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A wooden bench fits perfectly in a garden. But this invitation to rest supposes that the seat is in good condition. Without maintenance, it is always possible to restore it and change some blades to make it all its charm.

Renovate a garden bench

Practical advice

It is imperative to treat all new pieces of wood with a protective insecticide solution and especially fungicide to prevent rotting of the wood. The wood finish lacquer is glycerophthalic type. It can also be applied to the metal provided it adds a rust inhibitor such as "Rustol". Obviously we can also use a specific paint.

Maintain the wood

If the current trend is PVC garden furniture, which has the advantage of not weathering the weather, the wooden bench retains its followers. On the other hand, they know that if the wood is not regularly maintained, it gets wet with water and rots...
● This old bench is the work of a skilful handyman who made it around the 50s, at a time when the use of arc welding was not yet widespread. This is why the feet are made of an iron frame T bolted together. On this metal support, forms reported, cut in pieces of wood, give the desired curvature to an assembly of wood slats 40 x 25 mm section.
● A few years ago, the bench had been repainted; which saved most of the blades. Nevertheless, some blades are sometimes broken or to replace because too attacked by rot.

Stripping in two stages

First phase: remove as much wood as possible from the extra thicknesses of peeling paint. There is a choice between chemical, mechanical etching or a combination of both.

● The chemical etching consists of applying the gel stripper on all sides of the slats with a brush. The paint is blistering and after fifteen to thirty minutes, it is removed with a spatula. Several consecutive applications may be necessary. But without putting the wood completely bare: the bottom line is that the surface is healthy. It is also important to rinse the substrate thoroughly.
Second phase: sand and burn the metal parts. The whole frame of the feet is iron. The pieces of wood partially covering this frame are dressed with a sheet metal strip pierced on its edges with holes for fastening the slats.
● This sheet, which is slightly attacked by rust, is pickled locally with a drill-mounted bell brush. On iron, it is best to burn the paint and then brush it. All metal parts then receive two layers of lead-free minium.

Slats identical

The two damaged blades are simple planed cleats of 40 x 25 mm. In the upper part, the edges are cut to the plane before being finished with sandpaper. The new slats are fixed on the sheet metal strips covering the feet. The screws engage from below, through the holes of the strip and screw into the wood.
● The whole wood part is treated with a mixture of equal parts linseed oil and turpentine. After absorption, follow a white undercoat and finish two layers of satin lacquer. The metal parts are covered with a white lacquer with an incorporated rust remover.

Brushing, stripping, scraping

Brushing, stripping, scraping

Eliminate loose paint with a wire brush. Then apply the paint stripper with a brush. When the paint film is softened, remove the whole by scratching with a spatula.

Clean the bench

Clean the bench

To wash the bench, use a pressure washer. It neutralizes the residual chemical action and takes off the paint particles that have not adhered to it. Work closely enough...

sand down

sand down

Finishing can be done by manually sanding the blades with sandpaper (80 grit), or using a rotary brush mounted on a drill.

Flame-stripping

Flame-stripping

Blow off the metal parts (here the frame of a foot). As soon as the paint softens, remove it with a wire brush. Be sure to wear a respirator.

Apply an antirust

Apply an antirust

This strip of sheet metal pierced with holes on its edges serves to fix the new slats. Where a blade is to change, brush the sheet and apply an anti-rust (here, a lead-free minium).

Replace damaged slats

Replace damaged slats

Bench returned, replace the damaged slats. Keep the new ones with clamps. Insert the screws into the holes of the pre-drilled sheet and screw fully into the batten.

To paint

To paint

To make it easier to hang the paint on the wood, make sure you pass an underlay, followed by the application of two topcoats. Paint the feet with a white antirust lacquer.


Video Instruction: Restoring a cast iron and hardwood garden bench