How to Repair an Old Wobbly Bench

How To Repair An Old Wobbly Bench

We have had this old garden bench for years.  It has become a bit wobbly, but still sturdy and throughout the year we have to tighten up the screws.  The bench has started to sway besides looking drab. We didn’t feel it needed to be scrapped, but with some TLC, we could fix it up. We knew we needed to repaint the bench to keep the wood from rotting.  So here is what we did to repair and repaint an old wobbly bench.

What you’ll need:
paint for the bench (we used Rust-oleum on the legs and a can of paint on the wood slats)
tools to remove the screws/bolts (and something to store them in)
low grit sand paper
wire brush

You will start by taking your bench apart.  You will want to label and put the screws/bolts into separate bags/containers for later.

Remove the wooden slates from the bench. Inspect the bench wood for replacement. Are any boards cracked or broke? If so, they should be replaced.

bench wood replacement

Wooden Bench Repair

Sand the slats down to get any loose paint off the boards.  Inspect the boards for rot.  If needed, your bench may need replacement boards, so buy new boards to replace any rotten ones .

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reassemble bench

Take the legs of the bench (ours were metal) and sand them down with the sand paper to remove any loose paint.  Remove any dirt and grime as well.  You want a clean dry surface on the legs for the paint. If your bench legs are metal, consider using a metal appropriate paint (I used Rust-oleum).

Inspect the legs. Are they still sturdy?  Do you need to repair the cast iron bench legs? If so, break out the welder.

How I painted the legs was not ideal, or perfect.  I painted one side of the legs on the ground on a nice warm day. I would suggest painting them on a bench with cardboard.  Allow the paint to dry, make any touch ups if necessary.  Apply a second coat if needed.

Flip over the legs and apply a second coat, this time, leaning against something you don’t mind getting paint on.

Be sure to get the bottom of the legs also.  Allow to completely dry.

Wood Bench Slats Replacement

If you need to replace the wood bench slats, you will want to measure to make sure the new slats are the same board as the old ones.  If you have screws/bolts that are sunken in the board, you will want to consider doing this to the new bolts/screws as well.

Don’t forget to paint or treat the new bench replacement boards before you reassemble the bench.  Place them on cardboard so that you can get the tops, bottoms and sides of the wood.

Reassemble the Bench

reassemble bench

Once the paint has dried for both you can assemble. Why it’s important to label the bolts (and in case this project happens over many weekends).

repaint old bench

And just like that.  You did your own wooden bench repair for little money and it’s as good as new.

What tips do you have for repairing a wobbly garden bench?

Check out how you can repair an old wobbly bench and make it looking beautiful. Just a little paint and sanding can save you a lot of money.

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  1. I will be repairing a garden bench in the “men shed”just like yours,and I must thank you for some good tips that you gave in your app, let’s hope mine goes just as well. Once again ,thank you.

    1. You are welcome. It was time last year to touch it up again…and we did it this year. We cut new boards this time from cedar (no more painting). And repainted the metal. I’m hoping to add new pictures soon.

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