DIY Projects · Outdoor Space

Bringing an old bench back to life

One of my favorite things about our backyard is the tree that canopies over the patio, casting shade over an area that’s otherwise filled with sun on a summer afternoon.

So the sun/shade is a little off on this picture. Probably taken later in the evening, but you get the idea.

The only thing missing was a place to sit. Which brings me to our next project.

Since we bought the house, I’ve had my eye out for an old wooden bench that would look perfect under the tree. After months of searching, I finally stumbled upon a Craigslist find that I couldn’t pass up. A wooden bench with iron rails – exactly what I had in mind, and a steal at $20. Sure, it was a bit rusty, and the red paint was chipping off, but nothing we couldn’t see past.


Because the wood bench was my brain child, I got to take this project on myself. Here goes nothing, right?
First things first – take the bench apart. This entailed a minor scuffle between me and about 20 rusty screws. But once that was settled, I was working with 8 slats of red painted wood and a rusty iron frame.

I used a simple wire brush to smooth out the rusty iron, and a square sander to strip the wood of its red paint.

Goodbye red paint!

From there, all the iron frame needed was a few coats of glossy black paint, followed by semi-gloss poly to protect it from the elements. The only thing that got hurt in the process was our poor lawn. From green to black in an instant. Good thing that stuff grows out 🙂

While Dan always goes for a Dark Walnut stain, I try to use Honey (Minwax) whenever I can. It’s my go-to for all my DIY projects, including the wine racks and beer caddies I’ve built in the past. This project was no different.
After two coats of stain, a few layers of semi-gloss poly, and a trip to my second home (depot) for new screws/nuts, I had all the puzzle pieces to put this bench back together.


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