How to refurbish a park bench

Updated March 23, 2017

Decorative park benches look great sitting in our yards and flower beds. That is until the summer sun and rain storms take their toll on them. You can make them look as good as new in just a few short steps. You just need a small amount of supplies and a little bit of knowledge about a few basic tools. Read on to learn how to refurbish a park bench.

Place the park bench up on to a work space that's been covered in newspaper. This will save your back from all of the bending to take it apart. Assemble all of the necessary tools within easy reach and you're ready to get to work.

Remove the back of the bench by holding a screwdriver into the screw slots and turn the nut on the other side with the electric drill. This section should come off in one piece, or in slats, depending on the design of the bench. If your bench has a metal design inlay, you'll need to remove that from the wood. If the bench has wooden slats, just remove those from the bench frame by taking the screws out at each end.

Remove the seat slats in the same fashion. Do one side at a time, not one board at a time, as the boards slide in to a lip at each end. Be sure to place all of your nuts and bolts back together and put them in a plastic container for safe keeping. Once everything is all apart, you'll need to sand the wooden slats before you stain them.


This project can be done by yourself, but it's much easier to have someone help by holding parts of the bench while you take it apart, or put it back together.


Work in a well ventilated area, as the paint and varnish fumes are strong. You may also want to wear a mask while sanding.

Things You'll Need

  • Electric drill (optional)
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Spanner to fit nut size
  • Black spray paint (outdoor rust resistant)
  • Small paint brushes
  • Sealing oil or varnish for wood
  • Small wire brush
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About the Author

Donna Thacker has been a writer/photographer for over 15 years. She held the position of associate editor/writer/photographer at Biker Ally Magazine. She currently is a photojournalist for The Biking Life, and has been featured on the front page of The Greenville Advocate, The Hillsboro Journal and The Sorento News. Thacker also designed and published several booklets of historical interest for local organizations.