Taking the house my mom grew up in, the farm my grandparents shared for over fifty years and making it a home for us to grow old in.

I finally fixed my grandma’s old red bench!

I’ve had this bench makeover on my to-do list for a long time, it holds a lot of significance for us as it sat by my grandma’s house for many many many years. When we visited her, not long before her passing, we would come outside with her and sit in this old bench in the sun and visit. One of the last photos taken of my grandma she was actually sitting out front of the house, on this very bench that my grandparents’ built years ago.

An old red bench makeover of my grandma's gets a thorough makeover with new wood, a few supporting screws and stain over the places that were showing, before and after furniture wood working.

As you can see when I finally had the chance to tackle it this bench was a LONG way from red anymore! It was also covered in moss, dirt and only the universe knows what anymore! The front two boards had broken/rotted off but after a thorough investigation the majority of the bench was amazingly sturdy. I went out to the barn and, low and behold, there was a whole pile of boards cut to this exact length so I grabbed two and brought them back to use as replacement slats.

An old red bench makeover of my grandma's gets a thorough makeover with new wood, a few supporting screws and stain over the places that were showing, before and after furniture wood working.

I didn’t want to lose the charm of this bench, I could have tried to strip it and make it look new again etc. But there was a lot of character here that I didn’t want to lose or replace so I just grabbed some steel wool and started scrubbing. The majority of the moss and dirt came right off along with even more red paint.

An old red bench makeover of my grandma's gets a thorough makeover with new wood, a few supporting screws and stain over the places that were showing, before and after furniture wood working.

I wondered, what can I do now with all this bare old wood showing through the red paint? I also needed to find a way to make the “new” slats I added match the rest of the bench. (The new slats were the color of the deck if you’re wondering just how “different” they were to the rest of the wood on the bench.) For the bench makeover I decided the best thing to do would be to just stain the entire bench. So I grabbed some leftover Walnut stain by Minwax and went to town, covering the whole thing with a towel, rubbing it in to every crevice and every place the bare wood was showing.

An old red bench makeover of my grandma's gets a thorough makeover with new wood, a few supporting screws and stain over the places that were showing, before and after furniture wood working.

As you can see the bench is far from “new” looking. It is still my Grandma’s old red bench and I love that 🙂 I even left a good majority of the moss. It will be with us and in my family now for many more years and I took my coffee and a blanket out on the deck this morning just to enjoy it like I know my Grandma would have.

An old red bench makeover of my grandma's gets a thorough makeover with new wood, a few supporting screws and stain over the places that were showing, before and after furniture wood working.

Like my mug? Yeah, my mom bought it for me for Christmas years ago. Upon some serious searching online I can’t find it for sale anywhere! Sorry guys 🙁 There are a few with the saying on it but not big and rustic like my old mug here. Anyway, it is definitely a long held belief in the women of my family: The best man for the job is a woman! lol

Hope you guys enjoyed my old bench makeover! See you again later this week!

An old red bench makeover of my grandma's gets a thorough makeover with new wood, a few supporting screws and stain over the places that were showing, before and after furniture wood working.An heirloom bench made by my grandparents wood working gets fixed and stained painted furniture diy do it yourself

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26 Comments

  1. Annie
    June 8, 2016 at 1:47 am

    Tarah, you rock !!!
    I just discovered your blog about a week ago and it has taken me all week to read your past posts. I love that you appreciate things that were owned by our older generations and feel the need to keep and use them. I’m crazy like that too.
    Thank you for sharing the good, bad, ugly and the reality in your posts.
    Again, YOU ROCK !!!!

    • June 8, 2016 at 3:54 pm

      Oh Annie thank you so much for commenting and letting me know 🙂 it is SO awesome to hear that!!

  2. Carol Dammer
    June 27, 2016 at 5:36 pm

    Merle and I still have four of the chairs your Grandfather made that are very similar to the red bench. We have loved them for years, and are still one of the most comfortable chairs we have ever owned. He said they were made from the lumber off the the property, so we cherish them.

  3. October 25, 2016 at 4:06 pm

    You have a lot of talent refurbishing and restoring! Thanks for sharing on the Pleasures of the NW’s DIY party-and don’t forget to leave a comment at the party – Next week’s features that also leave a comment get pinned and tweeted!

  4. October 28, 2016 at 5:04 pm

    Before it just looked plain old, now it looks old but with a nice patina and very desirable. Huge difference.

  5. Jann Olson
    November 14, 2016 at 3:33 am

    I’m glad that you didn’t take away the vintage feel of the bench. So much character in each and every slat! Thanks for sharing with SYC.
    hugs,
    Jann

    • November 14, 2016 at 5:45 pm

      Thank you Jann, yup I had to keep this one as authentic as possible, too many memories to cover up!

  6. November 16, 2016 at 8:33 am

    Great job Tarahlynn! We’ve got something similar which needs the timber replaced. Just another job to add to the list. We eventually get around to them, don’t we? LOL Thanks for linking up to Thriving on Thursdays. I always love seeing what you’re up to.

    Anne @ Domesblissity

    • November 16, 2016 at 3:44 pm

      Anne, isn’t that the truth?! When I fixed this red bench I was working on a different project out in the garage and was waiting for something to dry otherwise it might still just be waiting for me to fix it lol

  7. November 17, 2016 at 6:16 pm

    Wow…looks so pretty! 🙂

    I would love for you to share this with my Facebook Group for recipes, crafts, tips, and tricks: https://www.facebook.com/groups/pluckyrecipescraftstips/

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

  8. November 18, 2016 at 1:35 am

    Enjoyed the pictures and story of your family bench. I’m glad you included some good befores so we really got a chance to see how it retained the look, just got improved. Grammy would be so proud of you.

  9. November 22, 2016 at 6:52 pm

    Wow! What a great project! I am sure your grandma is very proud!

  10. December 1, 2016 at 10:17 pm

    I just love the rustic look of the bench and that mug totally rocks! xo

    • December 2, 2016 at 3:39 pm

      Thanks Carla, it is my favorite mug!

  11. December 20, 2016 at 7:56 pm

    Love your bench makeover, Tarah! Blessings, Cecilia

  12. January 11, 2017 at 6:26 pm

    This is fantastic. To be able to restore an item with such precious memories is just brilliant. I’m sure your Grandma would approve.
    I have a mug that says ‘Where there is a woman there is a way’ someone at work bought it for me and it’s a definite favourite!

    • January 11, 2017 at 7:44 pm

      Julie, I’m gonna have to get me one of those mugs too! Thanks for commenting!

  13. Janice Wald
    January 17, 2017 at 4:52 am

    Thank you for coming to the Blogger’s Pit Stop Linky Party.

    Janice, Pit Stop Crew

    • January 17, 2017 at 4:12 pm

      Thanks Janice, see you next week!

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Making a shoe rack and closet storage out an old ladder

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