Add a Shaker peg rail and it becomes the perfect landing spot.

By Eleni Gage
February 11, 2020
Kirsten Francis

When Living home editor Lorna Aragon spotted this vintage church pew at an auction, she was struck by its soul—and the curved arms reminded her of Swedish antiques. That's why she painted it a serene Scandi blue. Of course, this kind of bench was built to be practical, not plush. Here's how she transformed it into an inviting landing spot.

Related: How to Repurpose Old Furniture and Home Décor in Clever Ways

The Method

The pew had only the top plank for back support, so Aragon got a 3/4-inch-thick board cut to fit and screwed it into the arms on either side. To pad the seat, she had a ticking-striped cushion made with two-inch-thick foam. Her go-to custom pillow maker is CushionSource.com. A Shaker rail painted to match pulls this entry space together.

The Palette

To create a matte, slightly weathered finish, she sanded the pew, brushed it with Annie Sloan chalk paint in "Old Violet" ($35 a liter, anniesloan.com), and let it dry. Then, she sanded the edges again lightly, and topped it all off with a coat of clear chalk-paint wax. (Doing this will retain the color of your painted piece while providing protection from the elements that trail in from the door.)

Shop Now: Annie Sloan Clear Chalk-Paint Wax, $25, anniesloan.com. Meadowbrook Creations Unfinished Plain-Style Shaker Peg Rack, from $1.50 a sq. in., meadowbrookcreations.com. Kravet Basics Twill Ticking-Stripe Fabric, in Blue & White, $40 a yd., fabric.com. Dash & Albert by Annie Selke Swedish Rag Indoor/Outdoor Rug, from $54, annieselke.com.

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