It’s been well over a year of planning but finally, finally I got out the power tools and got to work on my most ambitious goal yet!
I started by having the electrician come and move an outlet + add another one high up on the wall. He also took the switch for the garage light and moved it to the garage wall. Here we are cutting holes in the wall:
And all done:
I picked up 2x4s at Home Depot and began cutting them to form the base:
As you can see it’s not just a box, there’s a cross support that’s 12″ from the wall (intentionally).
Then I created an identical box and measured vertical supports.
Here it is all screwed together using kreg jig holes:
If I were just building a bench this is where I would finish but my bench/banquette will also have a back and top. Here it is with the top attached:
With the frame done I’ll need something to cover it up – I decided on 1/2″ MDF for the sides, front and back, 1/2″ plywood for the seat and a 1″x12′ board for the top. With the exception of the top everything would get painted white.
I took the board outside and first hit it with a wood conditioner, then 2 coats of Jacobean, and finally 2 coats of Poly.
Now it was time to cut the MDF which came in a sheet 4’x8′ and was a BEAR to maneuver and cut. I mean, cutting it with my jigsaw was easy enough but stabilizing it was a pain.
I started by adding the front:
Then the side:
And then sidetracked to work on the bench seat. I wanted the bench to lift up for storage so I cut the Plywood to fit around the supports:
Then a cut where the bench seat would hinge – making sure I had enough clearance for the MDF for the back.
Before attaching the bench I attached a piece of trim on 3 edges to make it easier to paint. The trim was a little bigger than the plywood so once it was ironed on I trimmed off the excess with an exacto knife. Gave everything a quick sand and then it was ready to install.
I primed the bench seat on both sides and then attached a 30″ long piano hinge on both seats:
With the top in place I was able to trim the pieces for the back and the final piece on the side. It got nailed in and then caulked around the edges before a coat of primer.
Finally, I needed to cover the gap in the back pieces – due to a messed up cut on the first piece of MDF I intended for this to be one piece but hey, it’s 2! This 1″ piece of white trim got a layer of liquid nails on the back and then was taped and clamped into place.
Finally, the top piece was attached with a couple of 1-1/2″ nails.
So… all done, right?
Not yet, to finish it off and look seamless throughout the living room I added baseboards around the bottom and the everything got a nice coat of white glossy paint. Here you can see the primer coat on the left, first coat of white on the right.
It was still pretty streaky so the last coat went on with a foam roller to smooth things out. Here we are with the table and freestanding bench:
and after the final touch ups:
It’s hard to tell but there’s actually a 3″ foam piece on the bench right now which I’ll be trimming down and covering in fabric. But even that’s not “done” since I have big plans for the TOP of this bench/banquette built in to execute, just as soon as I’m ready to emotionally survive a living room full of sawdust again.