Giving A Sad, Worn Out Park Bench New Life

Lisa Myers
by Lisa Myers
1-2 Weeks
The house I inherited from my mother had this sad old park bench that was left behind by a former tenant of hers. Aside from the rusting on the frame, I knew it could be beautiful again.
Getting ready to dismantle.
Boards were all disintegrating.
Iron frame was chipping & rusty.
12 boards @ .75" x 1.5" x 48"
He had used one of the old boards that was still intact enough to use as a pattern to mark holes on both ends of all the boards, then he made a recess for the bolt to nestle into.
My husband sanded all the boards down & sanded 2 corner edges of each board to kind of round them off for better sitting comfort.
Note the rounded edges.
He gave all the boards 2 coats of the red spray paint (we used Cabernet color), then once they were well dried, gave them all a coat of clear coat.
He spray-painted the heads of the bolts to match the cast iron frame by poking them through a piece of cardboard.
He used a steel bristle sanding attachment for the drill to clean the rust & chipped paint off. In some areas, he used naval jelly on the rust.
Putting it all together.
It's all done.
It has found its new home in our front yard.
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
3 of 31 questions
  • Art Art on Sep 21, 2020

    Most of my boards are shot. What are the best wood(s) for replacement?


  • Catherine Glass Catherine Glass on Mar 16, 2021

    I have an old church bench and a bench just like the 1 you use do you think I can put them together an make an cute bench

  • Andrea L. Crozier Andrea L. Crozier on May 01, 2021

    What kind of wood did you use?

Join the conversation
3 of 584 comments
  • Elaine Marten Elaine Marten on Jan 02, 2023

    my mom and I went garage saleing and I spied a bench very similar to yours for $10! I live about 900 miles away from her, but I told her if she didn't get it I would, and refinish it and leave it at her place. That's exactly what I did and it turned out fantastic! So many compliments on it! The lady who sold it to us wanted to see what it turned out like so I showed her and she couldn't believe it! I think she regretted getting rid of it! I painted the metal a high gloss black and the wood I stained a wood stain (not color). I needed help in getting some of the bolts replaced, but otherwise its fantastic and I can't believe at most it might have cost $25 including the bench and in my area and hers they run at least $150! One day I will inherit it but for now she is loving it and it gives a very inviting feel to her garden! Unfortunately I don't have a picture of it, I was sure I had taken some

    • Jdw89205421 Jdw89205421 on Sep 20, 2023

      A little spit polish can turn one's mans trash into a treasure. There are a few steps that I will add to refinish mine. I will just take my sander and put into my vice to sand it. I will start with a coarse sand belt to remove old paint then switch to fine grade to finish smooth. The cast iron does not look bad, but it will get a new coat anyway after I rough sand it a bit, thanks for the polyurethane tip.

  • Aprile Aprile on Mar 09, 2023

    wow; just what I was looking for; our park bench is in need of repair/refurbishment and this will really help; thanks