DIY Garden Bench Makeover

This DIY Garden Bench Makeover is one of my favorite projects of the year! Don’t you love it when you can upcycle something you already own and use it to solve a current need, rather than having to buy something new? Those are my favorite kind of projects!

Several months ago, my sweet mother-in-law gave me this cute little garden bench that she no longer had a use for. I think it was originally intended as more of a plant stand, but I decided to give it a makeover and use it next to my raised bed garden as a place to set my harvest basket, gardening tools, or cold drink when I’m working in the garden. It’s even sturdy enough to sit down and take a break if needed.

A Farmers Market Theme for my DIY Garden Bench Makeover

The bench was already adorable with a cute little flower and vine pattern, but since it was now going to be used by my vegetable and herb garden, I decided that a “farmers market” update would be fun!

My husband helped out by giving it a light sanding with the orbital sander. I liked that the bench already had some weathering and patina to it, so I didn’t want to repaint the whole thing and make it look brand-new. He sanded it just enough to remove the flowers and vine.

I used a can of Krylon Fushion spray paint in a Matte Clamshell color to lightly spray the spots that were a little bare, and then used a chip brush to gently spread it out, without actually giving it a heavy coat of paint.

Copper Tops on my DIY Garden Bench Makeover

The top of each picket has a little birdhouse-like roof that was a maroon color. I decided to update it with a light coat of the copper-colored Rustoleum that I had leftover from my Spring Birdhouse Centerpiece project. I like how the copper spray paint settled into the weather-worn spots on the wood, and gave the copper a distressed look.

Stencils for the Farmers Market Theme

I made very simple stencils using my Cricut Maker, and cut them out on stenciling vinyl.

I gave the lettering a coat of Mod Podge first, which is my secret weapon against paint-bleed. After that was dry, I filled in the letters with black paint that was suitable for outdoors.

It’s important to remove the stencils while the paint is still slightly wet, because this prevents the edges of the paint from lifting with the stencils.

Then, I touched up any small flaws using a black Sharpie oil-based paint pen. Have you seen these? They are perfect for fixing small blemishes in your lettering!

Clear Coat Protectant

Before moving my DIY Garden Bench outside, I gave it a couple of coats of a clear coat protectant meant for outdoor use. I want my garden bench to last as long as possible.

It’s the perfect place to set my cold drink, my basket, and my tools. Plus, doesn’t it just look so cute next to the raised-bed, deer-proof garden we built last summer?

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20 thoughts on “DIY Garden Bench Makeover

  1. Niky, that was so nice of your MIL to give you the bench! What a wonderful makeover ~ perfect out there in your garden!! Happy to have featured your post at last week’s Share Your Style #306. <3

    I do have to ask, do you spray/paint Mod Podge all over the back of the each stencil, then apply it and paint? I haven't done much work with stencils.

    Thank you,
    Barb 🙂

  2. I love that you were able to take that bench and make it your own! Great job – Thank you for sharing at Party In Your PJ’s. You are being featured on my blog Tuesday evening.

  3. The bench turned out so cute! I love it! I never thought about using Mod Podge to help prevent paint bleed with a stencil. I will have to try that sometime! Also, I need to build myself a garden like yours. I’m showing my husband this, so we can plan for next spring. 🙂

  4. This turned out so adorable!! I really like that you leaned in to its distressed look and managed to eliminate the painted vine without having to repaint the whole thing. It looks great next to your deer proof garden 😍!

  5. Niky, I love the transformation! I need a Cricut Maker…I do love your font choices in the stencils. I am inspired to find pieces like this and upcycle them…such a great tutorial. Thanks for sharing and as always, happy hopping with you!

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