A kitchen bench gets a lot of use and may look worn and dated over time. Solid wood benches are especially susceptible to dents, scratches and dull finishes. Resurfacing your kitchen bench is often more time-consuming than difficult, though it can be challenging depending on the bench's condition. Stripping its old finish and applying a new one is work, but it will be worth it in the end.
Things You'll Need
- Electric hand sander
- Sandpaper (150- and 220-grit)
- Wood putty
- Putty knife
- Cardboard or old sheet
- Oil- or water-based stain
- Oil- or water-based polyurethane
- Foam brush
- Old T-shirt
- Buffing pad
Place the bench in an area that can get dirty such as a garage or an empty unfinished basement. Sanding dust will fly throughout the area.
Sand the bench with 150-grit sandpaper, using an electric hand sander. Move the sander in the same direction of the wood grain. Do not push the sander into the wood; this can scratch the wood and will leave sander marks that will show up when you apply the new stain. Sand by hand the spindles and areas that cannot be reached by the sander.
Wipe down the bench with a tackcloth. The tackcloth is designed to pick up sawdust.
Fill in any gouges or deep scratches with wood putty, using a putty knife. Match the putty to the type of wood so that it does not stand out once it has been stained. Use stainable putty that it blends in with the rest of the bench. Allow the putty to dry and harden.
Sand the bench with 220-grit sandpaper. This second sanding will smooth out any scratches caused by the sander and help smooth out the wood's surface. Wipe it clean with a tackcloth.
Sweep and vacuum the sawdust from around the area where you will be staining. Place the bench onto an old piece of cardboard or an old sheet to help protect the floor from the stain.
Wipe on the new stain, using a foam brush. Go in the direction of the grain. Allow the stain to sit for no longer than five minutes (if using a water-based stain do not allow the stain to sit for more than one minute). Wipe the stain off with an old white T-shirt. Rub the stain into the wood with the T-shirt to help blend it into the wood. Allow the stain to dry and cure for 24 hours. Reapply the stain if you desire a deeper, darker color and allow it to dry for 24 hours.
Apply polyurethane to the bench, using an old T-shirt or a foam brush. Polyurethane comes in a matte, satin, semi-gloss, or gloss sheen. Just like the stain, the polyurethane should be applied in the direction of the wood. Allow the polyurethane to dry for at least 24 hours, especially if it is oil-based.
Buff the bench all over once the polyurethane has dried. Wipe clean with a tackcloth.
Apply a second coat of polyurethane. Allow it to dry completely before doing a final buffing.
How to Make a Bench for the End of the Bed
The convenience of having a bench at the end of the bed is well worth the effort it takes to make one....
How to Build a Kitchen Table Bench
Benches provide versatile seating options in the kitchen. Kids love them, and they squeeze a lot of seating into a small space....