Painted Wood – Church Pews

Post Gist: Painted Wood – Church Pews

Poooooor poor Tim.  Here’s how the saga of the church pews went down…

K: Honey, let’s go for a drive with the kids.

T:  Sure, where are we going?

K: Oh, let’s just toodle around downtown.

 T:  Alright.

K:  Oh, can you just pull in here for a second?

T:  Why?

K:  Brian (my dad) is meeting us here to pick up some 8′ long church pews.

T:  CHURCH PEWS?  Jesus Christ Kylie, WHAT are we going to do with 8′ long church pews…? (sorry for the sacrilege there, but it is authentic.)

Yes, I bought 2 – 8 foot long church pews (and entirely underestimated how big they REALLY were until I got them home.  Oh well, too late now!

I decided that one of them was destined for Maggie’s room – which will be a project for the down the road.  The other one?  Definitely for the dining room…

church pew before painting

The bones were there but make no bones about it – the wood would not stay!

red painted church pew with toss cushions on it

So, I decided to try something new this time.  It’s frickin’ cold out and I didn’t want to haul it outside, so on the advice of a Home Depot dude I gave it a rough-up with a green scrubby pad (which etched it but produced no dust) and applied Behr 2 in 1 eggshell paint.

close up of painted church pew arm

I then distressed it (150grit sandpaper to the edges and wear areas) and applied chocolate brown glaze to it (then wiped it off to produce the aged effect)

close up of painted church pew top

The result?  Well in most spots it distressed quite well, but there were a few spots that ‘peeled’ when I distressed them – meaning the paint didn’t really sink it’s teeth in.  Overall, I’d say it’s successful though as the paint will only get harder over the next few weeks as it cures.

close up of painted church pew with suitcase underneath

Now I have a great spot to store my vintage suitcase (another of Tim’s favourite things…not)  The salmon coloured stripe on it ties into the church pew perfectly!

red painted church pew with distressed edges and glazing

It also still left space for the girls ‘drawing station’ and my ‘reading corner’ AND it opened up the space for an ‘artwork wall’ of my sweetie’s masterpieces!

BUT…here’s the deal.  Tim likes it better the way it was before – as does my friend Fiona.  I like it better the way it is now – as does my Mom.

And now it’s OPINION TIME people!

What do you like better?  Before…

black distressed buffet and hutch

This was the buffet and hutch that I’d refinished (keep in mind the server on the right is LONG gone and was replaced with a sofa table recently)

Or After…..

red painted church pew with toss cushions on it

I’m curious to see where y’all are at as I’m always surprised at other’s perceptions of things.  And if you don’t agree with me I WILL whip you with a wet noodle!  Just joking…only Tim get’s that treatment.

Looking forward to hearing from you!


  1. says

    Well, I have to admit I thought you had definitely lost your marbles when I heard you bought church pews…but, it looks pretty darn good (so I apologize profusely for sniggering behind your back) ;) Honestly I can’t decide which I like the best – and I have always LOVED how the hutch turned out (which shows you how much I like the church pew as well). Sorry, I guess I am no help what so ever!

  2. Naomi says

    I would say I am with Tim on this one, I like the before better. Don’t get me wrong, I like the after too but I think I like the before a little more!

    • says

      Oooo, interesting! I know, the buffet and hutch are awesome, I’m using the buffet still in the room, but not the hutch and I miss it as it was so unique. I don’t even have another spot for the whole thing :(

  3. Allison S says

    I like the new set up.. it makes the space seem bigger and I like there being more wall space that’s not broken up. BUT what do I know, you’re the expert :)

    • says

      Thanks Sheri! I’m slightly obsessed with artwork / photo walls. I have 2 biggies in my house now – I just love having the ability to show a whole bunch of things at once, rather than spreading them throughout my home :)

  4. Fiona says

    Just to be clear, I’m not a totally ‘before girl’ I’m on the fence. I just LOVED the hutch, in particular the top so I’m just having issue having lost that… I do love the flow of the room ‘after’, and the art wall is da bomb. It will be awesome when entertaining! I’m sure my butt will be parked in it often ;)

  5. Lorraine Audet says

    I like the after effect. It looks much more professional I think. They are both great though as is all of your work.

    • says

      Thanks Lorraine! When i do things I try to think what people ‘expect’ when they come into my home – not that I base my choices on it, but sometimes it makes me think a bit more creatively and outside the box to show people unique ideas (aka more professional…) Thank you!!!!

  6. Angela Espey says

    I like that after for sure… but I really love the hutch to I’m torn. If I HAD to pick only one it would be after.

  7. Elaine says

    I have to say I like the after just because I too like all the artwork and the red, brings some warmth to the room. Having said that I’m curious how it looks as a entire room, dinning table and all :)

    PS. I’m with Kim when I heard you were picking up church pews. I thought to myself, that is just a little crazy, even for you …..hehehe!

  8. says

    Oh, I truely LOVE it!! These painted old church benches are one of those future dreams of mine, although I don’t know where they’d go. Anywho…LOVE IT!! -Tabitha

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