Painted Church Pew

The painted church pew makeover starts with a good sanding. Learn tips and tricks from the process.

Let me introduce you to my pew.  See it there under the window in the Dining Room?

Dining Room Before

My husband rescued it from the garbage {gasp!}  years ago.  It started out twice as long.  However, an unfortunate incident involving teenagers (enough said!) caused it to snap right in half.  After careful deliberation, we decided to cut it in the middle and make a short bench.

I. Love. It.

As I’ve been working away on the Dining Room, I decided it was time to do something different with the pew.  I admit.  I was terrified to start.  It feels like such an amazing piece of history, and I don’t want to mess it up!

I researched and researched (studying long and hard Shaunna’s e-book Creating Your Masterpiece.  I highly recommend it!).

The Painted Pew Preparation – Sanding

Yesterday I took a deep breath, hauled it outside and started working on it.


Start sanding with a large grit sand paper.

From the moment the random orbital sander touched down on the wood, I realized this project was going to be a labour of love.

getting started

Whatever finish was on it (some sort of wax?)  ~ it was meant to last forever!

I knew I was just going to have to slow my anxious self down and enjoy the process…

As I sanded away, layers and layers of history started to unfold.  The nicks.  The dings.  The dents.

nicks and dings

Oh, I love it more already!

It made me think of the many times I spent swinging my skinny little legs in my Sunday best on a pew that was very similar…

Keep sanding with the orbital sander and change sandpaper when worn out.

It was during this sanding process that sirens and the arrival of fire trucks interrupted my peaceful scene.  Upon investigation, I learned that one of our camp’s cabins was ablaze.  (You can read about it here.)

I quickly came to the conclusion that I wasn’t needed at the scene.  In fact, it was probably better that I wasn’t there.  There were already many capable people taking charge…

So I came back down to the house to work on the pew.  As I sanded away, I prayed.

  • I prayed for the campers whose items were lost to fire…For their precious, sweet little tender hearts…And for their families who would be shocked to hear what had happened.
  • I prayed for the firefighters who were arriving truck after truck- full.  What a gracious group of volunteers who are fiercely loyal and faithful to this community.
  • And I prayed for my dear husband, who I knew would have a lot of details to deal with – both now and in the {rebuilding} future.

The irony was not lost on me that as I was praying away, I was working on a church pew.  It struck me that the project had just become far more meaningful than just “changing the look”…

…For as I worked on it, God was working on my heart – teaching me yet again, that no matter what, He is in control.  He cares.  He will work out the details.   Not only that, He would love to take away all my worries about those details – if I’d just hand them over to Him.  He loves me.  And us all…

side view of pew

All those essential things…Things that I hold on tight to in moments of crisis… Those things I learned…First…as a little girl…

…sitting on a church pew…

full pew

{P.S.  The pew is far from finished…The “after” will be on its way…}

UPDATE: Click here for the Painted Pew makeover  reveal!

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  1. Thanks for the prayers.. I have only been in the dept. this long because I know how to pray and feel the prayers of those who do as well. Your staffers are great! As for the pew… Looking forward to the finished project. Thank you for this week.. I love ya and can't get enough of our gab sessions and idea plans. xx Coleen

  2. Thank you for this post! We all need a reminder sometimes of God's love, and to take a step back and remember to be thankful. I happened to stumble across your blog on pinterest, and today happened to to be a day that I needed a reminder. Talk about His perfect timing. Thanks again!

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