Before & After: Wooden Bench Makeover

1 Material
Who doesn't love a good before and after?
Swiping on a coat of paint is my favorite easy way to transform outdated or neglected furniture. It’s simple; it doesn’t require any expertise; and you finish with a piece of furniture you love.
When I found this sad cast-off wooden bench on the side of the road, I knew it had potential. See how I refurbished the bench—with a bit of sanding and a paint job—and gave it new life on my front porch.
Abandoned in front of a house with a “free” sign taped to its front, this sweet little bench sat waiting for me to scoop it up.


Its maroon paint was chipped and worn, but more in a neglected way than in the farmhouse style that’s so popular today.


And, wow was this wooden bench scratched up. The boards along the seat were particularly in need of attention.


Despite its shabby paint and scratched up surface, the bench was sturdy. No broken legs or wobbly parts. It just needed a little TLC and a fresh paint job.
Fixing this bench started with a lot of sanding. And more sanding. And taking a break when my hands hurt from all the sanding. And more sanding.


The boards that made up the seat of the bench were so scratched and worn that I would have had to sand them away completely for the scratches to fully disappear. So, I cheated and flipped them over so the scratched side faced down.


After all of the sanding, I slicked on two coats of a modern gray paint. (The paint was leftover from another project, so it didn’t cost me a dime.)
Here's what the bench looks like after the paint transformation!
This sweet little bench now lives on my front porch. It fits perfectly into a nook on the small porch, just as if it was meant to go there.
Besides the practicality of adding seating, the bench also makes the spot feel much cozier. It invites you to take a seat and relax.
Sometimes it doesn’t take much—just a coat of paint—to transform a piece of furniture. Whether you’re an old pro at redoing furniture or you’ve never done it before, I want to invite you to pick up that paintbrush.


If you’re working on a cheap dresser you found at a garage sale or an old end table that you don’t like any more, what’s the worst that can happen? If you don’t like the new paint color, just paint it again.


It’s pretty rewarding to give something new life, especially if you really enjoy it once the project is complete. Happy painting!
Suggested materials:
  • Paint
Red Leaf Style
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
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 3 comments
  • Melissa V Melissa V on Nov 29, 2016
    I have one of those iron and wood garden benches that was my moms, and now the wood really needs attention from being outside in MI year round. I'm planning on fixing up the whole thing and sending it in to Hometalk. Maybe not until Spring tho' 😊

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    • Melissa V Melissa V on Nov 30, 2016
      Yes, it's pretty cold out to be staining or painting, and I've pretty much got a basement full of stuff! BTW, when we redid our deck we flipped the boards over and used deck screws (no nails-what?), then new stain. Just needs some stain every couple of years.

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