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Renewed: My 100+ Year Old Church Pew

December 21, 2015

Greetings! If you’re anything like me, you’re in denial about how close Christmas is to being here and pretending like you don’t have gifts to go out and buy for family and loved ones.

Instead, I will focus on our Christmas miracle: the rehab job we did on my beloved church pew.

I bought an absolutely amazing 100+ year old church pew in 2011 at a random flea market/special vendor in Asheville, North Carolina. I fell in love with it and made sure it traveled with me anywhere we moved.

It sat on our front porch in South Carolina, made the haul up to Alaska, and then I forced Matt to haul it BACK to North Carolina when we moved back.

In Alaska, it was treated rough. We had it on our porch, but between the weather and the dogs, the poor church pew lost it’s shimmer. Gone was the nice stain, replaced by scratches and peeling.

I give some blame to you, Moose

I give some blame to you, Moose

On the way back to North Carolina, it got damaged in the moving truck. Matt wanted to trash it, or give it away. But I, the stubborn one, said “no! I can fix it! It will look amazing!” which received skeptical looks from Matt because I’m known to talk a big game and then have a project come out like a disaster.

So I called in the expert – my dad. We took my church pew to his shop where I helped sand it down to a good base. I later found out my dad went behind me on a lot of my work to clean it up. Apparently, I’m really lazy at sanding.

We picked out a stain to bring out the natural colors of the wood – it was natural Southern Yellow Pine in amazing condition. After applying one coat of stain, we applied three coats of varnish.

We were able to pick it up/give my dad back his garage on Saturday and man, it looks pretty. The bench has a whole new life and I am obsessed with how well it fits in with our home.



I’ve also developed quite the antler addiction – probably withdrawals of living everyday in a magical outdoor wonderland – so they’ve been making several appearances around the home.


Our antler on our entry table has been amazing for holding our rings when we cook dinner. So I’m making them functional to serve as a reason for why we need 3 in our house.


We also got our bed frame delivered (finally… we ordered it in SEPTEMBER from Pottery Barn), which made me completely rearrange our entire upstairs.





Shelf Styling

We’re excited it is a short workweek, because we can’t wait to get down to The Cabin and spend a long Christmas weekend in the woods. Matt’s brother is joining us, so I expect there to be a lot of fishing, while the dogs and I go hike.


Good luck with your holiday shopping, and best wishes on a wonderful holiday spent with those you love!



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  • Reply Madre December 21, 2015 at 20:24

    Your dad thoroughly enjoyed doing this project with you. The bench looks amazing! So glad you are happy with it.

  • Reply Jess January 6, 2016 at 08:44

    STOP. I have been searching for a pew to use at our dining room table. I love this one!

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