How To Resurrect A Park Bench From The Dead

9 Materials
1 Day

One doesn’t think about resurrecting furniture, but there are times I swear that the things I find have no heart beat! I mean D E A D dead! Just like this park bench I found on the side of the road. It’s the nurse in me that wants to save everything, especially furniture. Besides it was FREE!

Talk about rough shape, this park bench had definitely seen better days. The only salvageable part were the cast iron end pieces. A good cleaning and fresh coat of paint will make a world of difference. But before I could even think about paint, I had a real overhaul on my hands. All of the wood slats were rotten and decayed.

This is where I called for reinforcements. Mr. Honey Do to the rescue! We used a pair of bolt cutters to remove the old rusty bolts. The bolts and nuts were rusty and this was a quick easy removal.

We used the old boards as templates and purchased new slats. Nothing fancy, just your basic inexpensive pine.

The wood slats got a beautiful weathered gray look with Dixie Belle’s Up In Smoke VooDoo Gel stain. Fast and easy and it’s water based. It's great product to use if you’re sensitive to oil based products and the strong smells. Working inside, it’s important to me to use those products that work and are safe for indoor use. After the boards were dry, I added one coat of Dixie Belles Gator Hide for a water proof seal. Just incase I decide to put this on my front porch.

The cast iron ends of the park bench had some areas of rust, not to mention it was faded and just not really pretty. The quick fix for this was  Rustoleum Hammered Paint and Primer all in one. I sprayed two light coats allowing dry time between each coat. I love this look. It’s perfect for those rough metal surfaces that need a new look. The coverage is amazing and will look nice on the park bench.

We pre-measured and drilled the holes where the carriage bolts were to be attached to the end pieces of the park bench. After drilling the holes on each end of the wood slats we used a cool new tool called a  Gyroscopic Inline Screwdriver. Righty tighty, lefty loosey! It’s all in the wrist action. Gosh, I love cool tools! This one belonged to Mr. Honey Do. It may not have mysteriously lost its way back to his tool box.

I flipped the whole bench upside down for easy access to the bolts and attaching the nuts. Work smarter not harder.

Oh my goodness! What a transformation. The total cost of this french inspired park bench makeover was less than $30. I think this would make a great bench for a mud room too!

Thanks for hanging out with me today. I hope this inspires you to rescue something from the D E A D.

xo, Do

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Donna | Do Dodson Designs

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 5 questions
  • Kym
    on Nov 11, 2018

    Don't you love the hammered look of the Rustoleum? I used that on pvc last year to make an arch and it worked like a charm. LOVE the park bench! Very well done :)

    • Betty
      on Feb 22, 2019

      Hi. I’m curious about the spray paint on the pvc came out too. I have some outside chairs made of pvc & was thinking of painting them l. Thanks.

  • Terri W
    on Nov 11, 2018

    I have these same bench parts waiting for new life! How did you round the slat edges? Sander, or some other tool?

  • Diane
    on Nov 13, 2018

    beautiful job on the bench. will this idea work on iron and glass coffee table?

    • P
      on Nov 23, 2018

      Absolutely, this will work on your project.

Join the conversation

2 of 38 comments
  • ElMar
    on Jun 27, 2019

    I’ve renewed an old one we had laying around. I cut the slates shorter (no need for center support) and turned it into a chair. This can be made any length you want. It costs less and easier to move around... have one more to go for a matching pair. 👍

  • Shortcake
    on Sep 27, 2019

    This isn't a question. I'm redoing my bench just like this one. Can't wait to get it done. I have a lot of projects going, and my be this winter or early Spring before I get mine done. Awesome job Donna!. To me its a easy job to do. Good Luck to whom may try it.

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