The one with the pew…

The one with the pew…

To paint the church pew, or not paint the church pew, that is the question: Whether ’tis nobler for it to be painted in a fabulous pop of color, or remain in a dignified wood stain. Hmmm…

It started with a little thing called Pinterest – doesn’t it always? I was browsing through the drool-worthy photos one night, trying to fill a lonely deployment evening by getting the creative juices flowing. I came across something that I’d never thought of – a church pew in a home. As I clicked through photo after photo of gorgeous old benches being used on porches, in front entries, at dining tables, and in mudrooms, the more I wanted to have one of these unique pieces in my home as well!

I scavenged Craigslist ads for weeks, crestfallen that most available pews cost triple-digits, a kidney, or a firstborn. I finally contacted an ad that was really quite old for CL standards. You know how it is with those kinds of ads – I figured that the bench was long gone, but I just had to make sure. The bench was 8 feet long, had lived in their home for years, and it was a bargain! The owners told me that I was actually the first person to inquire about it – so I quickly planned a visit!

Craigslist church pew

*Hallelujah Chorus* I was overjoyed! I was elated! I was having a sneezing attack. The sellers had cats – several of them – and I’m very allergic to cats. The pew had scratchy, red upholstery, but the gracious sellers knew that there was a nice long wooden seat underneath, just waiting to be uncovered. I set up a time with my brothers to come help me pick it up – and I left with a bounce in my step – even though my tongue was starting to swell. Nothing a little Benadryl couldn’t take care – thankfully!

I removed the feline fur-filled upholstery and took out the remaining staples – but that’s as far as I’ve come with it. The pew gets many compliments from visitors, but I haven’t quite known what to do with it – aside from use it to display the beautiful blanket and pillow that my husband brought back from a deployment to Afghanistan. I feel stuck when I try to decide what to do with my beloved Pepe, (as in “Pepe Le Pew” – hubby nicknamed it). What should I do?

  • Leave it as is?
  • Stain it a darker, richer color?
  • Paint it a fabulous head-turning color? It’s solid wood, so I’m not afraid of sanding it down later if I really want a color/stain out of the picture.

DSC_0637 (Small)

Also, I’m not entirely sure where it will end up – stay in the formal dining area, be paired with the copper table in the eat-in kitchen, sit on the upstairs deck, sit on the covered downstairs patio…the options are endless!

Would y’all help a girl out? I can usually come up with a decor solution – but this time I need someone else with a vision for it! Do you have any ideas for what I should do it with my favorite church bench? I’d love to know if you have any insights or advice for me!






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Written by ginger


  • Brenda says:

    Your formal dining room is very large and empty, so if you leave the pew in there, it needs to take up visual space. It think it should also look inviting so that they room will get used and not feel like an empty formal room. I don’t know what will make it feel less formal… maybe a black or a very dark stain or a fun color. But leaving it in it’s present color shouts “stuffy church”. πŸ™‚ My opinion.

  • Stephanie B says:

    I think you should paint it a fun color! πŸ˜€

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I’m Ginger ~

I'm a wife to my Beloved, mom of three boys, bookworm, survivor of a broken heart, and Kansas Girl. It is my desire to encourage you. No matter what storm you're going through right now, you are not alone. I promise.

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