My Latest Build: A Bench

Well, I’m a little behind schedule on the entryway projects, but I’m happy to say I have a project ready to share: my new bench! Isn’t she lovely?

I used another Shanty 2 Chic tutorial for this project, just like I did with my sister’s bookshelf. I was going for a very Restoration Hardware look and hopefully that was accomplished.

As usual, my first step was to drive to Lowes and pick up my lumber. Miraculously, it all fit in my car without being cut down at the store. And I didn’t need to have it cut down at the store since I have a new saw! Introducing my compound miter saw:

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The Hitachi 10-inch Single Bevel Compound Miter Saw, an awesome and reasonably priced starter miter saw.

I ordered it from Amazon and was pleasantly surprised at how affordable it was. You can spend more money for a miter saw with all the bells and whistles, but for now this will work for me. The saw was an essential part of this project, since it required a lot of angled cuts. I could have made all the cuts by hand, but let’s be real; I’m just a girl with a hobby, not some sort of lumberjack.

Once I got the saw put together and read all the safety precautions, it was a breeze to make the cuts, even the angled ones. I spent the whole time thinking why didn’t I get this saw sooner? 

After all the pieces were cut I followed the plans and put pocket holes in with my Kreg Jig K5 so my pocket screws could attach everything together and be hidden from view. The only variation I made from the plan is that I mitered the corners on the seating area of the bench so they came together at an angle. I thought it added a nice touch.

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Using my Kreg K5 Pocket-Hole Jig again!

After I created the top of the bench I built the legs, then attached it all together. It was at this point I realized a seven foot long bench is a huge bench. Luckily, I had plenty of space for it to fit in the entryway.

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After it was assembled I filled in some of the imperfections with wood filler. I didn’t use too much because I like the natural elements of the wood to show through. Then I thoroughly sanded the entire bench to smooth and even it out.

For the finish, I applied a wood conditioner first to prepare the wood for the stain. I then created a custom mix of Varathane weathered gray and dark walnut stains to use. I eye balled the mix and tested it on some scrap wood until I felt it looked the way I wanted. I applied a few coats until I felt as though it had the look I was going for. Finally, I added a couple coats of polyurethane to seal the stain and wood.

I was super excited to be able to move it into its new home! I’m still working on how to style it, but for now I just have a couple of spare pillows hanging out at the end.

Sidenote: I got a new plant. It is a fiddle leaf fig I picked up from Home Depot. I put it in a basket I picked up from my local Home Goods. I haven’t had a ton of good luck with house plants in the past, but I really love this one so I have my fingers crossed. One of my goals was to add live plants to the entryway, and I’m thinking between this and a couple of succulents on the console table I will be set.

My total cost on the bench project was pretty reasonable. I spent $43 on my materials to build the bench including lumber and screws. (This does not include the miter saw purchase.) I spent another $15-$20 on my wood stain and finishes, but I have plenty left over for future projects.

I built this over the course of a few days as my schedule allowed, but if you have woodworking experience I think this could easily be built in a weekend, adding time for any finishes you used to dry and cure.

All in all, I’m very happy with the bench and think it was worth the time and money.

*Post contains affiliate links.

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