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Neat seat

From NZ Gardener magazine

Rose Hughes creates a cool outdoor bench with a twist check out the ceramic planter legs!

You will need: Sixteen metres of decking timber (see cutting list), Drop saw, tape measure, pencil, drill, bits and countersink, screws – 8g x 65mm and 8g x 45mm, wood filler (to match the colour of the Furniture Gel) and sandpaper. Paint brush, lint-free cloths, card and jigsaw, potting mix and flax (Phormium ‘Black Rage’). Resene Timber & Furniture Gel (I used Resene Jarrah Tree). Two matching ceramic pots – mine were 450mm high. Look for thick-walled, wide-lipped pots that have been high-fired and glazed. For safety, periodically lift bench top to check pots for cracks.

Cutting list: For the frame: 2 x 2200mm for front and back, 8 x 320mm for ends and internal struts. For the seat slats: 4 x 2200mm.

Cost: $350.

Step 1 how to build a benchStep 1
Mark the position of the ends and the internal struts on the frame front and back. The gap between the end and the first internal strut should be about 70mm, followed by a gap large enough to fit your pot, repeat at the other end and centre the remaining struts. Drill and countersink the screw holes. Join the frame together using the 8g x 65mm screws.
Step 2 how to build a benchStep 2
Fill the holes with the coloured filler. Sand back once dry. Apply the Furniture Gel to all the surfaces following the instructions.
Step 3 how to build a benchStep 3
Apply Furniture Gel to the undersides and sides of the seat slats. Attach, ensuring the edge of the outer two extend past the frame front and back by 10mm. Fill the holes with the coloured filler. Sand back once dry.
Step 4 how to build a benchStep 4
Make a card template that is about 2cm smaller than the top edge of the pots, position and mark the circle onto the slats and using the jigsaw, cut out. Sand the cut surfaces.
Step 5 how to build a benchStep 5
Apply the Furniture Gel to the top and cut edges of the seat slats.
Step 6 how to build a benchStep 6
Put the pots into position, fill with potting mix, put the seat over the top and plant up, I used flax Phormium 'Black Rage'.

5 handy tips! for refreshing outdoor furniture

Cast iron bench refreshed
  1. Rejuvenate old, tired outdoor wooden furniture such as table and chairs with your favourite Resene paint colour or stain. This will help protect it from the weather and help it to keep looking good.

  2. To revive weathered and previously painted or stained timber, including furniture and decks, wash it first with Resene Timber and Deck Wash.

  3. To avoid drips when staining timber, use Resene Timber and Furniture Gel. It's designed to be thick so you can easily apply it without a mess.

  4. Cape cod style chairs suit bold paint colours. Or get creative with Resene testpots and paint each slat a different colour.

  5. Don't use clear finishes on exterior timber as they won't protect the timber. Instead choose a stain colour close to the timber colour for a natural look that will look after the timber too.

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