Park Bench Makeover-Upcycling Wrought Iron Outdoor Furniture

Posted in Furniture Makeover
Outdoor Bench Makeover
Park Bench Makeover-Upcycling Wrought Iron Outdoor Furniture

One doesn’t think about resurrecting furniture, but there are times I swear that the things I find have no heartbeat! I mean, D E A D dead! Just like this park bench I found on the side of the road. It’s the nurse in me that wants to save everything, especially furniture. Besides, it was FREE!

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The Park Bench Makeover

Talk about rough shape; this park bench had seen better days. The only salvageable part was the wrought iron end pieces. A good cleaning and a fresh coat of paint will make a world of difference. But before I could even think about paint, I had a real overhaul on my hands. All of the wood slats were rotten and decayed.

Park Bench Makeover... it was so worth it! Up-cycling old outdoor furniture on a budget.

Supplies list for this Park Bench Makeover:

This is where I called for reinforcements. Mr. Honey Do to the rescue! We used a pair of bolt cutters to remove the old rusty bolts from the park bench. The bolts and screws were rusty, and this was a quick, easy removal.

Using my bolt cutters, I quickly removed the rusty bolts from the rod iron that he;d the slats in place. I'll be replacing them with new ones.

We used the old boards as templates and purchased new slats. Nothing fancy, just your basic inexpensive pine.

Staining The Wood Slats On the Park Bench

The wood slats got a beautiful weathered gray look with Dixie Belle’s Up In Smoke VooDoo Gel stain. Fast and easy, and it’s water-based. A great product to use if you’re sensitive to oil-based products and strong smells. Working inside, it’s important to me to use those products that work and are safe for indoor use. This park bench is going to look amazing!

I applied the VooDoo Gel Stain to the replacement slats for the park bench. It gave the wood a beautiful weathered look.

Spray Painting The Wrought Iron

The wrought iron ends of the park bench had some areas of rust, not to mention it was faded and just not pretty. The quick fix for this was Rustoleum Hammered Paint and Primer all in one. I sprayed two light coats allowing dry time between each coat. I love this look. It’s perfect for those rough metal surfaces that need a new look. The coverage is amazing and will look nice on the park bench.

Securing The Wood Slats To The Park Bench

A gyroscopic inline screwdriver was used to attach the wood slats to the rod iron end pieces of the park bench.

We pre-measured and drilled the holes where the carriage bolts were to be attached to the end pieces of the park bench. After drilling the holes on each end of the wood slats, we used a cool new tool called a Gyroscopic Inline Screwdriver. Righty tighty, lefty loosey! It’s all in the wrist action. Gosh, I love cool tools! This one belonged to Mr. Honey Do. It may not have mysteriously lost its way back to his toolbox.

Flipping the bench over made it easy to tighten all the bolts from the underside.

The Park Bench Reveal!

This park bench makeover was worth every penny. There's a lot of satisfaction in saving these old pieces.
This would make the perfect outdoor porch bench for my front porch.

Oh my goodness! What a transformation! The total cost of this french inspired park bench makeover was less than $30. I think this would make a great bench for a mudroom too! I’ve done a few of these bench makeovers. Check out this catty leopard inspired bench I made from an old headboard. CLICK HERE to see the full makeover.

Until the next project… xo Do 



  1. What a great project, Do! I have a park bench that’s in need of some new loving and your blog post just inspired me to take it apart, give it love, and put it back together again. Love! <3

    1. Thanks, Jennifer! I was very pleased with how it turned out. I’m sure you know not all of them are a huge success. #reallife
      Oh, please share it when it’s done. I love a good transformation story.

      xo, Do

  2. Hi. I also salvaged a bench but couldn’t find a long metal to support the bottom of bench. We don’t really sit on it because I’m afraid it’ll break. Where did you find the bottom supports? Thank you

    1. Hi Yolanda,

      I didn’t replace any of the parts on this bench. Everything was original. I just cleaned and repainted them. The only thing new is the replacement boards. It’s a challenge to find parts for sure. Good luck.

  3. Your bench turned out great. My husband is restoring ours as we speak. He bought it for me when my daughter was born. It was so where nice to sit on the porch and watch the children. .

  4. Thank you for posting this. My husband dragged home a park bench about 6 years ago. And has been sitting in the basement. Now I know what to do with this bench and to get it out of my basement.

  5. Hello Do. I’ve been restoring park benches for almost a year now. It is Absolutely worth doing. I do almost the same exact thing that you do with them. If it has a cast iron back piece with a pattern I like to paint them according to their likeness of what it might look like in real life. How can I post a picture of some of the ones I’ve done so you can see what I do with them. Thank you

  6. How many bottles of the VooDoo Stain did it take for the bench? I have a bench exactly like that that I would like to redo, and love the color of yours but need to make sure I order enough. Thanks for your help.

    1. Hi Sandy,
      Because the stain is water-base it tends to absorb quickly into the dry wood. I’m pretty sure one bottle should be fine if the bench has slats. I don’t think I even used the whole bottle. You can use a spray mist bottle with water to dampen the wood first. That should help the application. Hope it turns out well. 🙂 xo

  7. Hi Do, I love this! I have the same bench in similar (before) condition that a neighbour in HI gave us and it traveled with us to TX and now MD (via military). My plan is to get new slats and stain them and paint the iron. I will sand and slightly round the corners/edges of the slats so they’re comfortable to sit on. I’m still debating on black or white for the iron and I may stain the wood a dark blue…still umming and awwing over that decision…but then I see yours which is so classic looking so perhaps I should go a similar route…????….hmmmm….I’m usually not so indecisive. 😉

    1. Hi Deborah! I’m a military Mom! Thank you to you and your family. As far as the bench goes… White with blue stained wood would look amazing! I have to admit I love the traditional because it’s safe, but your idea sounds stunning and so patriotic. I say go for it! Stay safe in MD. 🙂

  8. We have an old park bench and the boards are busted so I’m wanting to redo, What kind of material did you use to redo the boards?

  9. Well I have many wrought iron benches I usually garbage pick . My older brother redid one, With trex type wood , it had a metal section across the back that he had
    Custom cut the tree for perfect fit . It was so lovely I gave him the matching bench I had also . They both look great out on his deck . His wife used rust oleum hammered on the wrought iron .

  10. Any ideas on upcycling the wrought iron ends if I don’t want to make it into a bench again? Mine has a gorgeous wrought iron back piece that I’m going to make into a headboard, which leaves the question of what should I do with the end pieces?

    1. Hi Kaitlyn,
      I don’t. Nothing comes to mind, but if you know how to weld (I sure don’t), I’m sure you could create something unique out of them. It is a shame to let them go to waste. Good luck with your project. 🙂 xo

  11. Can’t believe this showed up in my feed lol. I just upcycled a old broken bench just like this that I found on the front porch of a place my son just bought & fixed up. I took the old slats & sanded a little put a coat of polish on them and made him a cap rack, key holder, hand towel holder & holder for towel hooks also used on front of a open book holder thing in his kitchen & Used a piece for stoping wall paper edge. My friend took legs to use on her slats she didn’t have legs & im hanging the back piece in his garage. Used everything except the rotted bolts. Yours turned out beautiful!!! There’s another one on his porch that’s not broken that plan to bring back to life.

    1. That’s fantastic, Beverly! And how special that you repurposed it into so many other things. Well done! For sure, grab the other one too. 🙂 xo

  12. I have aa bench just like this in the corner of my back yard that’s falling apart, and have been wanting to restore it. You don’t mention the under bench supports, I’m assuming you used the old ones.

    1. Hi Larry,

      Yes, everything is original on this bench. I was fortunate that all the metal supports were still in good shape.
      Thanks for reading and good luck with your project. 😊

  13. Looks Great but I am wondering how the pine boards hold up when 2 people sit on it. Pine is such a soft wood, with 4′ lengths does it sag with two adults sitting on it? I would be very disappointed after putting the time and money into the project and then find out that it is not durable. PLEASE TEST AND LET ME KNOW!!!

    1. Hi Pam,

      I used the pine wood slats because it was less expensive. My bench doesn’t get sit on very often. Definitely you should consider the weight when choosing your wood. Hard woods would be best.:)

  14. I recovered this one on the curb. I used redwood for the slats and I did not need to cut any bolts. Several were missing but I was able to source replacements. I did consider powder coating the metal pieces but that would have a lot of tiny pieces.

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