Since moving into my own home after college, I have loved decorating. It honestly gives me so much joy and is something that I never knew about myself until my early 20’s. Around this time is when I started Instagram stalking all of my favorite home decor bloggers like Liz Marie Blog (have you seen her new farmhouse? SWOON!) and Jenna Sue Blog. I remember when I noticed an old church pew decorated on Liz’s porch. I thought it was such a cool way to repurpose such a unique and special item! I have been on the lookout for one since. I would occasionally search craigslist, antique stores, even Facebook buy sell groups. I didn’t have much luck and when I did – they were upwards of 400-500 dollars. Definitely not in my budget for what is essentially a bench.
A few weeks ago, I decided to search for one on craigslist..and did you know, only 20 minutes away, a pew was for sale for $100! I enlisted my mother in picking it up the next day. My husband was fishing for the weekend and I didn’t dare bother him with something so trivial as a 7 FOOT bench (ha!). I’m just joking – I did tell him and Mr. Practical asked where would I put such a thing? We moved from a 1300 sq ft home to a 2000 sq ft home in March and somehow filled it up completely. It was a sign because our only free wall was about 7 and a half feet long. Time to celebrate!
Mom and I headed out to pick up the pew and had a chance to talk to the sellers. They had bought it to refinish and just never got around to it. Better yet – I GOT IT FOR FREE! Yes, you heard me correctly. My mother owns a small business and they were actually customers of hers. I couldn’t have picked a better day to make Mom tag along.
This sucker was HEAVY but so beautiful. I loved the grey color and patina of the weathered wood. Unfortunately, It did have a few issues aside from the wood.
The footings needed to be reattached – only a small piece of wood on each side was supporting this guy.
The pew was made of solid wood except for the back which had a type of veneer on it. It was bubbled and had come off.
Lastly, the seat was falling apart. The seat had several wood planks pushed together as opposed to one solid piece of wood. Several planks were loose and had gaps separating them.
First, we sanded the areas and glued the footings back on, clamped them down and used a staple gun to further attach the pieces of wood to each side. We also strengthened and glued the middle leg as it was started to come apart and wasn’t very sturdy.
We actually used the same tools for the back of the pew. To address the flimsy veneer, we flipped the pew over and continued to glue, clamp and staple. Make sure to check the length of your staples…we didn’t and it went through the front of the pew. NO BUENO.
We really weren’t sure how to address the seat aside from taking it all the way apart. We still needed to address the large gaps even though the seat was sturdy. Luckily, the largest gaps were toward the front and we were able to kind of push the gaps together with glue and clamps. I was able to close the gap some with a hammer.
(Sorry guys it got dark and I couldn’t get pictures!!!)
The pew did have antique metal pieces that were previously attached to the back – they reminded me of old churches. My husband sandblasted them but I have yet to paint them..any ideas what color guys? I think they are so neat.
I sanded some of the rougher spots on the seat and on the back down and then cleaned the entire pew with some Murphy’s oil and a rag. When it dried, it still was that same beautiful patina. I went back and forth on whether to use some type of oil specifically tung oil to freshen up the wood as it certainly needs it but for now it sits in my home without. I love it so much!