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You Are My Sunshine Bench Makeover

See how a salvaged yellow bench added some much-needed personality to our front porch. A quick paint job, some simple styling, and it’s ready to go!

Perhaps it was the dreadfully long winter or the result of looking at a bazillion cottage inspiration pics, but I knew I had to add yellow somewhere around our house. I’m not talking about the washed out version either, rather something bright and cheery!

Sounds a bit scary for someone who loves neutrals, right? But when I was looking at making over the rustic blue bench I discovered at my parents’ farm last summer, I knew it was the perfect opportunity. It would be that unexpected pop of colour at the front door that made me (and hopefully others) smile every time I entered. A safer bet than committing to something that vibrantly coloured inside.

Bright Yellow Bench on Front Porch

Some of you pleaded with me on Satori’s Facebook Page to leave the bench as it was. I did adore the look of the top, but the rest was a hideous blue colour I just couldn’t live with. As well, I wanted it to be a functional bench that we could use for summer backyard parties. Somehow flaking paint and large splinters weren’t exactly what I had in mind.

In addition, we had to cut the ends of the bench in order for it to fit into the back of the truck. That meant I had to address the newly exposed wood. Convinced yet?

Salvaged Rustic Blue Bench BEFORE

Outdoor Bench Makeover with Yellow Paint

To start the bench makeover, we cut the angles back in the ends with a jigsaw. Then, I removed the flaking paint with a wire brush and sanded down the rough and splintery parts until everything was fairly smooth.

For the base coat, I used Behr’s exterior paint/primer custom mixed in Golden Honey by Benjamin Moore.

Old Bench Painted Yellow

Once it was dry, I gave it a light sanding and followed up with another coat of paint in a deeper yellow colour I created by mixing the Golden Honey with a very vibrant yellow colour called Macaw by Behr. I sanded once again and lightly brushed on another paint mix with a bit more of the Macaw yellow to achieve the brighter hue I wanted.

The photos don’t show it well, but it gave the yellow some depth and variation by building the layers.

Bright Yellow Outdoor Bench Makeover with Behr Macaw Paint

The final step was sanding the entire bench to expose some of the original blue colour and give it an overall smooth finish.

Bright Yellow Bench Makeover with Behr Macaw Paint

Outdoor Bench Decorating Ideas

After changing our front door colour last fall and freshening up the porch, I wanted to add some additional decor pieces, including seating, but ran out of time before the cold weather hit. My “new” yellow bench was the perfect foundational piece to finally start the decorating process.

Bright Yellow Bench on Front Porch

On one side, I created a seating area with blue, white and yellow pillows for enjoying a mid-afternoon iced tea and reading break.

Painted Yellow Bench with Blue and White Decor on Front Porch

A few potted plants were added to bring in a touch of green and the crispness of white. Simple white plants make me happy!

Vintage Yellow Outdoor Bench with Potted Boxwood on Front Porch
Yellow Bench Makeover

An Indonesian basket, lantern, and a graphic door mat were the final decor pieces added to give the front porch some personality.

Front Porch Decorated with Yellow Bench and White Lantern
Front Porch Decorated with Yellow Bench and Ikat Pillow

The whole combination is the eclectic front porch I was hoping for.

Front Porch with Bright Yellow Bench and Blue and White Decor

Do you think I chose the right colour for the bench? Too bold or just right?

See the bright yellow paint my friend Jen selected for her cottage front porch.

Yellow, Blue and White Front Porch Decor

Have you stepped out of your box and painted something a bold colour lately? Is there anything unexpected you’ve done to make your front porch welcoming?

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Sending you sunshine!

Shauna at Satori Design for Living Blog - Home Decor, DIY, Vintage Finds, Recipes


  1. I love this bench and makeover! I think the color looks great and it brings life to your entryway! Love it….

  2. I think it looks really cute! I like the little bits of blue poking through the yellow.

  3. I have had a love affair with yellow for awhile and it’s exactly the color I would of chosen as well Shauna! Looks great against your house!

  4. I love it, Shauna!!! As much as I’m a fan of the weathered, distressed, aged – all that – look, I am so with you on the makeover you chose to do. The yellow is a burst of cheer, works beautifully with your colours, and yes, I’d want to forego the splinters, too! Very welcoming, and a perfect spot to enjoy a relaxing spot of iced tea!! :-)

    1. If it had been purely decorative, I would’ve tried to replicate the look on the sides. Now we can at least sit on it and move it to the back yard for parties. Thanks for stopping by!

  5. This is a fantastic pop of yellow and so cheery for summer! Love the accessories too! I have an old bench and I am suddenly getting the urge to paint it a bright color. Thanks for the inspiration!

  6. Nice udpate! It was a cute bench before, but I wouldn’t have sat on it! Lol. The yellow give the whole porch such a punch of colour. Turned out really well.

  7. Love the bench – what a great colour! Adds so much personality to your front porch. Now I feel like painting something yellow!

  8. Nice job, your porch is beautiful!  Love that yellow.  I’ve been painting everything yellow lately too.  Must be summer!!

  9. Thank you for the inspiration. I have almost that exact bench that is really weathered as well. I bought yellow paint and can’t wait to follow your creative idea. Thanks for sharing!!!

  10. LOVE your bench idea! The yellow is such an inviting color on your porch. Great WELCOMING vignette!

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