So this was almost a “Dumped & Found” project, but I figured if I was the one doing the dumping and the finding it didn’t really count. We purchased two benches from Harbor Freight about five or so years ago. They were on a super sale, $35 each if I recall. They lived a good life under a tree for a season or two, in the flower beds, even on the grass. The weather and sprinklers took their toll on these two little guys and they were about to be dumped. When I ”found” them again. I remembered that Justin and I had talked about painting them “Park Bench Green”, or at least that’s what we called it. You know, the color of the great well kept benches at fancy parks (or like the ones I image would be in Central Park, although I’ve never actually been there). So here is their makeover story.
First, the BEFORE:
Then, the dis assembly:
Because these benches were soooo cheap, they were not constructed uniformly. We numbered each slat as we took them off A for bench A, and 1-12 for the slat placement. Then I laid the slats from one bench on a couple of sawhorses protected by a sheet of plastic.
Now time for some serious sanding. I got out my beloved “Mouse” sander and 50 grit (super course) sand paper. I’m not going to try and pull one over on you here, this took FOREVER! I question whether I should have just bought a whole new bench during this step, and honestly have only sanded one set of slats.
When it was time to finish up the wood, I laid on a few coats of Spar Urethane for outdoor wood. It is easy to use since it is water based. I chose a clear semi gloss finish.
I power washed the metal, OK it was just a hose with the “jet” spray on, but it did help. Then I propped up the ends on soda cans to I could spray all the sides.
And the green paint makes it’s entrance. I shopped around to find the best paint for this project and feel that Home Depot has the spray paint market mastered. I chose “Rust-oleum” Hammered in green. I liked this selection because I felt that the hammered look would help disguise all of the flaws in the metal (and I think it worked). I also liked that it can be sprayed right over rust, and “stops” it.
The straps were next.
Now time for the reassembly. After all that numbering, I was in such a hurry to finish it all up that I didn’t take my own advice. I just put them in order, but had a bunch flipped backwards. This meant I got to undo most of the slats until it fit back together like a puzzle. I also purchased new screws and nuts for the entire bench since the old ones were pretty hammered.
So here is the AFTER:
Now this little beauty rests up on our deck overlooking the back yard. I’m hoping being out of the line of sprinklers and heavy sun it will last a little longer. I don’t think I’m ready for another makeover anytime soon.
I’m loving the bright shiny silver bolts.
So don’t dump you old rotting bench, spruce it up with a new can of paint and some fresh polyurethane.
UPDATE: You may have noticed in the opening of this post I talked about TWO benches but only photographed one finished. Well, there was a major oops moment. I dropped one on the way out to the back yard and the metal scrolly part snapped and broke… boo. So take note and be careful when transporting these cast metal pieces.