Decorating with a Pew- Before & After

Meet the newest member of the Longview Lodge.
Our new church pew - before the restoration. Notice the layers of paint.
I insist on calling him Pepe Le Pew; Matt refuses to support or participate in this idea. Boooo. I have reluctantly agreed to call him “le pew”. You win some, you lose some.
Le Pew came all the way from Michigan City where he used to live in a quilt shop. Before that, he lived in an antique shop and before that? I can only assume that he was a staple member of a local parish. Just a guess.
Our new church pew needed some serious lovin'.

Our friend’s mom, the owner of the quilt shop, was throwing Le Pew away and our amazingly generous, thoughtful, future groomsman (hey dave!) scooped her up and drove her all the back to Chicago to deliver her to his two favorite co-workers. #whatacatch

The new church pew has seen better days. But when she's all fixed up she's going to be beautiful!
Le Pew fit perfectly in our entrance- almost like he was made for this home. He would be the perfect piece to greet our guests but needed to get cleaned up and dressed up before we showed him off.
Our new church pew came free from a friend, but it needed some serious work to make it presentable.
Typically, I would tackle a re-finish project myself. This piece was different. For one, it was HUGEEEEE. For two, I had a feeling this pew was going to be a staple in our home for years and years and years to come, so I wanted it to look perfect.
As much as I like to think my DIY skills are coming along and could tackle a project like this, let’s be honest, my skills are no where near a professional’s.
We got a new church pew from some friends, but it needed the restorative touch of a professional before we could display it in our home!
That’s when I decided, if I wanted to A. not be tied down to this enormous project for my entire summer and B. create a piece that would withstand the harsh test of time… a professional was the way to go.
Decorating with a church pew: great way to style an antique | DIY Playbook
The negatives to hiring this project out?  A non-DIY price tag. Not that it broke the bank, but let’s be real here… when you choose to hire instead of DIY, the price tag is going to be higher. By no means am I saying that the price tag wasn’t completely worth it, I’m just saying that a higher price tag is definitely a factor whenever deciding whether to DIY or hire.
I brought our new church pew to a professional to be restored. My DIY skills just were not going to cut it in this case!

A few weeks later, I picked up Le Pew. I couldn’t believe my eyes.

Here's the white truck that transported our church pew to and from the restoration shop.

Meet the new and improved (Pepe) Le Pew.

Our new pew comes home from the restoration shop and I can't believe how gorgeous she looks!
You can just hear the choir of angels singing Halelujia for our new church pew!
The grain of the wood really comes through now that the church pew has been lovingly restored.
Is it just me or can you stare at this masterpiece
No matter the lighting, our new church pew looks great!
Our new church pew: before and after the restoration work | DIY Playbook
And like any other fashionable gentleman, some simple accessories are a must.
Decorating with a church pew: accessorizing | DIY Playbook
The new church pew is the perfect thing for our new entryway, especially once I added some tasteful accessories | DIY Playbook
Decorating with a church pew: Simple decor and a secret key storage ceremic canister! | DIY Playbook
I love how this dark brown wicker basket matches the dark brown stain of the wood on the church pew.
Decorating with a church pew: Make it comfortable | DIY Playbook

Thank you Dave for thinking of us and literally trucking this gem to the Longview Lodge, where we promise to shower him with loads and loads of love and laughter. And another thank you to our amazing re-finisher at Bermar Stripping & Refinishing. If you decide to hire instead of DIY & you live in the Chicagoland area, I would highly recommend this company. Amazing.

It literally took a team effort to breathe life into this old piece….
Our new church pew is perfect for this space. I can't get over how great the professional restoration looks!
… and I couldn’t be more grateful.


Next on the DIY to-do list, a vintage umbrella holder. Any ideas?

The Year of Casey

Hey there!

I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m married to Finn & mom to Rory and Ellis. Together we’re creating our dream home in Chicago, one DIY project at a time.