Thursday, July 9, 2020

The Chippy Park Bench

I love garden stuff.  ~ Old ~ new ~ outside ~ inside ~  it doesn't matter, I love all of it.
 I've been reading a book by Better Homes and Gardens called Garden Style.
It's over 20 years old but it sums up what I love about garden accoutrements.
They are cute and they never go out of style.

If you have been following the last few weeks, you will know that I've been working on cleaning up the area out behind our fence. It was a mess of green briar, dead trees, junky shrubs and wild grapevine. That last one seems like a missed opportunity to make our own wine but the grapes were high up in the trees and only formed a climber for the green briar. The birds have enjoyed the grapes throughout the years.

This all started as a clean up of our debris pile and a possible spot for a compost bin. I don't think I mentioned that in my last post. Once clearing was well under way, the space seemed like a good spot for overflow plantings. There was more sun than we originally thought, so a few garden beds became possible.
More space for cute garden-y things became possible as well.
Over the years, I've found some fun garden accessories on the curb.
Years ago, I'd found the sides to a park bench. Bill restored that bench but we had since given it away.
 Dixie and I drove around a few times on trash day looking for any garden junk but I think we were too late in the clean up season. We should have been driving around in April during lockdown.
 I went to my antique store instead.
They had a wonderful chippy bench. Some of the wooden slats were trashed but the sides were charming. I fell in love!

The paint color is perfection.

The restoration specialist was in disagreement with the restoration assistant.
Bill wanted to redo the whole thing - sides included.
Katie wanted to do as little to it as possible in order to leave the chippy goodness.
In the end the restoration couple reached restoration compromise.
The chippy goodness on the slats just wasn't practical. Who wants splinters in their behind?
The sides would remain chippy.
Bill had some old oak from a saw mill he had visited. He picked up about 4 oak boards for a song.
He thought they would be good for the project.

Bill has time to do a few things after work since he no longer has a commute.
Last Thursday night he ripped them to size.
The slats were 1", 1.5" and 2" wide. They formed the curves needed for the back and the seat.
Much to his shock, I painted them with my favorite Rust-Oleum Moss Green Spray Paint in a satin finish.
I wanted these to look as much like the original slats as possible and that color fit the bill.

Because we have no place to go and no one to see, we spent our 4th of July taking apart the bench

and putting it back together.

In order to keep it pretty square, we kept a few of the old slats on until we had new ones in place.
We removed and replaced those toward the end.

 It helps define the border of the area.

It adds charm and an invitation to sit and it reminds me of Giverny.
One of the highlights of our trip to France was the trip to Monet's garden.
This turnaround was done so quickly. It may be a new Mansfield record. I bought the bench on June 30th. By the evening of July 4th is was restored and in its spot.

Thanks for stopping by.
I'm finished with the bed and borders. I still need to clean up the Bermuda Triangle and then our improvements will be done.

Come by on Saturday for a fun blog hop. We will be featuring baskets and/or crates.
You won't want to miss it.
Common Ground


  1. Katie,
    well, I could now kick myself, Katie! Last year, someone threw a bench out by our dumpsters quite similar to this one that you beautifully restored. I debated and debated about rescuing it and then started to think that i did not have room for it and let it go..Now I am so sorry I did so seeing how lovely yours turned out!! Great job!!

  2. Katie,

    This turned out great! Don't want side against a blogging sister but putting new slats was the way to go. Like you mentioned who wants splinters?

    You styled it so inviting. This area is going to become a favorite of yours I think.


  3. What a beautiful re love of this bench. Looks fabulous. Happy Friday have a great weekend.

  4. WOW! You did a fabulous job making that spot-on awesome!

    Very well done - love the color - love the way you styled it for the post.

    I need to give my old park bench some love. You just inspired me!!! Thanks!!!\\