Worn Seat Deacon’s Bench

Worn seat!? Yup, that’s what I’m calling it and here’s how it came to be.

If I had to take a guess, I’d say this particular bench was from the 60’s or 70’s, but that’s purely a non deacon bench expert opinion. It was in really excellent shape aside from a wonky spot on the right side seat bottom. I used it in my front entry for a while and then caught the fever to refinish it. The deacon bench dates back to the early 1900’s, so I was shooting for an authentically aged, sat in all the time, very well loved look.

Deacons bench

Perhaps not in this color, but couldn’t you just envision it having been used in a simple little church located in a quaint, dirt road, southern town? I think it may have had a leaky roof and at times it got so warm, the paint began to pull away from the wood. The seats were always full though, and churchgoers were diligent with their attendance. I dunno, maybe it sounds silly, but that idea was my inspiration while I was painting.

Milk paint deacons bench

I used a custom mixed combo of Homestead House/Miss Mustard Seed Milk paint for the base and didn’t use a resist between colors. I simply applied the darker color right over the top. When it came time for the distressing, I went all out! I really wanted it to look like some bottoms had sat in the seat. Instead of using wax to simulate the dirt that might have accumulated in the nooks, I used VDB glaze and then finished with a Modern Masters Matte top coat. I was a little nervous that the milk paint and top coat might not play nicely together. The top coat actually yellowed the paint ever so slightly during the drying process, but once it was completely dry, the color returned to normal.

Painted deacons bench

I realize the heavily distressed look is not for everyone, but it was so fun to create this look and think a bit out of the box. I was going for an authentic, aged over time look. What do you think? Did I nail it, miss the mark or go overboard? I’d love your thoughts, so please leave me a message below. If you love it, please feel free to share!

Painted deacons bench

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  1. Overboard….waaaaaay! Overboard……

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