DIY Teak Table/Shower Bench Refresh

5 Materials
2 Days

In 2010 after experiencing what I learned was a MS (Multiple Sclerosis) flare I was left with very bad balance. For safety my physician suggested a shower chair, the diagnosis of MS at 41 was a lot to absorb, now he wants me to use a shower chair??!! The idea was so demoralizing and "un attractive" to me, I sobbed for days. I had to grieve the death of the "old me" while juggling one high school aged child, a full time job that required extensive travel and a plethora of family hosted pity parties while smiling and acting healthy. I did everything I could to make myself feel "normal" and/or not disabled, like finding attractive flats and keeping my diagnosis a secret for 7 years.

For my safety I knew it made sense to be supported in the shower bu,t it upset me nonetheless. When I came across a teak shower chair at Bed Bath and Beyond I had to have it, I just couldn't bare the the other hospital/nursing home style options... Who knew one teak bench could have so much responsibility?

This bench was used for many years to hold me up then for holding lots of bath products in the shower. After many so many years of water and chemicals the finish was really suffering but when I moved I took it with me & further destroying the finish by using it as a plant stand on my patio icon .

I have my good and bad days but use my good days as productively as possible, using by creating something. The "specialists" say it helps brain function so, I decided it was time use some good days to bring my bench back to life. Maybe it sounds nutty but during the process I had so many memories of everything mentioned above & began to feel how symbolic a simple bench is to my journey; starting out shiny and new then developing many scars (which is what MS means) all while holding me up when I needed support. Now 11 years later we've both been given help for our scars to help us look and function close to originally intended. Boy, am I getting melancholy about this, I guess I don't reflect on this subject often. We all have limitations, but we grow by embracing them and challenging ourselves. I hope this project has inspired you to create or repair something you love. Thank you for reading.


Before 1

Before 2
Before 3
Before 4

There wasn't a thick coat of stain or poly on this and what was there was clearly breaking down. I sanded the finish off using 120 grit sand paper with my Black and Decker hand sander followed by 180 grit sand paper to smooth everything out.

Getting inside the slats was challenging, I fed sand paper through and wiggled it back and forth and used small wood files for the corners.

bare wood and stain

As previously mentioned the top slats were challenging for me and I was so consumed I forgot to take pictures, my apologies. I didn't take anything apart, because it honestly never dawned on me- at least until I was 90% done. Doing so may have made this less difficult for me.

Hindsight, a big part of DIY

I applied the stain by using a clean rag

We had the stain so I didn't purchase anything, I just used what we had.

And fancy applicator for hard to reach areas

The can of poly pictured was what I intended to use but was completely dried up. UGH

Plan B, my ole stand by! Oh how I love thee Varathane Polyurethane (and it rhymes!!) We have a container of this on hand at all times.

Using a clean, lint free cloth to apply. Also wearing gloves!

I know the cloth looks gross but I wash and reuse them so it's clean just stained.

Good as new!

DIY Teak Table/Shower Bench Refresh

We had everything needed to complete this project so it didn't cost me anything in direct cost. I did a quick online search for the basic product costs which range in price significantly.

Sandpaper packs- $2-$18

Minwax Stain- $4.96-$12.68

Varathane Clear Polyurethane- $7.64-$17.97

Resources for this project:

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3 of 5 comments
  • William William on Sep 05, 2021

    Your welcome!

  • Misskiwithang Misskiwithang on Sep 06, 2021

    Great idea!!!!

    I understand the struggle. I was diagnosed with MS when my baby was 7 months old, she's now 8. Stay strong my fellow MS warrior!!!!

    • Wow, that must've been so hard!! Babies drain us of sleep to begin with, then top it with MS fatigue... UGH. Give her and yourself a big kiss and be sure to post something on Hometalk. HMMM. That lil girl must be needing a big girl room now.

      Much Love, Kim