The Bench That Hubby Made

When we moved into our house I was so lost with what to do with our dining room.  Although it is a good size it is a room that you need to walk through in order to get to the rest of the rooms on the lower level.  It just didn't make sense to me to put a table right in the middle of the room.  So I thought that if we built bench seating along the wall we would be able to have our table to the side and it would not get in the way.  Hubby agreed that it would be a good idea and he got to work.  Here's what and how he did it:

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SHAUN: First you need to measure the length of your bench. Measure it twice and measure it right! Take into consideration any electrical outlets or HVAC vents that may be affected by the presence of the bench. I had two electrical outlets that are no longer easily accessible but can still be used if needed. The intake air vent along the bottom of a wall prevented me from having the bench run the entire length of the wall. 

Ex. The wall is 10ft long but the bench length was reduced to 9ft to allow air flow and access to the bench.

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The Frame: Start with some rough drafts on paper and how you suspect the frame should look. I ended up drafting six drawings before settling on the one. I started off with four construction 2x4x10 which was cut to 9ft. I then began planning the depth and height of the bench and was looking for a standard. I used a kitchen chair we had that I felt comfortable in and used this as a my guide, depth is 18" and height is 18". To support the frame and people that will be sitting on the frame I used 2×4 and 4×4 (the 4×4 were used in the corner posts and middle but can be ommited by joining two 2×4's together). To put this all together I used a standard cordless drill and 3" wood screws.

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With the frame complete and sturdy it was in two pieces and I needed a way of joining the two. I attempt three different methods before ending up with one that worked. Once joined I then needed to add the seat. After three attempts and picking up wood I learned that there is soft wood and hard wood. Make sure your seat is made with HARDWOOD!! I found this site useful click HERE

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To keep the seat in place I decided to place stops on the front, back, middle and ends. The stops on the front and back was done with standard construction wood 1x2x8. All of our wood was cut to size thanks to the helpful employees at Home Depot.  This wood does not look the greatest so I glued a door stop frame on top. The stops in the middle and ends was the same hardwood used for the seat. The creation of the seats used the same process of the DIY chairs post HERE. The front panel was a board used for making furniture. Not sure what type this was but it was one that was recommended if it was going to be stained. One tip I did not do but will next time… If you want the stain or paint to look flawless and smooth to the touch, SAND. It may feel smooth but you want it baby bottom smooth. This is all dependent on your own preference of course.

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After some discussion and persuasion 🙂 (from Amy) we decided to paint the bench all black with add white frame wainscoting. The wainscoting was made simple thanks to Home Depot – they sell lost of sizes of frames where the trim can be found.

To paint in your living room without a mess use a commercial drop sheet. Newspapers and old sheets may end up costing you more than the price of the drop cloth!! This bench was smothered in 3 coats of black melamine paint using a standard paint brush.

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I let the paint dry for 72 hours to be safe and placed the wainscoting frames in place before heading to bed so Milk would see it in the morning, give me the ok with the placement. In the evening it was all good. Out came the nail gun but the one I have can also use Brad nails. You can use finishing nails if you don't have a tool to use Brad nails.

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AMY: So I am obviously thrilled with the outcome!  Shaun did an awesome job!  Our dining room will flow through the rest of the house and we have plenty of new seating for when we have company!

As you can see Shane was there every step of the way helping his dad out. 

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I am excited to get started on our next DIY project!  Let's hope handy hubby is onboard 😉

Any questions on how he built the bench please ask – he would love to answer!

8 Comments

  • comment-avatar
    Christine February 10, 2014 (11:01 am)

    WOW! I need one of those!!! Can you guys come over? I’ll commission your DH to make one of those for me! The kids can have a play date and you and I can have a coffee date! LOL!

    • comment-avatar
      Amy February 10, 2014 (11:02 am)

      LOL – sounds like a plan!  I am so pumped with the outcome 🙂

  • comment-avatar
    Jenn February 10, 2014 (2:18 pm)

    WOW!! You husband is so handy!! I love the way it turned out!! Absolutely beautiful!

    • comment-avatar
      Amy February 10, 2014 (2:19 pm)

      Thanks Jenn, I guess I will keep him 😉

  • comment-avatar
    Kathleen February 10, 2014 (3:18 pm)

    Looks great! Love the frames on it, what a great way to make it look a little nicer than just a coat of paint. I love that Home Depot cuts your wood for you!

  • comment-avatar
    jodi shaw February 10, 2014 (3:33 pm)

    It’s amazing what you can do with a little wood, paint, love and hard work. Amazing job! I want one!

  • comment-avatar
    DeBalino, Babystylista February 10, 2014 (3:35 pm)

    Seriously – that is ONE BEAUTIFUL Bench! I was actually shopping around for one just the other day. The great thing about building your own furniture, is that it is unique to your home and it will definitely be a piece everyone will want to talk about! Great job hubby! (and little helper 🙂

  • comment-avatar
    Wendy [mapsgirl] February 10, 2014 (5:09 pm)

    That’s amazing!! Great job 🙂