May 27, 2013

Reclaimed Garden Benches

I've had a couple of garden benches in my backyard for I don't know how many years...and it shows!  They were definitely weathered, which wasn't necessarily a bad thing, but they were getting to be unsafe. 

I could have just replaced them, but where would be the fun in that?  So with some paint, time, and muscle (extra muscle needed from my husband to remove those darn rusted bolts!) this is what I ended up with!


And, if a person wanted to lay back on the bench in the arbor, this would be the view.  I lOVE blue skies!

I just had to throw in these pictures.  This used to be a fountain with a cherub on top and water flowing through it.  Well, that was until the pump died and the cherub was brutally attacked by a flying soccer ball!  So, this year it was recycled into a planter...nothing wrong with extra flowers in the backyard!

 So, here's the step-by-step of how the garden benches were reclaimed.

The Details:

1.  1" x 6" cedar boards were purchased and ripped to size to replace the broken or warped slats.  The original slats were oak, which would have been more expensive to replace.  As it turned out, I replaced every other slat with cedar (basically, all the white slats.)  The bench is still plenty sturdy.

2.  Sand the original and new slats before painting.  The edges of the new slats were routered to match the rounded edges of the original slats.  If you don't have a router, try to round the edges with a sander.

3.  A drill press (with a bit the size of your bolt head) set to stop at about 3/16" allows for countersinking the new bolts.  If you don't have a drill press, wrap some tape around the tip of your drill bit 3/16" up.  Drill until the tape mark hits the surface of your slat.

4.  Use a smaller drill bit (the size of your bolt shaft) through the center.

5.  Prime the slats.

6.  Paint the slats and the wrought iron end pieces.  I happen to love the coverage of this paint, plus the white was also the primer!  BTW, I used Canyon Black, Blossom White, and Eden for my colors.

Reassemble your bench and enjoy!

I like to link to these great parties!


  1. Great upcycle. Lovely how you used two colours for the new bench. Definitely a great way to start the summer and I can imagine you and your husband sitting their enjoying iced lemon tea!

  2. WOW it looks gorgeous! Such an effort but well worth it! And I love the colors you chose. Thanks for sharing the step-by-step!

  3. I love your arbor and garden seat, Susan!!! Hope you don't mind, but I'm pinning this. I could never ever tackle a job like this, but I can dream. The fountain made into a planter is fabulous, too... that I could do.

  4. The green and white slats keep it fresh and fun! Great job Sue!
    I have a pretty sad bench in my backyard that needs a little attention. In fact, your mom was over for dinner last night and was giving me a hard time about it. Perhaps, in your spare time ( if you had any!) you could give my bench a new life! :)

  5. love that shade of green, and how fun is the stripe! amazing!

  6. Hi Susan,
    Visiting from the Crafty Soiree. Love, love, love your reclaimed garden bench. I have one exactly like your BEFORE photo. Think I'm going to have a fun project this weekend...Now following, and looking forward to catching up on your posts. If you get a chance, would love for you to stop by for a nice cold iced tea and visit me at

  7. I love how your bench turned out! I'm going to be looking for an old bench to do this. I love the alternating colors. Great job! Pinned!

  8. Love, love, love the green and white! What color green did you use? Awesome job!

  9. Wow that is quite a transformation. I don't have a bench yet but now I think I could find one on craigslist and have a great transformation. Thanks for the inspiration. I am coming over from Chic on a Shoestring decorating.

  10. LOVE this, I have a bench that I need to redo, I thought about doing it 2 different colors but wondered how it would look! LOOKS FABULOUS! Thanks for sharing!

  11. Thank you so much for sharing with Wednesday's Adorned From Above Blog Hop. We hope to see you at this weeks party starting at 8:00PM tonight.
    Debi and Charly

  12. What a fabulous bench, I love it!!

    ¸.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*¨)
    (¸.•´ (¸.•`¤... Jennifer
    Jenn's Random Scraps

  13. Hi, I love your blog so I've nominated you for an award.

  14. The benches are looking great now, and the fountain planter is lovely!

  15. Wow. You are very creative, your work is wonderful and very beautiful. Kisses from Spain.

    This is my blog:

  16. I love your garden bench, Thanks for the inspiration.Thomas the Tank Engine Beds


Thanks for taking the time to comment. I appreciate the feedback and always look forward to reading what you have to say! Susan