Restoring and re-purposing garden furniture

In the world of garden furniture, there are a lot of old pieces and a whole lot of new pieces that are damaged or worn out. I try to repair things whenever possible. Sometimes the original item is rusted away and is just a shell. I’ve cut out missing pieces or repaired them by repurposing. Sometimes they are a good repairable repair and sometimes they aren’t. For example, one of our metal garden benches that has been covered with plywood over the years. While I was out playing around in a box of salvaged wood scraps, I noticed that the bench top had a particularly deep gouge through it.

Even though the wood was rusted, I thought it might be salvageable and so I reached my hand inside the wood and scooped out the loose rust and washed it off. The rust was so deeply ingrained that it was still visible to my bare hand but it came out. I continued to scrape it down, used a wire brush, and then sprayed a thin coat of polyurethane on top to seal it.

I’m happy with the result of my restoration of the garden bench top.

I did a few more things to protect the bench, like installing decorative nails.

There’s a lot of creativity in this repair. I think this kind of stuff just comes out of the loving ability of fixing things that don’t seem to be repairable.

In the end, I didn’t buy new stuff to replace the bench top on the bench. Rather I had the bench built on the existing bench that is well on its way to becoming a sturdy, well-built piece.

After making it secure, I brought it inside and used the bench to build the corn hole game and the new garden bench! I don’t know why, but I am obsessed with making corn hole sets!

The Original Garden Bench

While I was restoring this bench, the bench top reminded me that the bench itself has been recycled for years. This bench was built in the 1950’s on the top of a ladder frame. The ladder frame was stripped of its wooden cross members. These wooden cross members were then used to rebuild garden boxes. My grandfather was quite the handyman and built garden boxes for us when I was growing up.

As I looked at the ladder frame, I thought it would make a perfect platform to build something new on. I removed the old ladder frame cross members and made a platform to set the garden bench on. Here’s the old ladder frame so you can see how it looks stripped of its cross members.

I’ve kept the ladder frame clean and cleared of debris.

As I was working with the ladder frame, I noticed that it was also a great platform for building things like stools and benches. These would complement my teak garden furniture quite well…

Old Ladders Make Great Platforms for Garden Furniture

There are a ton of old ladders that are broken, bent, or simply abandoned on the side of the road, just waiting for someone to take them apart and use them to build something new.

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