3 Bench Transformation

Let’s take a break from the house for a small but charming transformation. Like I said when we purchased the home that the previous owners left behind some personal belongings. One of them happens to be this outdoor bench.
Immediately I knew it wasn’t going to the trash pile and that I wanted to try to revive it. Sure it was faded and had a few scratches but nothing a little elbow grease and spray paint couldn’t fix.
Throughout our marathon, it was basically used as one of the only flat surfaces within sight so at any given time it was piled with miscellaneous tools, and I think it was even used as a tile saw bench. Either way it was Dirty with a capital D.

So the bench got a thorough cleaning twice over. The basic method, wearing gloves as usual, was a mixture of hot, hot water with Dawn dish soap. Every nook and cranny of this baby was removed of insect webbing and baby nests, grass clippings, dirt and everything else. Since it was a warm sunny day it was set out in the sun to dry.
The next day the bench was elevated and placed on a scrap box from our bathroom remodel so grass wouldn’t stick to the legs. That box served as a ‘painting tarp’ for many projects and is now covered in paint. Anyhow, I also found the elevation was easier for the paint to reach many small crannies.

Next up, my favorite part- spray paint. We used Rustoleum’sUltra Cover 2x’s in the gorgeous Satin Lagoon. Rustoleum 2x’s is my go to paint since it really has the 2x’s coverage, less time painting more time for drooling over the results. I think we picked up more colors and paint cans than needed during one of Menards spray paint sales when a can is under $3.
I choose the color because I just can’t get enough of what I like to call peacock teal. Since the interior color pallet didn’t exactly jive with my newfound love, I had to go all out- outside. While at the paint store, I also choose a Key Lime Green spray paint for some exterior accent pieces later down the road. Both colors were run by the beau so he didn’t feel left out and I got his stamp of approval- as in “whatever you want.”
Source- It may look yellow, but it truly is a bright cheery green.

Moving on, with everything in its place and my trusty painting gloves it was time to put on a first coat. Now I don’t know about you, but sometimes I get overly excited for results right away that I have to hold myself back from overspray. Overspray usually means unsightly streaky paint globs all over the place. It may have happened once or twice but luckily I quickly wiped them away and went over each spot with a lighter coat.
After the first coat.
A bit dull.

After a while, it became second nature just to perform a lighter coat which also wastes less time and paint. Reading the directions on the can, I waited for the recommended time frame to flip it over and give the underside its first coat:
Don’t forget those feet.
Second coat on the bottom.
After a few days, this baby was looking like new. Of course it probably could have taken a day but I get distracted on other small projects that I forget to come back during the small window of time to apply another coat that I have to wait the cure time. I think it took two and a half cans and four coats to adequately spray the entire piece. So about $6 later I had a new pretty bench.

Onto the photo fest:
Excuse the exposure value; that’s what I get for using the auto feature.
In real life it’s a few shades darker.
One important lesson we learned was that after a month or so in the harsh summer sun, the paint started to slightly fade. To remedy I added another light coat of the Lagoon (left over from the half can) concentrating on a few main spots and then added a Clear coat of Rustoleum.
And here's a side by side:

I think the salvage was well worth it, when I looked around the stores for outdoor furniture nothing was in the shade I wanted, so this way I paid less for the color I really wanted. Win Win. The color and the transformation caused a waterfall of various garage sale finds and curbside salvages. It even inspired me to pick up an outdoor fabric and my sewing machine, but those will have to wait for another day.

What do you think? Totally worth the $6 to upgrade the free bench? Have you ever saved something from the trash to revive it?

P.S. We were not paid or perked from any of these vendors; we just happily picked up the supplies necessary for the job.


  1. nice! how has the paint job held up?

    1. After two years of 'gentle use' and indoor storage during the winter, it has held up very well. The clear coat has helped. I did notice a small gouge (someone must have had keys in their pockets), and I touched up with a few sprays of the paint followed by another round of clear coat. Hope that helps!


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