When you get married, you each bring certain items with you. One of the things my husband brought was this bench. It was old and worn even then. Somewhere in our second year of marriage I repainted the metal ends and did a slight sanding to the slats, but it still looked pretty similar.

It sat on the front walk by our old house for many years, and when we moved here it sat by the front door until April of this year.

A few years ago I saw a picture of some peaches on a black bench on Helene’s blog. I instantly knew what the bench needed: black paint. However, the funds to purchase paint were non-existent, so it sat there looking just the same.

This year, however, I was able to get some black paint. My husband bought a quart of Valspar satin paint that is good for both metal and wood. With the help of my boys, the bench was taken apart. I painted the metal ends and the metal center strip.

The bench slats were quite warped, and several were split at the ends where the screws were supposed to hold them to the bench. My husband said that those slats were going to have to be replaced, which was not an inexpensive fix. So I waited again.

Meanwhile, we started taking out the rocks in the front yard by hand. I was raking and shoveling the landscaping rocks into a wheelbarrow (we gave the rocks to neighbors who needed their rocks replaced where they had become thin) when my mom drove up. I mentioned the bench slat dilemma to her, and while we were talking, she looked to the end of the street, where a neighbor had just put these two benches out for the trash.

My husband and I walked down to the end of the street and carried those two benches home.

I was just recently able to work on the bench.

The boys again helped me to remove the slats off of the two “new” benches.

My husband and I chose the straightest, nicest slats from the three benches. In the end, we only kept a few of the slats from my original oak bench. The rest came from the two teak benches from the neighbor.

I sanded the slats.

My dad cut three slats down to be skinnier, as the original bench had 3 skinnier slats. (Which I ended up putting back in the wrong places! I won’t be moving them any time soon, however).

We found that the holes didn’t perfectly line up between the two slats, so my dad also cut the ends of the slats off.


My husband redrilled the holes for me. They’re a two-part hole so that the screws can sit in them.

I sanded some more and painted them with two coats of paint.

The boys and I painstakingly put the slats back on. It was a three-person job, holding up the heavy iron ends and getting the slats on.

My husband screwed the metal support piece on the back and helped to tighten the nuts on the back of the slats. We used screw from the neighbor’s benches, as they were not rusty like the ones from my original bench.

We then carried the bench to its new resting place in the white garden. I touched up the paint on the slats where it was needed. I’m really happy with it in the garden now!

The roses are covered in buds right now. In a couple of days they’ll be open and I’ll take pictures of the white garden for the white garden reveal!

Update: You can see the details of my white garden in my white garden reveal post.

This post is linked to the following link parties:

The Scoop, Inspire Me Tuesdays, Furniture Feature Friday, Wow Us Wednesdays, Whimsy Wednesdays, Crystal and Co, My Girlish Whims, Thistlewood Farms, The Vintage Farmhouse, My Romantic Home, Jennifer Rizzo, Feathered Nest Friday, Frugal Friday, From My Front Porch to Yours,

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  1. I like it! My garden bench is black also, but it came that way. My oldest gave it to me…it was part of a backyard makeover he won off the radio. He has no yard…lives in an upper flat with no yard access. What about the other 2 benches you used? Will you do something with those in the future…were there 2 reusable ends on each of them?

  2. Terrific use of resources; your patience has been rewarded with a fabulous bench that looks like you spent beaucoup dollars at a posh store. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Your “new” bench turned out beautiful! I have never seen a black bench and think I like it better then the brown bench. The best thing I like about your bench is that it was a family affair, including your Mom who spotted the other benches:) Cant wait for the White Garden reveal.

  4. The bench looks beautiful, and the black slats are much more sleek and inviting.I’m so proud of myself. Last night my elder daughter showed me that her cold-weather pajama pants are getting too short. I rummaged through a stash of fabric that was given to me and found a nice pink floral print (about 2 yds.) I dug out a pattern which I already had, elastic which was also given to me, and used thread that I already had. I whipped up a new pair of pj pants for free within one evening and morning. Younger daughter will also be able to use them in a couple of years.Brandy, you have been such an inspiration for helping me to “see” what I have and figure out how to use it.

  5. I have not done Pinterest so I asked daughter and she showed me your page .I see several obelisks amongst your pictures . I like the balcony pictures also. Reminds me of my term spent in Italy as student.

  6. We did this with a couple of benches a few years ago. The concept is simple, but it does take many hands and a lot of work. Your efforts have certainly paid off in a beautiful bench.

  7. I’m impressed with your patience. The bench is beautiful. And I LOVE when I can trashpick on my own street! We’ve gotten some very useful things that way – no less than 3 bikes over the years!

  8. I just scored a bench just like yours. It’s still in pretty good shape but does need to be refreshed. Yours looks great! I’m going to have to find help taking apart and putting back together though. I guess I was thinking it wouldn’t be that hard. Now I have warning so hopefully won’t become frustrated! I am popping over to see your white garden.

  9. I thought I could do it myself, and to some extent I could, but it was helpful to have another person hold up the heavy iron sides while I took it apart and again while I put it back together. It was just cumbersome, and some of the screws stuck. Congratulations on your bench!

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