If you’re looking to remodel your church, you may find that replacing old church pews with church chairs is a good decision. Chairs can provide more church seating capacity, more versatility in your worship space, and much better comfort for your congregation.

If this is the right direction for your church, you’ll soon be asking what to do with your old church pews. There are many things that you can do with used church pews, from foyer seating, to youth rooms, to garden furniture. But if you have a whole sanctuary filled with pews, you will have much more additional seating than you can repurpose in the church alone.

Some pews can be sold online or given to church members. Gather your leaders together and plan a way to distribute the pews to members of the congregation. If they anticipate a lot of interest, and there won’t be enough pews for all who’d like one, suggest selling them for a fee (which can then in turn be put toward remodeling expenses).

Here are a few ideas of things that you and your congregation can do, and items that you can make using old wooden church pews.

What to Do with Old Church Pews

1. Entryway Seating

There’s no better way to start and finish your day than with a bench at the front door. Here you can have a place to store your shoes and take them on and off without worry of trekking mud through the house.

2. Rustic Bench

With a bit of touch up and a few added details, you will quickly have a beautiful rustic bench for indoor or outdoor seating. Pews can be painted and reupholstered to match your style.

3. Dining Seating

Why not add some variety and use a pew in the dining room, perfect seating for a gaggle of kids at mealtime. Or place a few short benches (or one bench cut in half) in the corner of your kitchen and add a table to create a cozy breakfast nook, perfect for coffee on cold mornings or game nights with friends.

4. Add Storage

A pew can double as a seat and storage when you use the open space underneath for storage. You could place decorative container beneath or do some DIY and build some custom boxes or drawers.

5. Fireplace Seating

Accent your fireplace with gorgeous wood pews and watch them glow by the firelight.

6. Fireside Seating

Take that feeling to the outdoors and use the pew for campfire seating. Short pews are perfect for sitting up around the fire with family and friends and enjoying the night.

7. Add Slipcovers

Give the pew some character by covering the back with some fabric. You could give the piece some color or a pattern to make it your own.

8. Garden Seating

It’s hot work in the garden and sometimes you need a place to sit and relax among your plants. A pew will make an excellent addition to the yard.

9. Pad It

Make some custom padding for the seat for extra comfort. With back and seat padding, you can turn a church pew into a couch. Stretch out with a good book and some seat pillows and you’ll never want to leave.

10. Headboard and Nightstand

With a little bit of saw work you can turn a church bench into a combined headboard and nightstand for your nighttime use.

11. Patio Seating

You’ll have plenty of seating for friends and family if you furnish your patio or front porch with old church pews. If your patio is uncovered, make sure you apply a wood sealant to protect the wood.

12. Seating for a Wedding

Outdoor weddings are in. Why not use some refurnished pews for seating to give it that classic wedding chapel feel?

13. Window Seat

Create some easy window seating with a short pew placed in front of a window. If the backrest blocks the view, remove it.

14. Bedroom Bench

Use a short pew at the foot of the bed to give yourself someplace to sit as you get ready for the day.

15. Corner Bench

With a little sawing and some glue, you can turn a long pew into a corner bench for indoor or outdoor use.

16. Mudroom Seating

Give your family a place to sit and tidy up before heading into the rest of the house with a mudroom pew. Add hooks above to hold jackets, purses, and backpacks.

17. Bench Swing

If you remove the feet from the pew and attach a few lengths of chain to the arm and backing, you can turn a church pew into a bench swing for your porch or backyard.

18. Add a Backboard

You could switch out the current backrest with a tall backboard to give your pew some character.

19. Add Vintage Style

Paint the church pew in a color of your choice. Then, take a piece of fine sandpaper and lightly rough up the paint to give it a vintage, washed wood look. Finish with a clear varnish.

20. Modern

Vintage isn’t the only style you can add to an old church pew. You can go in the opposite direction and give it a few coats of black paint for a more modern vibe. Add some decorative throw pillows in a bold, geometric print for the final touch.

21. Loft Seating

Do you have a large, oversized loft? Long pews are perfect for the long dimensions of loft living.

22. Outdoor Bench

A pew is a great addition to any backyard. If you add a protective weatherproof coat of paint or varnish, its sturdy frame can last through some of the roughest weather.

23. Waiting Room Seating

Old church pews make excellent waiting room seating for doctors’ offices, school offices, and many small businesses.

24. Corridor Seating

A few pews along the side of a wide hallway can accent its size and beautifully frame doorways.

25. Theater Seating

Whether you use it as outdoor amphitheater seating or indoor theater seating, pews are perfect for viewing with friends.

26. Coffee Table

You could remove the backing from the pew to turn it into a coffee table or footrest for living room use.

27. Table

With some disassembling and rearranging you could turn two pews into a table using its backing as the surface and by situating the frame on the pews as the table legs.

28. Japanese Table

By removing the back of two short pews and combining them you could create a Japanese table for dining on the floor.

29. Woodwork

Remove the pews sealant and etch in names, history, and designs to make the pew uniquely your own.

30. Chest

Turn the pews seat into a chest by adding storage underneath and turning the seat into a hinged lid.

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