How to Refinish a Wood Bench


A wood bench is an elegant and sturdy piece of furniture that complements any room or outdoor space. When regularly used, the wood bench will suffer from wear and tear and require refinishing. By sanding and staining, you can refinish your wood bench and restore its appearance.

Things You'll Need

  • Chemical stripper
  • Brush
  • Putty knife
  • Steel wool
  • Cloth
  • 120-grit sandpaper
  • 220-grit sandpaper
  • Sanding sealer
  • Stain
  • Polyurethane
  • Brush a thick coat of chemical stripper onto the wood bench to remove the old finish. Allow the stripper to sit on the wood for the amount of time recommended by the manufacturer.

  • Scrape the old finish off the wood bench with the putty knife, being careful to not gouge or scratch the wood. Use the steel wool to scrub off the old finish in areas that are difficult to reach. Wipe the wood bench clean with a damp cloth.

  • Sand the wood bench with 120-grit sandpaper. Wipe the wood clean and sand the wood again with 220-grit sandpaper until it is smooth to the touch. Wipe the wood clean.

  • Brush a heavy coat of sanding sealer onto the wood bench to prevent blotchiness in the new finish. Allow the sealer to soak into the wood and wipe off any excess with a clean cloth. Allow the sealer to dry and lightly sand the wood with 220-grit sandpaper.

  • Brush a coat of stain onto the bench and let the wood absorb it before wiping off the excess stain with a clean cloth. Allow the stain to dry completely on the wood.

  • Brush a light coat of polyurethane onto the wood bench to seal the wood. Let the polyurethane dry and lightly sand the wood bench with the 220-grit sandpaper. Brush a second light coat of polyurethane onto the wood bench and let it dry.

Tips & Warnings

  • Sand, stain and scrape with the grain of the wood.
  • Work in a well-ventilated area.
  • Wear gloves to protect your hands and goggles to protect your eyes.

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  • Photo Credit The Bench image by lynnmohd2 from
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