How to Refinish a Wooden Porch Bench

Having a porch bench is not just a way of adding a decorative element to your porch, but also a practical addition, especially if you enjoy spending some time outdoors. However, since the porch bench is used outdoors, it will inevitably be exposed, to some extent, to weather conditions, including sun, rain and wind. Even if your porch bench is underneath a covered area, it will still require some maintenance, from time to time, in order to keep it in good condition. Refinishing your wooden porch bench is actually quite simple, and you should endeavor to carry out this process at least once a year. Proper maintenance and care will not only lengthen its life, but also improve its look. Let us highlight the main steps involved in the refinishing process.

Tools and Materials Needed:

  • Paint
  • Sealer
  • Paintbrush
  • Stain
  • Wood putty
  • Sandpaper
  • Putty knife or steel wool
  • Damp cloth

Step 1: Analyze

First of all analyze your porch bench carefully. Move your hands along the various parts of the bench, so as to ascertain the condition of the wood. Some chips and scratches will commonly be present. However, apart from these aesthetically based defects, also check the foundation and the frame of the porch bench. Examine its base and sides, as well as the back and underneath the corners. After a careful analysis, you will be able to determine what needs to be done and what tools you will require to accomplish this.

Step 2: Remove the Old Finish

Start off by removing the old finish. This might be a coating of paint, or the sealer you applied to improve the resistance of the bench to outdoor conditions. Brush some chemical stripper onto the wood, or else use a sandpaper to remove the old finish. For the more persistent, or harder to reach peelings, use a putty knife or some steel wool. Through it all, make sure not to damage or scratch the wood.

Step 3: Cleaning

When done, clean the wood before proceeding further. Just wipe the bench carefully with a damp cloth, so as to remove dust particles and other residues. Allow to dry well before continuing.

Step 4: Sanding

Now, use a fine grit sandpaper to smooth the wood bench, especially in parts where it is chipped. When ready, wipe it again with a damp cloth.

Step 5: Apply Wood Putty

While sanding and wiping, you might have noticed parts which require some wood putty to fill them up. Neatly, fill such patches in, and then sand gently with a fine grit sandpaper, so as to smooth them up. Always allow to dry well. Also, use wood putty of a matching color to make the patched up areas less noticeable.

Step 6: Paint

You may wish to paint your wood bench, rather than leave it a natural wooden color. In such a case, make sure to use paint which is appropriate and resistant to outdoor conditions, and apply more than one coat.

Step 7: Stain

if you'd rather preserve a natural wood look, apply a coat of stain or use polyurethane, to improve the wood's durability and color.

Step 8: Apply Sealer

Finally, apply some sealer to coat all of the wood bench. This will greatly help to enhance the finish.