Asked on Sep 20, 2020

How do I restore an outdoor bench for indoor use?

Agnes ChrzanowskaCourtney |The Kitchen GartenJohnavallance82


I’m new to DIY and have the perfect outdoor bench that I’d like to use inside. It appears to be pretty worn and probably even rotten. Any tips?

18 answers
  • Annie
    on Sep 20, 2020

    Hi Alison, it looks really weathered. You could try pressure washing it and then let it dry well before sanding and painting. It's a nice bench, hope you can bring it in and renew it

  • Robyn Garner
    on Sep 20, 2020

    First check all the connections to be certain it's secure. If not, repair as needed. Sand it all down and scrub thoroughly. Check to see if there is any sealer/wax and be sure it's all sanded or stripped off. From there, paint as you like or stain. You can then make a cushion for the seat and voila!

  • Dee
    on Sep 20, 2020

    I would do exactly what Annie said. If you find it is in decent condition. Prime and paint.

  • Cheryl A
    on Sep 20, 2020

    Hi Alison

    Start with cleaning it up and letting it dry first. Here is info on how to paint or stain and you could add a cushion seat if you like for indoors

  • First, give it a good cleaning with soap and water. After it dries, sand it. If there is wood that is rotten, it will have to be replaced. Then you can either stain & seal it or prime & paint it.

  • Mogie
    on Sep 20, 2020

    Clean the obvious surface dust or cobwebs using a leaf blower first. Use the leaf blower on dry wood to blow away leaves and surface dirt by blowing in the same direction as the wood grain. If you don't have a leaf blower, go on to the next step. Brush away cobwebs and deeper surface dirt with a stiff-bristled whisk broom. Brush in the direction of the wood grain. If you brush against the grain on rough wood, you'll cause splinters and dirt can get caught in the grain. It's important to clean rough wood furniture by brushing or blowing first; remove loose dirt before the wood is wet. Wet the wood after brushing it; use a hose with a sprayer nozzle. Spray the wood with the hose, in the same direction as the grain of the wood. Although you may be tempted to use a pressure washer, it's best to use a garden hose to clean the wood. Pressure-washing rough wood can cause strips of wood to become loose and be ripped off. Spray on a cleaner specific for wood and brush it in. Allow the cleaner to work for the recommended time before rinsing off. Cleaners can be an oil-soap base or a deck cleaner from a paint store. Rinse the cleaner from the rough wood after cleaning. Make sure you follow manufacturer directions to clean the wood without damage. Apply a protective coating to the rough wood if desired.

  • Morgan McBride
    on Sep 20, 2020

    If boards are rotten, you will want to replace them.

  • Em
    on Sep 20, 2020

    Sand off the algae and chalk paint after washing. Two colors that are similar would look really sweet, like two shades of green or blue. Paint one like legs and frame then add white to the paint to make a lighter shade and paint slats.

  • try sanding it down and use a cleaner that contains hydrogen peroxide and a scrub brush. Paint it to help seal

  • Vimarhonor
    on Sep 20, 2020

    Hello I would suggest power washing the bench and see how it cleans up. Be sure it’s structurally sound before using so that no injury can occur. Paint stain or seal once clean and dry to suit your decor aesthetic.

  • Betsy
    on Sep 21, 2020

    Hi Alison: A good cleaning is definitely in order, then paint. Then, I'd make some cushions for it. You can paint it a nice bright colour and then pick up the colour in the cushions. Good luck

  • Kathy Gunter Law
    on Sep 21, 2020

    Any rot will have to be repaired. Clean thoroughly and repair rot. Then sand it down and paint it. Be careful with sanding as it is probably delicate. You might want to add some additional supports to it if you are using for sitting rather just decorative.

    Here are some general tips on re using furniture that I have found over the years: instead of sanding, use fine steel wool. Clean with denatured alchol or TSP. Even if the paint says "no prep required" you will be much happier with the outcome if you prep first. You can use any type paint for furniture.

  • Deb K
    on Sep 22, 2020

    Hi Alison, chalk paint! You can clean this baby up and paint it in no time flat! Hope this helps you out

  • Maura White
    on Sep 22, 2020

    You will need to give it a good sanding or even power wash it. Then you could have it a nice coat of paint and it would be great!

  • Johnavallance82
    on Sep 25, 2020


    Sand it down until smooth and old finish is gone. Stain, Wax or Paint to taste. Add Slab cushion and a couple of small cushions should do it. Enjoy the journey.

  • I'd give it a good power wash, then stain and seal it. I'd also add felt pads to the bottom of the legs if you're going to have it on a hard floor indoors. Good luck!

  • Agnes Chrzanowska
    on Oct 1, 2020

    if it is still in sturdy condition .. I would just power wash it and paint or stain depends on what your preference is

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