As the saying goes, “If only these walls could talk.” This age-old church pew undoubtedly has unending stories from those wearing their Sunday Best. Hours have been spent seated here worshiping, praying, mourning & celebrating. I even uncovered remnants of the youngest of the Sunday Best parishioners with some crayon markings and an old wad of chewing gum. I was so excited to nab this “holy” piece, with high hopes of bringing new life to it. It collected dust for multiple years in my cold storage, only to be discovered by a customer wanting a custom order who shared my vision.
Paint | Honey Sweet
Stain | Jacobean
Sander & Sand Paper
Before | After
Once the church pew was cleaned and sanded, the blank slate was ready for the exciting transformation. I quickly knew that capitalizing on the simple, but ornate carvings was the vision I wanted to follow.
After several text message exchanges and Pinterest shares, the customer finalized her wishes with a mustard yellow color, accented with a dark brown stain. Even with all of the painting experience and steady hand, I still cannot rely on those and resort to utilizing 3M painter’s tape to ensure clean lines. Admittedly, I grew fearful the yellow color just wasn’t right, with each stoke. Perhaps my nerves also came from the notion of me trying a new technique: painting and and a stain distressing overlay.
Two coats of yellow were painted on everything other than the seat. Keeping the end result in mind, the paint coats didn’t need to be perfect, as distressing actually looks for the imperfections.
Once the yellow paint had cured, I moved onto the seat staining. I really have liked the Jacobean color, with the rich dark brown look. I was much to excited to wait to try the distressing, and did a quick teaser, which included some sanding and staining of the ornate carvings. At this point, any hesitation of the color subsided, as I knew the stain/paint combo was the perfect pairing for the look I was hoping for.
Now it was time for full-fledged distressing. With my palm sander and a medium-grit sand paper, I began roughing up corners and edges. Additionally, I did a roughs sanding over most of the flat surfaces as well. It sure seems strange to rough up a previously prestine paint job.
Now, it was time for this first-timer’s attempt to tackle a new type of distressing. I lobbed on some of the same Jacobean Minnwax stain over the sanded paint. I prefer the foam brushes for this. While the stain was still wet, I attacked the few with a clean paper towel. This process allows for imperfections, with re-d0’s and do-over’s, if needed. At this point, Minnwax won, when I carelessly knocked over the stain on our garage floor, as mentioned in the Win Some and Lose Some post.
The final glistening touch was a coat of clear polycrylic finish. Not only does this step seal the paint and stain, but it truly gave the piece a finished look.
To put it simply, this junker’s heart was “junk happy” after this fun custom piece was complete and ready for pick-up.
It was exciting to see the church pew nestled cozy in it’s new home. It seems to be the perfect completion to this customer’s room, and truly will always be in its Sunday Best.