Mom’s metal bench was a fixture at my grandmother’s house for as long as I can remember. It was eventually turned into a swing, after someone had drilled holes into the armrests to run the chain through.
I was asked by Mom if there was anything that could be done with it. Well, thankfully, I had already done some metal furniture which also came from my grandmother’s house, so I knew what had to be done. Here is what we started with. You can see the holes in the arm rest in the last one.
I took the bench to my local headstone/monument place, which also does sandblasting. They are the same people I used for the patio furniture I inherited. It took them about an hour to sandblast the bench because of the curled pieces on the seat. The sandblaster did mention just putting a clear coat over it and saying it was shabby chic, which I thought was funny. It was more on the shabby part, than the chic part.
After I picked it up, the bench got its first coat of Rustoleum’s Clean Metal Primer. It was November, so I was spraying that in my garage. I wouldn’t recommend it, since I now have a fine layer of white dust all over everything. I put two coats on the surface.
I also tried to figure out what I was going to do with the holes in the arm rests. I have no experience in metal work, welding, or bonding agents, so I took the easy way out. I just bought washers that were big enough to cover the holes, and fastened them with a bolt and nut.
After I figured that out, and got the arm rests primered, I got to finally see the first coat of color as I was spraying the bench. The rest of Mom’s patio furniture is black, so we thought we would stick with that color. I used Rustoleum’s Black.
Once the bench was painted completely, and dry, I used Rustoleum’s Clear Enamel in satin to give it a nice clear coat. Hopefully that will protect it from some of the elements outside. In this picture, you can see the clear enamel newly sprayed on the right side. Also this picture provides a view of how pitted the metal was from the rust.
I couldn’t just have a black bench, so I decided to give her some lipstick. I painted the arm rests Colonial Red, and loved how they turned out. I also painted some additional washers to go under the bolt that holds them on to the bench, so hopefully it will make the others look like they were there intentionally:)
Now, because it was spitting ice pellets with a 30 mph north wind when we took it back to Mom’s, I don’t have a true finished picture. That will have to wait till spring.
However, in the meantime, we couldn’t figure out why it sat so low to the ground, with the top of the seat at 13″. I did some research, and it looks like it might have once been a glider, like in the below picture that I found on the internet. That would actually make sense, since there are two perfectly drilled holes on each side, and why it was made into a swing later. I have some ideas to add some height but it will have to be in the spring. I’ll edit this post to add new pictures.
Edited to add:
This is what we finally ended up doing to get the bench up to a height that was perfect for the bench to be used. Basically, we bought some concrete blocks with holes, some treated lumber, and some u-shaped clips. We just slipped the lumber through the concrete blocks, and attached the clips to the back leg. This made the bench usable again.
We also bought some extra concrete blocks, which we used to create side tables. We ended up turning those around to give them a flat surface for people to put drinks, but after this picture was taken.
Thanks for looking!
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