More than just a place to change shoes and deposit packages, a bench at your home’s entry can make an inviting first impression to guests. At least that’s what I had in mind when I brought home this remnant church pew a couple years ago.
Functionally the bench has been just what I’d hoped for, but its heavily worn finish doesn’t create an inviting impression for guests. The bench is certainly a candidate for complete refinishing, but with the other projects I have going, I don’t have the time or workspace to refinish the bench now.
But on a trip through my local True Value hardware store, I came across a product that could help me spiff up the bench quickly, without a full refinishing. Howard Restore-A-Finish claims to offer dramatic finishing results and easy application– what do I have to lose?
Using the Restore-A-Finish was a simple wipe-on, wait, then wipe-off affair. It easily darkened and blended the worn finish and damage on the seat of the bench and on flaws throughout the piece. I followed the Restore-A-Finish as directed with an application of Howard Feed-N-Wax to protect the wood and give it lustre. Like the first step, this was also an easy wipe-on, wipe-off process.
As you can see, the result isn’t the perfect refinishing I would get by stripping off the old finish, sanding everything smooth, staining and varnishing. Nonetheless, it’s a big improvement. I’m convinced the results of my quick refinishing are worth the modest cost in time and money for using these products. With the bench looking much better, adding a small throw pillow or a seat cushion is about all that is needed to complete the welcoming first impression I was looking for.
I wouldn’t use this refinishing method on a genuinely valuable antique, but it opens up some interesting possibilities for garage sale and flea market finds. Items that I would have dismissed as needing too much work to be presentable might not be that much work after all.
Disclosure: I was one of the bloggers selected by True Value to work on the DIY Squad. I have been compensated for my time commitment to the program and my DIY project as well as my posts about my experience. I have also been compensated for the materials needed for my DIY project. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.