Easily Customize An Outdoor Bench To Match Our Existing Patio Furniture (and on budget!)

patio bench 2

Our patio has always had three chairs. When I bought the furniture, there were only three seats left but because they were on major sale I couldn’t pass it up nor could I find one more. We lived with it for 5+ years since the girls were small enough to share a seat. Now that they are 9 and almost 12, they need their own! J would pull out the occasional stool to sit on but let’s be real: stools aren’t comfy. Then COVID hit and seating became even more necessary for social distancing with friends.

patio before
Our patio last summer.

I’m always looking to save money so there was no way I could get rid of patio furniture that’s still in fab condition. I decided to get a bench. That would provide two extra seats and an option to ‘lounge’, ie. lay down. And had to fit these parameters:

  • not too expensive
  • compact
  • match the existing furniture

I found Ikea’s Applaro Bench to be the best option. It was on sale for $100! I placed a curbside pick up order and I picked it up within two days. It did not coordinate with our existing furniture but I had an idea to fix that. Keep reading. 🙂

Liv and I put it together in about 40 minutes.

Now to tackle the colour. I really love the stain but because it looked mismatched with our existing furniture. So I decided to paint it.

how to paint a stained wood bench

First, I lightly sanded the bench and wiped off the debris with a lightly damp cloth.

After it dried, I primed. Looking back, I think I would skip this step. If the paint chipped, the white primer would show through. I’d rather have the stained wood show through because it’s less noticeable than the white.

Priming was hard on my hand muscles. Within minutes the muscle fatigue set in and brushing it on was difficult. I would go with the primer in a spray can form next time. Priming the entire bench took about 2 hours. There were a lot of little in between spaces and crevices. It took 1 hour to dry.

Note: Primer isn’t supposed to be solid. It creates a surface where paint can adhere to.

There were some paint drips because the hand fatigue was setting in badly and I just wanted it to be over, LOL. But I just sanded them down before spray painting.

I used these for spray paint.

I have used Rustoleum but never the Ultra Cover. It’s supposed to cover quite well. This was after one coat. I did 3 coats total, waiting about 20 minutes between coats. I got mine at Rona.

I ended up using two cans. In the past, I have used 3 cans from a different line to cover a single chair so I think 2 cans to cover a bench is pretty good!

The next day I put on the protective clear coat. I applied 3 coats all over. and allowed it to dry for 24 hours before sitting on it. I love how it turned out!

The next challenge was to find cushions. I wanted it to feel loungey. And it needed to be suitable for outside use.

Ikea was sold out of the coordinating cushions online. When I went in, they only had the thinner ones in stock. Then I found thicker ones like our existing furniture ones at Walmart! They were 1″ shorter than what I needed but I’m sure our butts won’t notice a difference anyway so I picked up two. They were $20 each.

I got two cushion inserts for the back from Ikea for some extra comfort. They were $5 each.

I also picked up two covers to use as accent pillows. They were $5.99.

I asked my sis-in-law to help me make some cushion covers because I wanted the back and seat cushions to match and Walmart only had red and floral. I decided to go with white so that the patio furniture didn’t feel too heavy with too much black/grey. I had some leftover curtain liner so I used that for the covers.

Yes I realize all the fabrics and textiles I’m using are NOT designed to be used outside (eeek mildew!). The curtain liner and covers I bought are just regular stuff that stays inside, but I share how I fixed that in this post.

And ta-da!

diy patio bench
diy patio bench 3

Do you love it? Simple project that only took a few days to complete! I love the extra seating we have now.

2 thoughts on “Easily Customize An Outdoor Bench To Match Our Existing Patio Furniture (and on budget!)

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