Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Quaint Country Church Pew (ish) Bench - "Grace"

Oh this cute little bench was in such sad shape when she came to me.  She had a lot of random holes drilled into her and a dated yellow oak finish.  I don't know what her seat was originally made of, or if it had a cushion on it, but it was the only part of her made of particle board and made the rest of her lovely wood look cheap and unfinished.

 First I gave her a coat of a warm white followed by a patchy coat of a lovely dusty blue.

I wanted her to bring to mind all of the emotions that an old church pew has seen, the joys of weddings and christenings, the tears of funeral, and the fellowship of friendships forged over years and years.

She got a good heavy distressing, and much to my delight, the paint started chipping off in places instead of just sanding off.  Then I covered her with a layer of Minwax's Dark Walnut Stain to age the paint, darken the exposed wood, and protect the finish from any further chipping away.

I considered just making her a removable cushion, but I looked at that sad particle board seat and knew I just had to cover it up once and for all.  I glued down two layers of foam, then upholstered over it directly to the top of the seat with two layers of batting and a simple cream cotton.

I covered the staples with a double layer of trim, first in gray, then in tan.

When I was done the cream fabric just looked too new and bright in comparison to the bench, so of course, I turned to my paint and brushes for a solution.  I first stenciled the designs onto the fabric in blue, dry brushed the entire cushion with the blue, then went back with my artists brushes with a warm cream and added some depth and detail.

I am very happy with how it turned out.  Happy Accidents, FTW!!!

The bench top opens to reveal a bright little surprise inside.

The back, where, if her imaginary life in an old church was anything like the church pews at our church, she has been kicked 2.3 million times by little toddler feet.

I've always wanted a church pew to sit on my front porch.  This one isn't the right fit for me (not that I have any room on my tiny front porch anyway) but I think she will make a charming addition to someone's sweet farmhouse, beach house, or flea market/eclectic decor.


Grace is for sale.  See my Available/Portfolio page for details.

Do you like what you see?  I refinish a lot of furniture as well as smaller treasures.  Follow my blog to keep up on my latest project or adventure!


I am sharing this project at:
Domestically Speaking's Power of Paint
Miss Mustard Seed's Furniture Feature Friday


  1. Megan, this is beautiful!!! So much attention to detail. Awesome.

  2. I love your little bench! I found you via Miss Mustard Seed.

  3. It’s so easy to imagine a cute bench like that sitting in your house, right? :) I’m guessing you had it sold moments after posting this. The furniture in itself is simple, considering the structure. But you redeemed it all with the paint job. This is a winner for me, mostly because of its retractable top! :D


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