wooden bench

Creative Ways to Spruce Up an Old Wooden Bench

The best part of being a DIYer is that everything becomes a potential project. Not only are DIY projects a great way to express your creativity, but they are also a great way to insure that nothing goes to waste. There’s no better place to search for your next DIY project, then in your garden. You may find that harsh summer weather has a toll your outdoor wooden bench. However, if you are willing to put in a little effort you will be amazed at the endless possibilities. It won’t take much to get your wooden bench back to its former glory days. This article will inspire you with a few creative ways you can spruce up that old wooden bench in your garden. Soon you will be sitting and relaxing in the shade in a bench that is as good as new or maybe even better than before!

Home and Garden

A Fresh Paint Job

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The easiest way to spruce up an outdoor wooden bench is by adding a fresh coat of paint or wood stain. Painting your wooden bench is a great way to express yourself. There are so many different color options or clever designs. You can let your imagination run wild! Painting your bench and sealing it will also add a layer of protection from the elements. Prolonged exposure to elements like as rain or harsh sunlight can cause your wooden bench to age quickly. The paint will not only give your bench a facelift, but it can prevent future damage. Before you run out to paint your bench, follow these few simple steps for a painless painting process.

Step 1. Clean the Wooden Bench

This step is important. If your bench has been outside for a while, chances are that there are traces of dirt, leaves, or insects on your bench. In order for a smooth and effective paint job to take place, you should be painting a clean and dry surface. Using a stiff brush and some hot soapy water, scrub your bench. Clear away any dirt that may have built up on the bench, or cobwebs that may be lurking in the corners. Pay extra attention to parts of your bench that may have mold or mildew growing in the wood. If you suspect mold or mildew you may want to add a little bleach to your bucket of water to stop any spores from growing. Allow your bench to dry completely before moving on with step two.

Step 2. Sand the Wooden Bench

Starting with rough or coarse sandpaper, you will want to sand down every part of the bench. You can either use a sanding block that you manually sand with, or you can use an electric sander. Either route will work just fine, but the electric sander goes much quicker! Make sure you don’t forget the underside of your wooden bench. If there are hard to reach places you can use just a sheet of sandpaper. You will want to pay extra attention to areas with splinters or splitting wood. Keep sanding until everything is smooth. Then clean all the dust off of your wooden bench with a tack cloth. You can then quickly sand your bench again, this time using fine grit sandpaper. This will give you the softest and smoothest finish. Complete a final dusting of your bench to remove all particles before painting.

Step 3. Paint the Wooden Bench

Wooden benches are porous, which means you will need to apply a primer before you paint. Double check that your primer is meant for exterior wood surfaces. Once you have successfully primed your bench, it is time to paint! This is the part you have all been waiting for! Choose how you would like to finish your bench. You can go with a natural wood stain, or you could choose a bold and bright color to paint your wooden bench instead. Whatever you choose, you can’t go wrong! You can either go with an aerosol paint or a traditional can of paint. Aerosol is a great option for quick and easy jobs because it eliminates brushes. However, there are significantly less color options available in aerosol paint. Finish up with a top coat and weather sealer and you have got yourself a good as new wooden bench for your garden.

Add a Pop of Color

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Another easy way to spruce up an old wooden bench is to add a little pop of color. You can easily do this by sewing up a couple of outdoor throw pillows. You can find upholstery fabric at any fabric store. This sturdy cloth is comes in all varieties of colors and designs. Find a fabric that speaks to you and with a few quick seams you have outdoor pillows ready to go! You can also sew one long pillow to run along the seat of your bench. This will make your bench extra cozy. For added good measure, you can find waterproofing spray that will protect your fabric from exposure to light moisture.

Turn a Wooden Bench into a Porch Swing

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The only difference between a wooden bench and a porch swing is the support system. Benches are held up by the bench legs, while swing are suspended by ropes or chains. If you want to change your bench into a swing, all you need to do is change the support system. While this may sound easy, it will take quite a bit of DIYing to finish the job. First you will need to remove the legs of the bench. Either unscrew them or cut them off. Next drill holes into the bench to add your hardware. Finally, attach the swing to your porch with chains and S hooks. If your bench is heavy, you will want to double check that the hardware is attached to a stud for added support. Move the chains up and down accordingly until you have found the perfect height for your new wooden bench swing.

Turn a Wooden Bench into a Planter Box

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If your wooden bench is missing slats or is structurally unsound, you don’t have to throw it out! You can repurpose your old wooden bench into a planter box. This will take a little DIYing and probably a fresh coat of paint. This up-cycled bench is a great way to add a little whimsy and fun to your garden while also adding beauty. You can place your wooden bench planter box on your front porch for all to see, or tuck it away in a secret corner of your garden. You will be grateful that you decided to keep an old wooden bench around when it turns into a colorful flower bed next spring. 

In Conclusion

So if your old wooden bench is feeling tired, don’t be afraid to break out the paint and tool box to spruce it up a bit. Your old bench may soon become one of your favorite garden accessories.

Related Article: The Best Outdoor Bench Options to Add in Your Yard

Amy O'Brien

I am a mother, homeowner, and a DIY kind of gal. Whether it’s backpacking in the mountains or throwing a BBQ in my backyard, I love bringing my family to the great outdoors!

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