This bench was on its way to a lonely end as a plant stand in the back of a garden. It was weathered, cracked and rough as guts. But it had good bones, which means it didn't wobble when I sat on it.
I started by removing the two pieces of wood at the back that the former owner had used to make it into a seat before they lost interest. Then I used my Ozito random orbital sander to strip it back to the wood, which was surprisingly undamaged but did have some water stains, especially where the layers of paint had held it against the wood.
Next I used Monarch Fill Sand Go putty to fill some gaps the in joints and where the wooden back slats had been. It is quick and easy to use and comes with putty, spatula and sanding block all in one.
While the putty was drying, I used folded sandpaper to sand between the slats, which had three coats of paint and one coat of dark wood stain. There were tears.
I had to be thorough because I wanted to stain the seat part and I knew that any remaining paint would practically glow if left on the wood.
Once I'd sanded my fingerprints off along with the remaining paint, I gave the seat and the dry putty a quick 80-grit sand, dusted it really well and began painting.
I thought about using my Ozito paint sprayer but I'm still learning with it and didn't want to have to sand everything off if I didn't like it!
I used an interior paint instead of chalk or boutique paint because it's amazingly versatile. It goes on everything and has great self-leveling, so brush strokes are fewer and it's very economical.
After painting the underside with several coats and finishing the arm sections, I double checked that there were no leftover paint chips on the seat. Taking a deep breath, I started applying Cabot's Walnut wood stain. One coat was enough and there were no glowing paint chips.
I allowed 12 hours of drying time before spraying with two coats of Bondall Monocel polyurethane. I prefer the spray can because there are no brush marks.
A good sealer made this piece useable indoors as an entry seat, at the end of the bed as a blanket seat or outdoors as a garden bench. I added floor protectors on each leg in case it was going on polished wood floors or tiles.
The bench sold within two hours and went to a beautiful home instead of landfill.