Today I had planned to show you the “before and after” of the pew I need to restore. Problem is, it’s still sitting in the garage waiting for someone to do something with it.
Anyone raising their hand?
No? I guess that just leaves me. Sheesh, where does all the time go? Although to be honest (and keep it real here at An Oregon Cottage) I probably have had the time. What I lacked was the energy or motivation.
But I feel it coming on…
Until I realized it was 9 feet long. Not exactly bungalow-house sized.
So it cost another $50 for a friend to cut it down for us to 5-1/2 feet. Not as great as $20, but $70 was still a good deal for an oak pew with nicely carved ends.
It lived in our big-city bungalow kitchen where our children spent many hours on it while coloring, eating, and playing at the kitchen table. It always needed to be refinished, but somehow was never at the top of my to-do list.
When we moved to our little acre, there wasn’t a place for the pew inside, so I put it on the covered porch after we remodeled. I though it would be OK because it would be covered from the elements.
Wrong. Remember how I said it needed to be refinished? As in, there wasn’t hardly any finish on it, so the poor thing had no armor against the cold, fog, and freezing temperatures. I also thought it would be temporary while we finished our garage where it could spend the winters.
Temporary turned out to be four years. So, what happens to a basically unfinished pew after four years outside?
2. A robin takes up residence on the back while it courts the bird in the window. Those white streaks? Stains from bird poop (sorry- was I supposed to say droppings?). We couldn’t get that bird to leave. It was awful, actually, listening to that robin throw itself repeatedly at the window for weeks. We tried scaring it away, shooting a BB gun at it (no, we didn’t hit it…), and finally covered the windows with paper for days to get the bird to leave.
The fresher white streak is from a recent visitor. Isn’t it nice of me to share this with you?
3. The nails start to discolor the wood surrounding the holes.
5. The horrible fog we can get here in the fall (don’t get me started- it’s depressing and stays for weeks sometimes) created so much moisture that it didn’t matter that the pew was under cover. The seat grew black mold after one particularly nasty spell of fog. I was able to scrub most of it off though the seat was left with grayish stains.
So I feel like a complete schmuck for not taking very good care of this pew I love and letting it get to this stage. And I need to do something now to ensure it doesn’t continue to deteriorate.
I know it’s a beautiful oak, but it’s so stained and damaged that I feel the only solution is to sand, fill, shore-up, and paint it. I don’t want it to be damaged any further because it will still have to live on our porch in the summer and the unheated garage in the winter.
So, here’s my question: what would you do? Paint? Refinish? If you’d refinish, how would you get it restored?