Welcome to our guide on how to restore a church pew! Church pews are not just pieces of furniture; they are steeped in history and tradition, often holding sentimental value for congregations. Over time, these pews can become worn and damaged, losing their original beauty and charm. However, with the right techniques and tools, restoring a church pew can bring it back to its former glory. In this blog post, we will explore the step-by-step process of restoring a church pew, from assessing the damage to refinishing the wood and reupholstering the seat. Whether you are a church caretaker looking to restore an old pew or a DIY enthusiast eager to tackle a new project, this guide will provide you with the knowledge and inspiration you need to revive a piece of history.

Steps To Restore A Church Pew

Restoring a church pew can be a rewarding project that preserves its historical and sentimental value. Here are five key steps involved in restoring a church pew:


Assessment: Thoroughly examine the pew to assess the extent of the damage, including scratches, dents, cracks, or areas where the finish has worn off.


Repair and Cleaning: Repair any structural damage, such as loose joints or broken parts, using wood glue and filler. Clean the pew to remove dust, dirt, and grime using a mild soap and water solution.


Sanding: Sand the entire pew to remove the existing finish and smooth out imperfections. Start with coarse grit sandpaper and gradually move to finer grit for a smooth finish.


Refinishing: Apply a wood stain or paint to the pew, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Allow the stain or paint to dry completely before applying a finish to protect the wood and enhance its appearance.


Reassembly: Once the finish and upholstery (if applicable) are complete, reassemble the pew and ensure all parts are secure. Regular maintenance, such as dusting and avoiding placing heavy or sharp objects on it, will help preserve the restored pew.

pew wood restoration

Contact McPhail Church Services To Restore Your Church Pews

    Services of Interest

    church pew work

    Reupholster An Old Church Bench

    Reupholstering an old church pew is a great choice for several reasons. It helps preserve its historical and sentimental value, especially if it’s been part of your church for a long time. You can update its look with new fabrics to match any decor changes. Plus, reupholstering makes the pew more comfortable for congregants during services. It’s also environmentally friendly, as it keeps the pew out of landfills. Overall, reupholstering is a sustainable and cost-effective way to maintain your church’s history and ensure the pew continues to be enjoyed.

    new church pew upholstery

    Refinish Your Old Church Pew

    Refinishing an old church pew can revitalize it, preserving its historical and sentimental value. It repairs surface damage like scratches and worn finishes, restoring its original beauty. This process also lets you update the pew’s appearance to match any decor changes. Refinishing extends the pew’s lifespan, ensuring it continues to serve the congregation. Overall, refinishing is a cost-effective and sustainable way to maintain its beauty and honor its significance in your church’s history.

    Repairing A Church Pew

    Repairing an old church pew is a wise choice for several reasons. It allows you to fix any structural issues, such as loose joints or broken parts, ensuring the pew is safe for congregants. Repairing can also extend the pew’s lifespan, avoiding the need for costly replacements. Additionally, it helps maintain the pew’s historical and sentimental value, preserving your church’s history. By investing in repairs, you demonstrate your commitment to preserving its significance for future generations. Overall, repairing an old church pew is a practical and meaningful way to honor its past while ensuring its continued use.


    Donating an old church pew is a meaningful way to repurpose it. Consider giving it to other churches, religious organizations, community centers, or historical societies. Websites like “The House of Worship Furniture” also offer donation options. Before donating, make sure the recipient can use it.

    Get In Contact With Us Today

      Services of Interest

      church pew upholstery example

      Church Pew Replacement Parts From McPhail Church Services

      McPhail Church Services is an industry leader that specializes in church pew part replacement & repair, upholstery, refinishing, restoration, and pew installations and deliveries. In our warehouse, we always carry church pew replacement parts and have staff members ready to complete repairs all over the country.

      Pews may seem like they’re one solid piece but there are many parts that can be replaced such as: 

      • Seats and Backrests: These are typically separate pieces and can be replaced if damaged or worn out
      • Cushions and Padding: If the padding or cushioning on the seat or backrest wears out, it can be replaced through reupholstery
      • Wooden Components: Parts like armrests, legs, or other wooden structural elements can be replaced if they are damaged or broken. 
      • Hardware: Screws, bolts, and other fasteners that hold the pew together can be replaced if they become damaged or if the pew becomes unstable
      • Upholstery: If the pews are upholstered, the fabric or covering can be replaced if it becomes torn or worn
      pew restoration

      Where To Buy Church Pew Replacement Parts 

      Buy your church replacement parts from McPhail Church Services! We’ve worked with almost every pew manufacturer since 1990 and have seen it all. Whatever part of your church pew you may need replaced, let us know and we will develop a pew repair solution to fix the problem.

      How Is McPhail Church Services Different From Other Church Services?

      We pride ourselves on our flexibility and quality of service. We’ve been serving churches and congregations around the country since 1990, and we work on the church’s schedule and convenience, so as to not disrupt service at any time. We’re so confident in our quality and service that we offer a 15-year warranty on our upholstery, which is pretty rare for the industry.

      church pew colors

      How Often Should You Replace Church Pews?

      Church pews have been a necessary staple in almost every church for hundreds of years (really!) so it’s no secret that they can last a long time. But how long exactly? 

      High-quality church pews that are well crafted and made from woods like oak, maple, or cherry can last for several decades, even up to 50 years or more, particularly if they are well-maintained and not. subject to excessive wear and tear. 

      Lower-quality pews made from less durable wood and/or poorly crafted will more likely have a shorter lifespan, maybe needing replacement or refurbishment within 15 to 25 years. 

      This is especially important if your church has bought your current pews used. If you bought used pews and know it’s been at least 10 years since, it might be good time to consider replacement.

      Should I Reupholster My Church Pews?

      Reupholstering church pews are always a great idea. But it is important to note that this is a change that is mainly cosmetic and for the comfort of your congregation. Since reupholstery only involves the cushions on the pews it will have nothing to do with the structural integrity of the pews themselves.

      If you find your church members commenting on the pews themselves, maybe mentioning creaking, gaps in the wood, or the side panels not being uniform, then church pew replacement is what you’re looking for. 

      Church Pew Refurbishment vs Replacement

      Church pew replacement involves completely removing the existing pews and installing brand-new ones. On the other hand, refurbishment involves restoring or renovating the existing pews to improve their condition, which could include repairs, refinishing, or modifications. While refurbishment can be a cost-effective option, there are instances where replacement might be the better choice:
      • Long-Term Durability: New pews often come with warranties and assurances of quality, providing a longer lifespan compared to refurbished ones that may still have underlying wear and tear issues.
      • Modern Features: Replacement allows for the incorporation of modern features like ergonomic designs, improved materials, or better functionality, meeting current needs and trends in worship spaces.
      • Consistency and Aesthetics: Replacing all pews ensures consistency in design, color, and style throughout the church, creating a cohesive and aesthetically pleasing environment that may be challenging to achieve with refurbished pews.
      • Safety and Comfort: Newer pews often come with updated safety features and ergonomic considerations that might not be present in older, refurbished ones, ensuring better comfort and safety for congregants.
      • Time and Effort: Refurbishment can be time-consuming and might need ongoing maintenance. Replacement, while requiring an initial investment, can reduce long-term maintenance efforts and costs.
      While refurbishment can be a good option for preserving historical or sentimental value, in terms of durability, consistency, modernization, and overall convenience, replacing church pews often emerges as the more advantageous choice for many congregations.

      Where Can I Buy Church Pew Parts?

      If you need replacement church pew parts or if you’re looking for pew repair specialists, look no further!

      No matter the size of the problem, whether it’s broken support legs or missing communion cup holders, McPhail Church Services is equipped to handle it all. With extensive experience in repairing used church furniture from various North American manufacturers, we’ve encountered and successfully resolved every type of issue. Whether it’s tears in your pew padding or damaged parts, share your concern with us, and we’ll craft a tailored solution to mend your pews.

      McPhail Church Services Pew Replacement

      McPhail Church Services specializes in church pew refinishing, wood restoration, supplying pew parts, and crafting lay-in pew cushions as a budget-friendly alternative to conventional upholstered pews.

      We’re eager to collaborate with you to enhance or renew your church’s sanctuary seating. Reach out today for a complimentary quote, and discover how pew reupholstery can be an appealing and cost-effective solution for your church’s seating needs.

        Services of Interest

        pew restoration

        Church Restoration and Repair After a Catastrophe: McPhail Church Services can help!

        Natural disasters happen, and the church isn’t immune to having to deal with the catastrophe that a hurricane, flood or violent storm can inflict. When these sacred spaces are damaged or destroyed by natural disasters, it can have a profound impact on the emotional and spiritual well-being of your congregation. So it’s important to get timely help from trusted professionals as you set out to restore your sanctuary and meeting spaces.  Even when it’s more than just a clean or maintenance, McPhail Church Services can help!

        Why choose McPhail Church Services to restore your church furnishings?

        McPhail Church Services has earned a solid reputation in the field of church furnishings restoration and repair, backed by years of experience. Our dedicated team possesses knowledge and skills honed through numerous restoration projects, and we understand the unique challenges that church buildings present. Our specialty is restoration, repair, and transport of furniture for places of worship of any size.

        Our collaborative approach is a welcome help and a balm during such a difficult time for your church family. McPhail Church Services works closely with church budgets and governing bodies, ensuring that the restoration project aligns with financial constraints and meets the approval of the church’s leadership. We recognize that there are a lot of moving parts during a large restoration project, and we’re experienced at working alongside other members of the project team so there’s a cohesive plan that takes all aspects of your project into consideration. We strive to make the furnishings repair and restoration part of your project as seamless and timely as possible.

        Services McPhail can offer your congregation:

        At McPhail Church Services, we’ve been installing and refinishing church pews for decades. We have a proprietary process for our projects that we’ve developed with a lot of effort, research, and input from our clients. We’re so confident you’ll be happy with our work that we offer a 15-year warranty on our church pew upholstery.

        Our North Carolina based family-owned business specializes in church pew upholstery, restoration, and repair. While we’re renowned for our on-site pew upholstery and restoration, including cleaning and refurbishing, we can also provide complete pew replacement if needed. We’re happy to come to your church building and make recommendations of what works best for you, taking into account what and how much damage has been done by the storm or natural disaster.

        Partner with McPhail to restore hope for your church community:

        Church restoration and repair in the aftermath of a natural disaster are about more than just reconstructing physical structures; they are about rekindling faith and hope within communities. McPhail Church Services, with its wealth of experience, collaborative approach, and unwavering commitment quality, is the ideal choice for these critical projects. Contact us today to see how we can partner with you!


          Services of Interest