Tuesday, July 19, 2016

our church pew

Spoiler alert: Look at what I did.

Back in April when Terry had just finished the marble shelf, we both felt like we were on a roll and might as well start another project that had been in the garage all winter - this church pew from old First E-Free, which was where our church had previously been located (and where we met and got married) before they moved to the south of town. Russ and Terry bought a few benches when the YMCA, who owns the building now, were selling them. Russ cut them down and refinished them. He was so kind as to shorten one for us. And then it sat all winter. Finally we asked him to come over and cut out some arms for us since we didn't like how boxey it was.

All we did was use a Sharpie marker to trace the shape we wanted and Russ used a sawzall to cut it out. 

The wood is a very thick and solid oak so it was difficult to cut through. We were so thankful for all  Russ' help on this project. 

And yet again, the pew sat in the garage, waiting for my motivation to begin. We needed an orbital sander for one thing to knock down the rough edges left by the sawzall. This was the best "before" picture I could find.  

It fits three kids or two adults. The sawzall had worked so hard to cut through the oak that it even burned scorch marks into the wood. 

We finally bought a orbital sander in May or June and then returned it since Terry's dad let us use his  and I got to work on June 22. It was a long afternoon of work but I finally got most of the finish and yellow stain off. 

I was the most proud of how smooth I was able to get the arms.  

10 sanding discs!

Evie was at a VBS the next day and I felt brave, due to the motivation to finish this project, and therefore took all three boys to my least favorite place, Menards, in order to buy a board. We needed it to make a shelf under the pew for shoe boxes.

I put a coat (or two, I can't remember) of Weathered Oak stain down because I was going for the color I put on my $10 coffee table

Next I added a coat (or two, I can't remember) of Special Walnut and thought it looked too yellow. So I added some more gray. And then I didn't like that because it looked purple!

Finally, I put one final coat of Special Walnut over all and was done with stain. Then I put two coats of poly on the sides and bottom of the pew and four on the arms and seat. 

After a day or two in the garage we brought it in, let it sit overnight, and placed it at the front door with towels under it to make sure it wouldn't stick to the carpet. 

Boom baby! We love it! Plus, it's a little piece of our history from the church where we grew up and met. And, well, it's beautiful
The boys keep their shoes in those baskets (Evie's is in the closet) and they will also put their winter things in there later.

I love progressive before and after pictures. They're so gratifying :D

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