Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Church Pew Refinishing Project

Valentine's Day is a holiday where the average husband gets his wife gifts like flowers, chocolate, and cheesy stuffed animals right?  I love that we are anything but average, and that last Valentine's Day my husband gave me an old, dusty, ugly, in not so super shape, church pew for my gift.  We love to stop in Re-Store, or other thrift shops from time to time to see if there are any treasures waiting there for us.  We had happened upon this pew and I stopped to look at it a few times while we were there.  My husband took note, and went back to get it after work the next day.   Best.Gift.Ever.  Isn't it lovely? 
I had plans for a bedroom remodel and eventually wanted to put the refinished pew under the window in my room.  The pew lived in our garage for six months until we finally started working on our room.  Fast forward six months, a new bed and bedding, trim painted, and I was finally ready to get to work on the pew. It was quite possibly, my least favorite project I've ever done, and I considered setting it on fire no fewer than three times during the project.  

I started by taking everything apart.  There was a lot of damage to the wood that needed to be repaired, so I fixed all of the spots using wood putty and then sanded them smooth.  I had to pry the fabric off and remove the overabundance of staples (and by I, I mean my fabulous husband painstakingly pulled staples out of the wood for hours) off of each piece.  Here is what I was working with at that point...

After everything was repaired, I was ready to paint.  I fell in love with Chalk Paint after my friend Sierra posted a tutorial on her blog Sew Much More Than Rubies.  I follow her same steps, but for me it works easier to dissolve the grout in a tablespoon or two of water and then stir it into the paint.  The one thing I don't recommend is using the paint that has the primer already in it.  I forgot to tell the guy at Lowe's not to use that kind recently, and the paint gets really, really thick when you mix the grout in.  It still worked, it just wasn't as easy to work with.  I forgot to take any pictures during the painting process, but it wasn't very exciting.

The part that I didn't enjoy was putting my new fabric on.  The fabric I bought wasn't as heavy duty as the previous fabric, and because of the pattern, it was really tricky to get on straight.  The pew cushion is older and not shaped perfectly, which sent my obsessive compulsive personality into near melt down mode several times.  We ended up putting the pew back together, taking it apart, flipping the cushion another way, and then putting it back together at least another time or two.  By the time we had gotten that done, the top piece of wood split while it was being nailed back on, so I had to repair that, and then touch up all the paint we had messed up throughout the process. (Did you notice the switch from "I" to "We" on the parts that didn't go as planned?  My husband says I never admit to being wrong, so I don't want to start now by saying I had any part in the areas that went poorly. Haha!)  

It isn't as perfect as my OCD would like it to be, but I am coming to grips with the imperfections.  I made a few pillow covers for some old square pillows, and I'm calling it done.  

Here are the before/after pictures...

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