I have long been on the hunt for the perfect church pew for our farmhouse. We found this old church pew on Craigslist & were so excited by it’s size, craftsmanship & price. It just needed a makeover! Refinishing this church pew was a quick & easy makeover we did for FREE (except for the cost of the pew) by simply sanding it down to show off it’s gorgeous oak wood detail & finish.
Our home is the headquarters for many large family dinners & holiday gatherings so seating can often be at a premium.
Our new church pew makes the perfect entryway bench for just inside our living room.
Church pews are great because they can fit a lot of people without sacrificing much needed floor space. Win, win!
Table of Contents
How to Give a Church Pew an Incredible Makeover
*this post contains affiliate links for more information click here*
Why we Sanded our Church Pew verses Painting it
If it was up to me I would have slapped some Old English on this piece and added it to our living room…but Jason had different ideas. 🙂
He wanted to sand it down to show off the gorgeous oak that this pew was made from. And…painting it would completely hide the original wood finish!
In the end, Jason was absolutely right. Sanding this church pew bench was definitely the better idea!
Sanding down the Pew
A few hours & a few less pieces of gum (yup, gum under the seat) & graffiti later this pew was absolutely perfect & ready to come into our home.
We sanded this piece down with our trusty orbital sander, (DEWALT DWE6421K Random Orbit Sander Kit, 5″) .
The only part of the church pew we didn’t sand was the accents on the wood sides.
We liked the contrast of the dark and light shades of wood.
We chose to not add any poly urethane to the church pew since we love the look of the raw wood & we are keeping it in our living room (no drinks without coasters allowed, thank you!)
Strengthening the Church Pew Bench
Over the years, the bench of the pew had started to loosen away from the wood sides. We wanted to make sure the pew would last for many years to come!
To sure it up we used our Kreg jig, (Kreg R3 Jr. Pocket Hole Jig System) to drill holes in the bottom of the bench in order to add some hidden screws to the bottom of the bench and into the wood sides.
Although, I had measured the bench before we brought it home we couldn’t believe how perfectly it fit.
The church pew ends just where our door molding begins!
Now to find a spot for the bookcase we had here previously :).
I added a few farmhouse pillows to our new & perfect entryway bench as well as my favorite watering can & some fresh Annabelle hydrangeas from our front yard.
I also placed a Longaberger basket and an old wooden box underneath to hold my favorite magazines in.
One huge reason we needed more seating was that this guy is FOREVER hogging the comfy furniture :).
Although the floral gallery wall looks pretty above the pew, I have something more personal planned for it that I hope to share with you soon.
I know I am going to love decorating our church pew with seasonal & farmhouse decor.
I hope this inspires you & answers any questions you might have about giving an old church pew bench a makeover?
by Tara Lehman
Don’t Forget to Save & Pin Our Farmhouse Church Pew Makeover!