How To Replace Garden Bench Wood Slats

8 Materials
5 Hours

Our cast iron garden bench had seen better days. It was on its last legs and needed a makeover. I searched “garden bench replacement slats” online thinking I could just buy some new slats. Harder to find than you may think. But when I took a look at what we were dealing with, it seemed this was a perfect DIY project!

Our bench was rotten, the boards, the screws, the whole thing was a mess. So we took it all apart.

We took the bench apart and set the cast iron aside. Be sure to measure each of the pieces you take off. They are probably NOT ALL THE SAME SIZE.  

Once the bench was disassembled, we scrubbed the iron with a wire brush to remove the rust. Then we started with rust primer, and a coat of glossy black spray paint. 

Watch the video to see what mistakes I made regarding the slats! Plus discover a really clever way to get spray paint off your fingers!

I used cedar 1×3’s for the bench slats and 1×2’s for the back wood frame. Cedar is a great option for outdoor furniture.

With slats built, I reassembled the cast iron bench.

Saved from the trash once again, this bench will (hopefully) last for many seasons to come! So the next time your garden bench takes a turn for the worst, grab your DIY skills and make some replacement slats that will last! 

New to furniture painting and need some experienced tips? Get my {FREE} Furniture 101 ebook.

Connect with me on social media @rootsandwingsfurniture to see what I'm currently working on.

Want some step-by-step guidance on your next DIY project? Check out my YouTube tutorials and paint reviews at Roots and Wings Furniture.

I'm here to help YOU with your DIY projects, so ask me your questions!

Until next time


Resources for this project:
See all materials
Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Hometalk may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page.More info
Jenni Ingram
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
  3 questions
  • Sheila Sheila on Sep 14, 2019

    I have a similar bench and was thinking about using the plastic deck boards instead of wood. Any ideas on using those?

  • Christie Haun Christie Haun on Sep 14, 2019

    Beautiful Bench! Now, can you please tell me where to find the "really clever way to get spray paint off your fingers!"? I thought I searched well, but I haven't found it yet. I'm very curious.

  • Irene Irene on Sep 28, 2019

    Would you be able to use pallett boards for this?

Join the conversation
2 of 11 comments
  • Corvina Corvina on Nov 20, 2019

    Jenni ~ I have to do this.

    Your project brought me to tears...

    I purchased my garden bench when my father was diagnosed with lung cancer.

    I was 21. I moved home to take care of him. I put a garden in the small space of dirt in the "backyard" of the apartment I grew up in. Dad wanted a bench, so we picked one up at KMart.

    I am 40 now, he's been dead for almost 14 years. I still have his bench and it is still outside.


    Anyway, I figure before the anniversary of his 14th year (two days before his birthday and NOW the one year mark of my Aunt Peggy's death), I want to fix it.

    There is no reason that bench should not live past my 53rd Bday.

    If only my Dad had.

  • Lisa Lisa on Nov 28, 2019

    What a sweet sentiment and tribute to your daddy. He would love what you are doing in his beloved honor, as well as auntie. Hope I can also refurb mine, with a bit of needed manpower to accomplish! Blessings,