My mom purchased this simple style church pew many years ago at an antique store in Bolton, MA. She used it on various occasions for extra seating on her deck and since gave it to me.

Recently, I decided that I would use it on my new deck, but first thought I’d update it by  chalk painting it. Now, it’s not like it sounds…It is actually paint with chalk in it. I used this recipe (also below) that I found online because I already had all of the ingredients on hand and the brand name chalk paint costs $39 per quart..YIKES! Supposedly, you don’t need to prime the piece beforehand but I did sand and prime it before painting on two coats.

1 1/2 cups paint
1/2 cup hot water
1/ cup plaster of paris

First, I diluted the plaster of paris in the hot water, then added in the paint and stirred well. I rolled on the paint with a high density roller and then used a brush for the nooks and crannies.

When it was done, I wanted to add a little something to make it special. So I surfed the web for an idea and found some funny sayings/quotes as well as some more serious ones. Here are a few that I found.

  • There is a broken heart in every pew
  • When it’s foggy in the pulpit, it’s cloudy in the pew
  • Chinese proverb: Boy who go to church with dirty underpants, sit in “pew” for one hour
  • I must find out what zees “pew” means every time I appear” Pepe le Pew
  • Do not come wiz me to ze Casbah – we shall make beautiful musicks togezzer right here! Pepe Le Pew
  • If we had more hell in the pulpit, we would have less hell in the pew. Billy Graham
  • Some people are kind, polite, and sweet-spirited, until you try to sit in their pews.

Since I love all things Jane Austen and found this little quote and I used it: “To sit in the shade on a fine day, and look upon verdure is the most perfect refreshment.”

So I sent my pew up on two chairs, one at either end, and across from it a stepladder. I placed my Artograph TRACER projector (which I purchased at my local craft store with a 50% off coupon) onto a step at the correct height for my piece and made sure the image was level and centered. Then using a watercolor pencil, I traced the text projected onto the pew. The watercolor pencil removes with a damp cloth allowing me to fine-tune any mistakes I made. Then I experimented with several mediums to permanently set my text. My Fine Line DecoColor Opaque Paint Marker worked like a charm. After that was dry, I went back with a damp paper towel and removed any leftover water-color markings.

Black DecoColor Opaque Paint Marker

Paint in a stick

Aquatone Watercolor pencil by Derwent

Lastly, I added in a bit of black detailing into the lines carved into the bench. Then I waxed the whole piece with Minwax Paste Finishing Wax. But…before doing so you’ll want to seal your text as the wax will smudge it even though it’s permanent.

Painted Pew