Incredible Church Pew Makeover for our Farmhouse (easy DIY Church Pew Restoration)

I have long been on the hunt for the perfect church pew for our farmhouse.  Our home is the headquarters for many family dinners and holidays so seating can often be at a premium.  Church pews are great because they can fit a lot of people without sacrificing much needed floor space.  We found this pew for sale on Craigslist at a local antique shop and were very excited by it's size and craftsmanship. living room

Sharing all the details of this gorgeous church pew makeover & DIY tips for how to complete a vintage church pew restoration for free with pictures.

DIY How to Give a Church Pew an Incredible Makeover

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Sharing all the details of this gorgeous church pew makeover & DIY tips for how to complete a vintage church pew restoration for free with pictures. #churchpew #farmhousestyle #oakbench https://lehmanlane.net

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 & low price.

It just needed a makeover or restoration!

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. 

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 or keeping it’s dark original stain would completely hide the original wood finish.

In the end, Jason was absolutely right.

Sanding this church pew bench was definitely the better idea to showcase this vintage piece!

Sanding down the Pew

We took our vintage church pew out to our garage because sanding can be MESSY.

Church Pew Makeover Before - sanding the wood

If you are planning on doing any sanding to your vintage pew, I would definitely recommend doing all the sandy outside or somewhere you don’t mind getting covered with sand dust!

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, find it HERE on Amazon)

Church Pew Makeover before sanding

The only part of the church pew we didn’t sand were the open accents on either side of the pew. 

We liked the look & contrast of the dark and light shades of the oak wood. 

I have long been on the hunt for the perfect church pew for our farmhouse.  Our home is the headquarters for many family dinners and holidays so seating can often be at a premium.  Church pews are great because they can fit a lot of people without sacrificing much needed floor space.  We found this pew for sale on Craigslist at a local antique shop and were very excited by it's size and craftsmanship. living room

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.

However, you could add a couple clear coats of polyurethane if you were worried about getting spills or rings on your pew.

Strengthening the Sides & Seat of the Church Pew Bench

Over the years, the bench of the vintage pew had started to loosen away from the wood sides. 

We wanted to make sure the pew would last for many years to come in our farmhouse!

Adding hidden screws with kreg jig

To sure it up we used our Kreg jig, (find it on Amazon HERE) 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.

Church Pew Makeover - hidden screws with kreg jig

Although, I had measured the church bench before we brought it home we couldn’t believe how perfectly it fit in our living room. 

The church pew ends just where our door molding begins! 

I have long been on the hunt for the perfect church pew for our farmhouse.  Our home is the headquarters for many family dinners and holidays so seating can often be at a premium.  Church pews are great because they can fit a lot of people without sacrificing much needed floor space.  We found this pew for sale on Craigslist at a local antique shop and were very excited by it's size and craftsmanship. living room

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.

Can you believe how GORGEOUS the original oak wood is on our vintage church pew?!!!

Church Pew Makeover - watering can white hydrangeas

I also placed a Longaberger basket and an vintage wooden box underneath to hold my favorite magazines in.

I have long been on the hunt for the perfect church pew for our farmhouse.  Our home is the headquarters for many family dinners and holidays so seating can often be at a premium.  Church pews are great because they can fit a lot of people without sacrificing much needed floor space.  We found this pew for sale on Craigslist at a local antique shop and were very excited by it's size and craftsmanship. living room, entryway

One huge reason we needed more seating was that this guy is FOREVER hogging the comfy furniture :).

Church Pew Makoever labradoodle on the sofa

Although the floral gallery wall looks pretty above the pew, I have something more personal planned for the white frames, you can see how we created a DIY photo galley wall HERE).

I have long been on the hunt for the perfect church pew for our farmhouse.  Our home is the headquarters for many family dinners and holidays so seating can often be at a premium.  Church pews are great because they can fit a lot of people without sacrificing much needed floor space.  We found this pew for sale on Craigslist at a local antique shop and were very excited by it's size and craftsmanship. furniture makeover / hydrangeas and watering can
I have long been on the hunt for the perfect church pew for our farmhouse.  Our home is the headquarters for many family dinners and holidays so seating can often be at a premium.  Church pews are great because they can fit a lot of people without sacrificing much needed floor space.  We found this pew for sale on Craigslist at a local antique shop and were very excited by it's size and craftsmanship. floral gallery wall from Ikea

I know I am going to love decorating our church pew with seasonal & farmhouse decor for many years to come.

I hope this inspires you & answers any questions you might have about giving an old church pew bench a makeover or restoration?

by Tara Lehman

Don’t Forget to Save & Pin Our Farmhouse Church Pew Makeover to your favorite DIY projects board on Pinterest!

I have long been on the hunt for the perfect church pew for our farmhouse. Church pews are great because they can fit a lot of people without sacrificing much needed floor space.  We found this pew on Craigslist & were very excited by it's size & craftsmanship, it just needed a little makeover! #entrywaybench #churchpew #farmhousestyle https://lehmanlane.net

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Comments

    1. We were over the moon excited with how well our church pew fit in our living room. Thank you so much for stopping by Carolann!

  1. Tara, we picked up an old, old church pew from a guy on the river – it was SO long and painted chocolate brown. I snagged it for $20 and couldn’t get hubs and the pick up truck there fast enough. My husband took the entire thing apart and we cut off about 15″ of it. He sanded it and then pickled it with a white tint – it’s one of my favorite things. It has pocketknife carvings on it and on the back of the bench, carved in perfect block letters is the word S**T; I can imagine a bored 12 year old boy in a mountain revival meeting he was forced to go to, on the back row with blade in hand and doing his best engraving job!!!!!!

  2. A beautiful piece for your home. Well done! Not sure I have ever seen a church pew for sale. Hmm be on the lookout! Thanks for sharing.

        1. Thanks so much for stopping by to see our church pew Shellie! I honestly don’t remember what grit sandpaper we used except to say that we started out with a more course grit to take off most of the finish and ended with a fine one to smooth everything out. Sorry I couldn’t be of more help!

  3. Thanks so much for posting this. I have a very dark stained antique church pew and I was wondering if I could just sand it to lighten it or if I’d have to use paint stripper (which I don’t want to do). You’re post was very helpful and the pew is beautiful!

  4. The outcome of your bench is so beautiful, it stopped me in my tracks! I was lucky enough to acquire a church pew of my own and immediately went to cleaning it up with Restore-a-Finish, but now I may just want to sand it all down!! Quick question though… did you put any sort of sealant or wax on it? With kids and animals I worry about it not getting too beat up.

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by and for your sweet comments about our church pew makeover Melissa! I chose not to add any poly or wax to the church pew because I did not want to change the look of the wood. It has lasted a year now with lots of use. Our thoughts have been that if something happens we can always sand it down again 🙂

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