Custom Build Mudroom Bench – Putting it All Together

This is it guys, the last step is the BEST step because you’re almost done!! So far we’ve made a bench, cushioned it, made some shelves, and now we just need to put it all together!

If you haven’t seen the first three steps in this four part series, check out the links below:

This post contains affiliate links. I receive a small commission for anyone who clicks on a link and purchases a product. All product links, affiliate and otherwise, represent my unbiased opinion about the product.

Materials

  • Thin wood trim – Icing on the cake.
  • Panel Board Nails – These are great for nailing small things and plus, they’re just really fun to nail.
  • Wood Putty – This stuff is both super cheap and super effective. It is NOT wall putty for drywall, I’ll explain below.
  • Paint – Dealer’s choice, though I recommend something slightly glossier because it cleans better.

Step 1: Trimming

At this point, the bench is done except for putting the chest lid on with the piano hinges and the shelves are up on the wall.

Adding the trim requires a little math. There are a bunch of different ways to do it, but here’s how I calculated where to put the trim. I put up the two pieces of trim that are at the ends of the shelves first. From there, I measured from the corner to the trim on one wall, subtracted the width of the trim I was going to add (two lengths), divided it by 3 ( the number of spaces between the trim) and rounded out the numbers.

For example:

(distance from corner to inside of outermost trim) – (width of trim x 2) / 3 = ?

38″ – (1 5/16″ x 2) / 3 = ?

(38″ – 2.625) / 3 = ?

35.375 / 3 = 11.791667 or about 11.75

I then measured 11.75″ from the corner and put a piece of trim there and measured 11.75″ from the inside of the outermost trim and put a piece of trim there.

After the math was done, this was probably my favorite part of the project! I LOVE hammering in little nails… I’ve always wondered if that was due to this toy I had growing up:

Honestly I went to go get a picture of this to post and thought I MIGHT be able to find an archived image – never in my wildest dreams did I imagine it would still be sold!! I’m buying it for every small child in my life.

Anyway, I didn’t mount the bench to the wall. I felt no need to since it’s ridiculously heavy and sturdy. Also, there’s a vent for the cooling system behind it so I didn’t want to permanently cover it up. In fact there’s a little space, about a quarter inch, between the bench and the wall which the cushions cover up nicely.

Originally I was going to add trim around the flat sections of the bench for a little more pizazz, but the trim is so ridiculously expensive for what you get, I couldn’t get myself to do it.

Step 2: Filling

Step 1 of step 2, get yourself some of this glorious muck.

Durham's Rock Hard Water Putty

No one is paying me to say this stuff is a must-have especially at a whopping $1.96 per can and they last a LONG time! It’s a powder and you don’t even need to read the instructions: just pour some of it into a (preferably disposable) cup, add water little by little until you got yourself a paste, and slather it onto any crack that needs filling.

BUT

As I said before, THIS STUFF IS NOT PLASTER FOR FIXING DRYWALLS, although you can totally use it for that. The big difference is written right around the strong man’s legs.

“ROCK HARD”

They are not joking. Unlike with plaster when you can schlub it on and sand off the copious extra, you can’t do that with this stuff – it’ll take forever. Instead, fill the holes/gaps and use a scraper to level it as much as possible, let it dry, then add more if needed so your sanding time is minimal. This stuff really is like sanding rock. That said, for a mudroom bench that gets kicked around a lot, the rock-solid aspect is brilliant. See how I filled a huge chunk in the side of the chest part? If it gets kicked, not harm done. If I filled it will plaster and it got kicked, I’d have a crumbly mess and a new hole.

Let’s review in a nice TL:DR

Durham’s Rock Hard Water PuttyWall Plaster
Use for:
* Things that get kicked around
* Filling wood
DO NOT:
* Overfill the gap/crack or you’ll be sanding for years
Use for:
* Filling holes in drywall
* Delicate areas
DO NOT:
* Use in places that get a lot of love/abuse

If you’ll notice, I use Durham’s Putty on the wall to fill a crack there, but I do so with just a tiny bit of putty and I only use it because I’m too lazy to make up a batch of plaster.

I mixed up steps 2 & 3 a bit when I decided I hadn’t done enough filling after I painted, so I refilled and repainted!

After filling everything then letting it dry, sand it all like crazy!

Step 3: Painting

I’ll try not to be too long-winded here because painting this is just, well, painting.

I went to Home Depot and found their “oopsie” section and chose a color from there. Then I, well I painted. I’m honestly not sure what tips to give here other then do proper prep work (putting down drop-cloths and taping off sections you don’t want painted) and if your bench isn’t bolted down, pull it away from the wall so you can paint the wall way down and paint around to the back side of the bench so you’re not A) missing any parts or B) “gluing” the bench to the wall with paint.

Don’t forget to paint the chest lid!

Step 4: Attaching the Top of the Chest

Place the chest lid exactly where it should be when the chest is closed. Eyeball where you want your hinges to go, then do a quick measurement to make sure they’re equal. Once they’re where you want them, use a sharp pencil to mark the holes where the screws should go. Remove the hinges and drill some pilot holes, then screw the hinges on!

Step 5: That’s It!

Let me know if anything’s confusing/weird/needs clearing up! And as always, please share your DIYs!

Warmly,

EGinny

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