16 responses

  1. Heather
    July 30, 2010

    Great find! I like the blemishes… I would sand and stain or just do a clear varnish. my 2 cents!

  2. Mom2fur
    July 30, 2010

    Hey, I’m with Heather. People pay a fortune for ‘distressed’ furniture! Just make sure it’s structurally sound (so someone bigger than a robin can sit on it without it crashing to the floor), then simply clean it up a bit and ‘seal’ it.
    Or…what about painting it white?

  3. Meadowsweet Cottage
    July 30, 2010

    I’d sand it down to good wood, glue whatever needed it, put several coats of tung oil on it and enjoy my treasure. A little shrinkage between boards wouldn’t bother me unless a sliver found its way to me when I sat down :)

  4. Lynn
    July 30, 2010

    I have the stain glass windows out of a church. I lightly sanded them and slowly put one coat of oil paint on after another. I was amazed at how much oil paint the wood drank up. Hope this helps

  5. Dan@retrooregon
    July 30, 2010

    I do quite a bit of furniture work. It is tough to get it back to the original look by sanding, staining, and refinishing. Hard to remove weather/water stains. If it were mine I would probably do a light sanding to remove old finish and smooth edges and spray paint a dark color like satin black. That would hide some of the seam separation. Good luck, show us what you decide.

  6. shopannies
    July 30, 2010

    very much remember the old wooden pews and the hours we spent sitting in them at church. Yours looks great

  7. Heather’s Blog-o-rama
    July 31, 2010

    I don’t know about restoring furniture…not at all..but putting some sort of a glaze..or is that called a sealant…something to keep the wood nice and smooth…with no cracks or splinters. Also fixing it so it won’t break when someone sits on it!!! Otherwise from time to time using a good oil for wood, so it stays well-conditioned. A friend of mine used linseed oil on a wooden bed once to keep the wood in tip top shape…but I’m not sure why. Good luck with the project :) :) Love and hugs from Oregon, Heather

    p.s. When you create a blog button, let me know. I’d happily post it on my blog!!!

  8. Amy @MaisonDecor
    July 31, 2010

    I would glue it or make sure it is sound and then I would paint it a fun color like turquoise or orange or hot pink!!

  9. Deborah
    July 31, 2010

    I think you got some good tips. I second sanding, gluing and wood filler in the spots that might need it then either paint or stain it and seal it. It will probably never be the same but it will last longer. Use outdoor paints and sealers. Remember wood decks are meant to withstand weather so look in that area of the hardware for some ideas. Good luck with your treasure!

  10. Anonymous
    July 31, 2010

    I would sand and prime and paint and distress the edges. The distressed look is great! you can poly it over the top, add some pillows and have a nice bench for an entryway, front porch, or end of the bed.

  11. The Tidy Brown Wren
    July 31, 2010

    A few years ago I saw a pew on the side of the road and begged my hubs to grab it. It was in bad shape and had been exposed to the weather for some time. I sanded it with steel wool and used an exterior poly stain to finish it. All of the dings and stains still show but I love the history those scars provide. We enjoy using it on our screened porch and I simply wipe it down with a cleaner a few times a year to keep the mold and dust off of it.

  12. Kimkarlene
    July 31, 2010

    Jami, I went on a Garden Walk in my area a couple of weekends ago. I also have an old pew…yours is beautiful! As I entered a backyard during the walk I noticed two long church pews sitting side by side outside behind the garage decorated with beautiful pillows. The garage has a ledge from the roof sticking out over the pews which protects them from the rain. I asked questions and found out the pews have been brushed with “boat varnish.” Small holes have been drilled in the seats every 2 feet so that any water will drain down below. The pews sit out side year round even during our Michigan winters. They look fabulous where they sit and I am sure make a wonderful area for chatting during visits with friends.
    Have a Great Day!….Kim

  13. Anonymous
    August 1, 2010

    I think it’s worth the work too, and the “scars” will tell the story of those busy years. It will be beautiful.

    I have the same stories on my granite kitchen countertops! Cast iron not washed right away leaves a rust stain, while the splashed (ok, exploded) salad dressing leaves dark rings. But, those were awfully busy years…

    But, how about protecting yourself while you sand off the mold? Scary stuff. Would a simple dust mask be enough?

    Enjoy! Kerry

  14. Debbie
    August 2, 2010

    All I know is I love the PEW whatever you do with it it will be great. We have a pulpit, and I would love the pew to go with. That was big though and I would have had the same problems.

  15. Blake
    February 22, 2014

    Any final results come of this? Are there any websites with step by step repairs? We have an old church pew from our grandmother, some hard areas to sand on the sides due to the style carved into the wood. Any one have more detailed step by step how too?

    • Jami
      February 22, 2014

      While it’s not a step-by-step pew repair post, Blake, this post shares what I did to makeover the pew:

      http://www.anoregoncottage.com/pew-project-completed/

      I share some details and decisions I made (to paint or restain) as well as the finished product. The pew has now lived on our porch for 3 years and is doing well with the repairs. :)

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