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Renovating or Up-Cycling Your Garden Bench

Renovating or Up-Cycling Your Garden Bench




Renovating or Up-Cycling your garden bench is a fantastic addition to a garden, providing the perfect space to sit back and enjoy your labours.

To make them last a lifetime and protect them from the elements, paint timber furniture with Thorndown Wood Paint, allowing you to leave them out without covering all year round. A quick, cheap and easy job.


  1. Make sure your timber garden bench is dry all the way through before painting. If the timber is damp (moisture content needs to be less than 20%) it will prevent the wood paint from bonding to the surface properly affecting longevity of the coating
  2. You can paint over old coatings as long as they’re weathered (not brand new) and sound. Sand off any loose bits of old coatings and wood to avoid splinters. Remove any residue from the pressure-treatment process, for example the green that you can see in image 2 in the gallery below
  3. There is no need to apply a primer as Thorndown Wood Paint is self-priming. If the previous coating(s) is an oil then you will most likely need to apply a primer as oils can prevent water-based paints from adhering properly. This is also true for oily hardwoods. If the timber is new softwood and you’re painting on a light colour, you may want to apply a stain-blocking primer to prevent any resin bleeds from knots or tannin stains from discolouring the paint coating
  4. Clean the surface to remove any dirt or algae


  1. Make sure no rain is forecast for 24 hours before painting to allow plenty of time for the paint to dry and fix
  2. You can apply by HVLP sprayer, paint roller (with a short pile sleeve), or a high quality synthetic brush
  3. For most garden benches you’ll only need a 750ml tin of wood paint so pick a colour and get ready to paint
  4. Paint on a fine dry day. I like to paint the underneath of the bench seat first, getting into the slats and making sure to paint the feet so that moisture doesn’t get in from underneath. Remember to always paint with the grain. Flip the bench back upright once the feet are dry and paint the rest of the bench. If your product is new then we recommend to paint before assembly as it’s far easier to paint every surface and nook and cranny
  5. On a fine dry day Thorndown wood paint will be dry enough to overcoat within 30 minutes to an hour. Paint on a 2nd coat and allow to dry. It is recommended to allow the paint to dry for at least 24 hours before sitting on it
  6. Put it somewhere lovely in your garden and sit back, relax and enjoy!

The first set of pictures show the Hutton Cotswold Bench painted in Thorndown Greylake Wood Paint. This pretty grey blue looks gorgeous in the orchard providing the perfect spot to relax with a good magazine. 

In the second set of bench pictures the Forest Harvington Bench has been painted in Tree Lichen providing a beautiful contrast to the traditional stone work of the house. An attractive place to relax from gardening or to sit and enjoy the view. 


Thorndown Wood Paint creates a hard-wearing water-repellent coating so you can leave your timber garden bench out all year round and don’t need to cover it. Two coats will last for years and if you put a 3rd coat on horizontal surfaces that will help them last even longer.
  1. Horizontal surfaces degrade far quicker than vertical planes so you may need to apply a maintenance coat every 3 years depending on levels of wear and tear and exposure. If you painted 3 coats on then the coating will take even longer to wear
  2. A vertical surface will last from 5 to 8 years before a maintenance coat is required
  3. As above, make sure your timber is clean and dry then just paint on a maintenance coat, leaving to dry then enjoy for another long set of years
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