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Painted Wood – Church Pews

Posted on December 5, 2015 by KylieMawdsley


Paint Wood Furniture Ideas : The Church Pew

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 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!

paint church pew ideas

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.

And now…

red painted church pew with distressed edges and glazing

I 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 wood church pew with red paint in Behr ultra. This photo shows the distressed details

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 its teeth in and I should’ve scrubbed a bit more with the green scrubby. Overall, I’d say it’s successful though as the paint will only get harder over the next few weeks as it cures.

paint church pew using behr ultra paint in red. Great idea for painting wood furniture

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!

Ideas to personalize a home with a kids art gallery wall above a painted church pew. Kylie M Interiors

painted wood church pew and kids art gallery wall

Overall I’m SUPER happy with both my church pew and my kids art gallery.

Chat soon,

Kylie M Interiors Edecor and Edesign


  1. 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. 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!

    1. 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. 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 🙂

    1. 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. 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 😉

    1. 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!!!!

  5. 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.

  6. 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!

  7. 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

    1. Hi Melissa, thank you for asking! I don’t, but I do have one in my garage that I’m going to be painting up shortly. I’m going to see if I like it in my dining room, but if not, I’ll be selling it for sure!


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