DIY Outdoor Bench Makeover

5 Materials
1 Day

If I had a dollar for every time I picked up a piece of furniture from the side of the road, well let’s just say my husband would be happier if I came home with just the dollar  It is amazing the treasures that people throw away & this DIY outdoor bench makeover in our outdoor series is brought to you by another curbside pickup! If you have been following along you know we are kneedeep in our outdoor series! We have been taking on lots of fun outdoor DIY projects that increase our home’s curb appeal. Now that the front yard is buttoned up its time to move onto the backyard, starting with the patio. Project #1 on the list: DIY Outdoor Bench Makeover!




I started by trying to remove the fabric cushions from the bench, but it took me 30 minutes to remove one & if you saw our  Instagram stories you know it was just too hot for all that, so I moved onto plan B. 

Ripping Plywood Seat

Buying a new piece of plywood & ripping down to size was much easier than messing around with the two other cushions.


After I fit the new bench seat I got to sanding. The impatient me wants to always skip sanding, but this is a super important step because we don’t want out new paint to chip off or go on unevenly.

Removing Finals

Once the sanding was complete I used my jigsaw to cut off the old finals. It looks like someone thought they were a snack 

New Finals
Replacing Finals

Replacing the finals was super easy. I picked up some wooden ones that were actually a little bit fancier from Lowes. Then I used a screw to start my hole & simply twisted on the new finals.

Installed Finals
Choosing a paint color

After the new finals were in place it was time to get painting! I debated between 4 sample paints I already had & ended up deciding the darkest one would be best for the outdoor patio vibe I am going for.

No Sew Cushion



Now onto the fun part, making the custom cushion! I used this same easy process when I made the cushion for our builtin bench project & it is still holding up great 2 years later.

Cutting Foam & Board

This method is completely no-sew & you only need 4 supplies! Start by ripping a thin sheet of plywood for your base, this piece was only $8 & I have extra for another project. The base should be the same length & width as your bench seat minus 2 inches from the length.

Lay the foam of the length of your board & cut it to fit. I just used scissors to slice through the foam.

Attach Foam Cushion

Next I used my SureBonder Trigger Fire staple gun to secure each side & hold the foam in place.

Lay out fabric

Then, flip the board with the foam over & layout your fabric underneath. I chose this simple linen type outdoor fabric so that it would go with all my different throw pillows.

Stapling sides

Start by stapling in the sides of the board first, keeping the fabric taught as you make your way around the board.

Folding corners

I fold the edges just like I am wrapping a present. Secure the fabric with your staple gun as you go. Normally this is a lot of work pressing down really hard on the board for each staple but the Trigger Fire gun was so easy to use & did the work for me.


Want to see more of my DIY outdoor projects?! Head this way!

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Lia with Southern Yankee DIY
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Frequently asked questions
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  3 questions
  • Timo Timo on Jun 22, 2020

    Love it! What is the color name???

  • Victoria Victoria on Jun 22, 2020

    Why did you cut the base board 2” shorter in length than the seat?

  • Leslie Leslie on Jun 23, 2021

    The bench came out beautifully. I usually do not like painted wood but this is perfect. The paint looks like a VERY dark blue in your sample picture but, you said the color was SW Very Black? Does it have blue undertones? Also in the last picture where the scallop and harp detail is it looks like you rubbed a grey wax? Thank you Lia for sharing your project and process:)

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2 of 34 comments
  • Teresa Teresa on Jun 23, 2021

    It looks beautiful and I love the color.

  • Shari Shari on Jun 23, 2021

    Wow! Love it. When I saw the original bench I thought just get rid of it. It was very ugly. But WOW , you have a great talent and an amazing style. Thanks for sharing.