I had the pleasure of refreshing a stunning authentically antique church pew for some clients in the next town over. This client knew she loved this piece she had found in the Eastern Prom of Portland in their new country-setting home, but wanted it to have a refreshed look.
She sent pictures and I created an inspiration board to see which direction we might take the project.
Once we decided to strip and lighten up the base wood and paint the edges with some light distressing I got to work on stripping the decades of deep-set varnish, chiseling away the hardened gum that church-goers had stuck under the bench and revealing the stunning worn spots where so many of the faithful had perched themselves. It was a ton of work to get this down to raw wood and incredibly satisfying.
We used a special oil-based highly durable non-amber-ing varnish for the bench seat knowing the function this will serve and then the ends got white General Finishes milk paint, light distressing and a few coats of High Performance Satin topcoat.
We delivered this piece back into a freshly painted cheerful front entryway the day before they hosted a party and we hope that it continues to be a cherished piece in their home for years to come with its new lightened-up look.