Building a Mudroom Bench

So I am sure anyone who has been following this blog is tired of my enthusiasm over finally having a mudroom. But I have to say, it’s been pretty life changing. No more shoes and coats lying all over the place. No more asking 1,000 times for backpacks to get picked up. You get the idea.

After the house reno was “done” and we moved back in, we temporarily moved the bench we were using at the entry previously and hung some hooks until we came up with a more permanent solution, which I discussed in this post. We lived with it looking like this for a while:

Not the most efficient or pretty solution.

Over the summer, my husband had some time off so we decided to plan out a permanent storage solution since we hadn’t found anything that would fit the space and our storage needs for a reasonable price (plus the garage was clean so we had a perfect working space!). We started by looking for examples and/or plans online. My husband found this bench from Honeybear Lane, that had easy to follow plans so he printed that out and got to work figuring out dimensions.

We quickly realized that we wanted some major modifications to fit the space and our needs. We have five people so we decided to have the unit wrap around the corner. In addition, there is a light switch and electrical panel that needed to be planned around. Adding to that, I got the idea that I wanted a double set of shelves on the top.

My husband went about measuring and planning based on the plans he found and adding in the modifications we wanted. The unit is made mainly out of MDF, so based on the standard sheet size, he planned out all the cuts ahead of time and went to the local lumber store where they made all the cuts for a total of $10! It’s a family owned store as far as I know, so that’s a pretty good deal considering the big box stores can charge $1/cut.

After that he went about assembling the bottom bench. He started by building two boxes that fit together. He used his Kreg jig to put it together, and put them on the bottom/back side as much as possible so the screws would be hidden and we would have less finish work later.

Once the boxes were assembled, we did a dry fit and then installed them by attaching the boxes and then screwing them into the studs (we also invested in a good stud finder for for this project, well worth it).

After that he began assembling the upper shelves. These were constructed similarly, building two boxes and then attaching them to the wall. Here are some in-progress building photos:

We put up a guide to help make the process easier and to make sure we wouldn’t spend a lot of time and energy adjusting them to make sure they were straight since they were pretty heavy (as you can see, it took 3 people to get them up!). We also sanded, puttied the Kreg holes, and added a coat of paint before installing them, because we thought it would make it easier (spoiler alert, we were right! The second coat of paint was hard enough).

Once that was done, he put the bench top together. I REALLY wanted it to be cut into a 45 degree angle at the corner so it took a little planning. Also, in order to get the overhang we wanted on the bench, we had to add a 1×2 strip of pine between two 1×10 pine boards. To do this, he used his Kreg jig to attach it all on the underside so we wouldn’t have to putty those holes later:

We added 1×2 pine trim around the front of the shelving unit and the bench and it was looking pretty good!

Ok, this post is feeling really long so I’m going to stop here. I can’t wait to share how it all turned out!

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