The bench is finished!

Remember when I mentioned that Chip is following in his grandfather’s footsteps and beginning woodworking? Well, I’m a proud wifey, as his first project is officially complete!

Bench front

Doesn’t it look pretty darn awesome? I’d say for the first time with a jigsaw, he did a bang-up job. And in more ways than one. After it looked like this:

2012 Woodworking

He let me take a chain and hammer to it to beat it up. No offense to the perfect wood, but a little “distressed” is more my style.

I was having a hard time picking out fabric and paint colors, so we just followed the token Carnes’ colors and went with teal. It shows up in pretty much every room in our house, so we knew it would match anywhere. While at my home away from home (aka Hobby Lobby), we came across this lovely fabric, which matched oh so nicely with the teal and brown in our favorite living room chair.

Fabric with chair

After a fabric decision was made, we visited Home Depot for some friendly, neighborhood home store advice. Like I mentioned previously, decisions aren’t quite my thing, so getting help in the paint section is the way to go. Let’s be honest: too many color options for me.

We decided on a Glidden “Cappuccino White” color match to purchase a $3 color sample of the Behr Premium Plus Ultra paint. It didn’t seem like a lot of paint, but ended up being more than enough for our project!

We already had wood stain at home from this Christmas craft, so decided to save some moolah and use that as the undercoat before layering the paint.

Wood stain

After two coats of stain, the bench looked like this:

Stained bench

While the stain dried, I took to the seat of the bench for some upholstery. Now, the book I got for Chip for Christmas had details all about building the bench, but nothing about upholstering the top. I tried my hand at upholstering our dining room chairs, so figured I could do the bench without too much trouble. While it wasn’t terrible, the chairs were certainly much easier, as they already had all of the pieces, and I just had to recover them.

For the bench, I purchased foam & batting at Hobby Lobby (always use the 40% off coupon AND they recently created an app for it – oh happy day!!)

However, the foam wasn’t quite long enough, so after cutting it to size with an electric knife (who knew it had more use than just for carving turkey?!), we glued the two pieces together with… wood glue and hot glue. Not exactly what is suggested – spray adhesive is best – but when I get my mind set on a project, there’s nothing stopping me. Definitely not always the best thing.

Foam for bench

With extra batting, we created a sort of “band-aid” for the spot where the two pieces came together, and it worked pretty well. However, next time I’ll definitely be sure to have spray adhesive on hand.

Foam band aid

After cutting the layer of batting and fabric to size, Chip tried out the upholstery side of things and quickly decided he’d leave the finishing steps of the woodworking projects to me. His reaction was: “I’ve never been good at wrapping gifts…” That’s ok, Chipper, we understand.


After some tugging, staple-gunning and careful “wrapping” of the corners, the seat was finished!

Best suggestion: start with the corners and short ends – it will make your life a whole lot easier.

We beat the wood up some more with a chain and hammer and layered on a thin coat of the paint. It was a pretty good system. I’d paint, and Chip would follow with a rag and wipe down various spots to let the stain shine through. Finally, we both used sandpaper to sand the edges and other parts of the wood. We think the antiquey-ness worked out quite well!

Painted bench

After waiting a bit and screwing the piano hinges back onto the seat, we had a finished bench! Ta da!

Final Bench  Final Bench Side

I truly couldn’t be more proud of Chip. And now we have an awesome bench to store shoes, blankets, etc. The best thing (as cheesy as it may be) is that we made it together! I love to envision passing it down in our family one day. Yea, yea… cheeseball.

Here’s the real dilemma: now Chip needs a new woodworking job, as he’s already itching to make something else! Any easy suggestions? Do share!


6 thoughts on “The bench is finished!

  1. Wonderful job!!! Can he fix the cabinet your dad and I tried to put together? I still have it in the garage! HaHa thought he’d like a challenge.

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