How to upcycle a bench seat

View the video

How to upcycle a bench seat

View the video
×

Bench seats are great as kitchen or dining seating options or as stand-alone furniture pieces – there are stacks of amazing, vintage or antique versions up for sale on sites like Gumtree or Facebook Marketplace. Here’s how to upcycle one for your place.

Tools and materials

2 x bench seats (available on Gumtree/Marketplace/Ebay)

Cabots 1 litre satin timber finish sealer

Dulux Wash and Wear Vivid White Gloss

Dust mask

Ear protection

Eye protection

Gap filler

Paint equipment (brushes, rollers, trays)

Sanding equipment (sandpaper, sanding block, electric palm sander)

Screwdriver

Varnish

Tools and materials needed to upcycle an old bench seat

1. Clean and prepare your bench

Before you do anything, you’ll need to remove any dirt and grime from the surface with a damp cloth – if you’re restoring old, antique chairs or benches this may take some time. After this is done – and dry, you’re ready to sand. We used a hand sander, but medium-grit sandpaper or a sanding block works just as well (though it may take longer). Make sure you have eye and ear protection for this, and a dust mask to protect your lungs from all the stuff you’re sanding off. Also, if you’re using an electric sander, make sure you sand WITH the grain of the wood, otherwise you run the risk of ruining your beautiful bench. Once this is all sanded and you’ve revealed the beautiful, natural timber beneath you’re ready for the next step.

Close up of Bunnings team member sanding bench with an electric sander

2. It’s time for an undercoat

You’re ready for a stain-blocker undercoat. This is sprayed onto the surface of the bench, so make sure you have your dust mask on. The stain-block undercoat stops the stain from coming through to your top coat and will make everything look great once it’s finished.

Applying wood varnish to bench seat with a painting brush

3. Now you’re ready to varnish

When you have your tin of varnish – we used Monocel Waterbased Clear Wood Varnish (Satin) – you need to make sure there are no air bubbles trapped inside. Tap the tin against the bench and those air bubbles should rise to the top and escape before you use it.

Handy hint: When you are painting and varnishing something, you need to make sure you varnish first and paint second. Apply one coat of varnish, wait two hours for it to dry, and then apply the second coat, lightly sanding between each coat (a light sandpaper should do the job).

Close up on open can of wood varnish

4. Paint the bench

Once you’ve got your first coat of varnish on the seat you can start to paint your first coat of paint on the sides. Like the varnish, you will have to apply two coats – wait for it to dry between each coat.

Applying white paint to bench with a paint roller

5. It’s time to style!

Once your bench is all dry, you’re ready to move it into your home and start styling - add some cushions or a throw for comfort. And voila! Your very own statement piece of furniture is complete!

View of finished upcycled bench with garden background

Keep watching

Watch the full episode and more D.I.Y. projects from Make It Yours Episode 1: Kitchen Makeover by Haus of Cruze.

hydrangea

Planting & Growing How to create an allergy-friendly garden If you suffer from hay fever or other allergies, then being out in the garden can, at times, be less than enjoyable. But there are some steps you can take to create an allergy-friendly garden so you can spend more time gardening and less time sneezi...

pot

Planters How to choose the right plant pot Pots are a great way to add colour, interest or texture to your outdoor space. Tuscan Path’s Elaine Foster shares her top tips on how to choose the perfect pot.

sunflower

Planting & Growing How to plant and care for sunflowers Sunflowers are a great way to add colour to your garden, and they’re easy to grow and care for. Bunnings Greenlife buyer Katie explains the basics of how to grow sunflowers and shares some tips on how to care for them.

paint

Guides & Projects How to upcycle almost any piece of furniture with paint Rather than throwing out old household items, you can restore them with paint. It’s a quick, easy and affordable way to give anything from furniture to fences a new lease on life. Learn how to paint and prepare different surfaces to get the finish y...

DIY balcony and courtyard garden

Planters D.I.Y. balcony and courtyard garden Even if your outdoor space is limited to a balcony or courtyard, it doesn’t mean you have to miss out on having a garden. The team at Tuscan Path, who have been supplying pots to the Australian marketplace for over 40 years, share some ideas on how ...

 kitchen benchtop materials

Benchtops & Cabinets A guide to kitchen benchtop materials The perfect benchtop will add style to any kitchen. It’ll also see the most action, so choosing the right benchtop for your kitchen – and budget – is an important decision explains Bunnings Kitchen Designer Ben Carey.

Top of the content