Apply 1 to 2 coats of primer. Brush in the direction of the grain.
Paint the bench. Use texturized paint to give the bench a rough, sandy feel. Blend two or more colors across the seat. Paint stripes using painter's tape as a guideline or polka dots with a round sponge.
Stencil designs onto the bench. Secure a stencil to the bench using painter's tape or stencil adhesive. Paint the cut-out with spray paint or exterior paint. Remove the stencil while the paint is still visibly wet.
Wrap the bench with fabric or ribbon. Use decoupage glue to adhere material to the bench. Apply one coat of glue over the bench to seal material.
Put a cushion or pillow on the seat. Cut two pieces of fabric 1 inch larger than the length and width of the bench seat. Stack the sheets, decorative side facing in. Sew along three sides of the fabric. On the fourth side, leave a 2-inch length open. Turn the case inside-out. Stuff the case through the opening in the seam. Sew the hole shut.
Sew ribbon lace or fabric scraps to a bench with existing fabric. These pieces can be used to cover up holes and stains. Place the fabric on the bench and adhere with a small amount of fabric glue. Sew around the edge of the material with a needle and thread. Opt for embroidery floss for a thick, visible seam.