Entry Bench Quick Refinishing

by Josh on September 30, 2010 · 6 comments

in furniture,Projects

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.

Bench before

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?

Howard Refinishing Products

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.

Bench afterAs 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.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Shannon September 30, 2010 at 4:43 am

That looks great! I’ve been on the search for a similar entryway bench. Hoping I get one that turns out as wonderful as yours!


Flooring Pro September 30, 2010 at 9:56 pm

What a great improvement! Looks much much better 🙂 and it was so quick and easy. Thanks for sharing the tips!


Leslie October 22, 2010 at 10:02 am

We used Howard’s Feed-N-Wax on our table, and it worked great!



Elisa October 29, 2010 at 9:30 am

I totally want an old church pew! It’s so unique yet familiar at the same time. Love it.


Josh October 29, 2010 at 10:10 am

Thanks, all. If you want a church pew for yourself, they are pretty easy to come by. I see them on Craigslist regularly for reasonable cost and in architectural salvage shops


Josh Perlson November 26, 2010 at 10:09 am

Sand it down lightly with 120 grit or so and then use danish teak oil, finish with feedwax, you should get better results.


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