DIY - How to Restore a Cast Iron and Wood Garden Bench
Restored Garden Bench
Close up of end of Bench before Restoration
From Old to Beautiful Again
If you have a garden bench, or other outdoor furniture, that is in need of a new look, you can make the repairs yourself and save money.
The great thing about outdoor furniture is, it does not have to be perfect to fit in just fine in a casual, relaxed setting. But, you don't want to be using furniture that is ready to break either.
The best way to maintain your outdoor furniture is to store it during the winter months so it won't be exposed to the harsh winter weather. But, if you don't have a place to store the furniture, you can use covers especially for outdoor use.
But, what do you do if you have a garden bench that is in need of updates in order to keep it from getting to far gone? Restore the garden bench, or other items such as a table, or chair. It is the same basic principals regardless of the item.
For this article the focus will be on restoring a cast iron and wood garden bench.
This bench was purchased used, because we knew it could be beautiful again, and we love to restore items that are old back to new again. If was a "treasure" found at a local peddlers mall. It was the end of the season, and the price was right, so it found a new home.
After its restoration this bench is proudly display in the front lawn. The photo on the right is of the finished product. The garden bench was made out of good materials, and was still strong, except for being shakey, and needing new hardware.
The bench was rusty of the cast iron ends and the wooden slats needed to be sanded to get years of builtup grim, and wear removed.
It had potential, and it took some work to get it back to like new again, but it was worth it, and now it is good for along time. Notice the photo on the right, it is a closeup of the back and end of the bench before it was restored.
Before the ends were restored
Details on Restoring a Garden Bench
Here are some details for a restoration like this-
Disassemble the entire garden bench. It will make the project much to complete.
Plan on replacing the hardware- screws and washers, nuts etc. they will be rusty, and new hardware is better here.
After the bench is taken apart, sort and place the wooden slats on a table and sand them. Use an electric belt sander if you have one. This is a lot of wood to sand by hand, but it could be done.
Sanding with a belt sander takes about 5 minutes per board. Dust off all loose particles after you have sanded the wood.
Apply a coat of clear weatherproof sparuratane (outdoor poly) to all sides and ends of the wooden slats.
The cast iron ends will need to have the rust removed, by an electric 4 1/2 inch angle grinder.
Carefully use the grinder to remove all rust from the cast iron ends. (Wear protective safety glasses, sparks will fly).
Remove all loose particles from the iron when finished.
Depending on if you want to keep the garden bench it's original color or change it, choose a paint color for the ends. Spray paint the ends with a rust resistant paint.
Allow the wooden slats and the cast irons ends to dry overnight before you reassemble the garden bench.
After the ends were painted
Tools for the Job
Enjoy your "like new" bench
When all of the parts to the bench have been left to dry overnight put the bench back together and enjoy it in your favorite shady area of your yard.
Re apply a new coat of sparurathane every few years to keep the wood protected.
You have just created a family heirloom for the next generation. The bench should be stored during winter months to prolong its new look.
Also to avoid rust, place the bench on stepping stones, or another solid surface instead of grass.
Keep it away from grass being thrown on it during mowing, to help keep the grim and buildup from accumalating on the legs and seat.
With proper maintenance your bench should last for many years.
The cost of a garden bench like this one new is approximately $300.00 - $400.00. It is made with teak or cedar wood and heavy cast iron ends. Total cost for bench, and new hardware, and sparurathane was less than $70.00.
And there is a story that goes with the bench, so that makes it priceless.