

    It would be neat to bring it back to life and re stain it!

  • Sia@South 47th
    on May 16, 2013

    I'd seal it for sure and think of my grammy every time I looked at it. I use Bri-Wax, it comes in neutral as well as many colors and is natural. I've used it for years on Antiques and just about everything in-between. xo

  • Phil
    on May 16, 2013

    leave it natural, if you want just get some Thomas wax and preserve it that way.

  • Jane Bowers
    on May 16, 2013

    If I were your Grandmother, I would say... Jackie, I loved this bench for many years and am now passing it on to you hoping you will love it as much if not more than I did. And, my wish is for you to "make it yours and do what will bring you joy every time you look at it or sit on it". So there....

  • Karen Goddik
    on May 16, 2013

    Clean it and seal it with the love and memories of yours about your grandparents. It will also help to seal your love of them in your heart.

  • Silver Geras
    on May 17, 2013

    I would seal it and add colorful cushions...seal it a satin clear (minwax satin poly ) is great and user friendly

  • S
    on May 17, 2013

    The patina on it is so pretty. Personally I would refinish it or coat it with something natural. Even though it is meant to be outside, it would also look pretty at the end of a bed with some folded quilts or a folded quilt or afghan as a cushion.

  • Pam Perkins Zirbel
    on May 17, 2013

    This is gorgeous! I too, as with a few others, are struggling to paint or seal. For a while, I would seal it, no sanding, and make a pillow to sit on, bring it in the house for a while. Then after you DEFINATELY want to paint it, you can!! Again, seal, bring inside, pillow and enjoy. A couple years later, paint and keep the same outdoor pillow on it!!! Do both!!! Good luck and do post a pic of what you decide!!!

  • Frankie Laney
    on May 17, 2013

    The little bench will always remind you of your matter what color it is. When you pass it on to a grandchild they may re-paint or not, but they will always remember that it is a family piece with history. Best of luck and be sure to share the results!

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