Mudroom Bench

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Project by Hoffmanuno posted 07-17-2015 06:48 PM 1046 views 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I was looking for cheap plywood in the Home Depot discount bin in order to make a painted mudroom bench for my basement entrance in order to sit and take off my muddy boots. What I found was a nearly full 3/4 inch thick piece of oak plywood discounted from $50 to $13. After looking around, I found the last 2 feet of it in the trash bin and put it on the cart to haul out. I had them rough cut it in around 20 inch sections in order to haul in my car and make the fine cuts when I got home. Since the wood was so nice, I decided to make it for my mom’s front entryway instead and stain it to match her old faded oak door. I originally designed it to sit with the open side up and have a lid with a cushion on it. My mother changed this design after I’d built it, but my generic design and addition of trim on every seem made putting it on it’s side with the open side facing outward and sitting on the side with a future cushion possible. She picked out some nice oak feet and I stained them and poly coated it to match. It turned out very nicely, although there were some scratches on the plywood that I didn’t quite get out that didn’t get noticed until after the stain had set in. I think I did a pretty good job on it for my first really involved woodworking project. Right now she’s looking for baskets to fit in the recessed areas to hold the shoes and trying to find a cushion that will sit inside the trim on top to sit on. I was a little worried that it needed 6 wooden feet vs 4 to support it, but it seems very strong. I dado’d every single plywood joint and glued and clamped it together before hitting it with the finish nail gun for a bit of extra support. I believe it was 1& 1/8 inch nails that were used. I mostly rely on tightly glued joints to hold up my projects and I think it will hold up well over time. I made it about 48 inches long because the space near the front door is about 5ft wide and so this will fit perfectly in that recessed space to sit and take off/store your shoes. My friends really like the design and I think this could be used pretty much as any type of furniture from a chest with lid, upright as a shelf, and even a media center if you put some wiring holes in it. I’m halfway tempted to build more of these in the future. The expensive part of this was the trim, which ran me around $70 or so. So total with discount this project cost me around $100 but would cost around $150 or more without that.

3 comments so far

View Hoffmanuno's profile


10 posts in 2457 days

#1 posted 07-17-2015 06:58 PM

I don’t have pics of the door before, but the inside of the door was in pretty good shape with the stain and poly coating good in all but a few areas, so I just touched up those with stain and put another 2 coats of poly on the inside. The outside of this door was faded to bleached wood except around the door edges that were protected from the afternoon sun. In addition, my mom had the door installed by her brother over 20 years ago and didn’t get to staining and coating it with poly for over 2 months. This caused the oak panels to separate along the seams and so there was always an air leak in it that she had tried to cover up with scotch tape and smeared wood filler over the years. She only put on 2 thin coats of poly on the outside as well, so it didn’t last long and was all faded off the last 5 to 10 years. I sanded the outside of the door down with 150 grit to bare wood and wiped it down with mineral spirits a few times while sanding and before staining. Two coats of dark walnut stain and 3 coats of poly later it came out pretty good. I didn’t have room in the garage to do this, and so I sanded the door in place while it was closed and then briefly open for the edges, then stained and poly coated it in place. I just need to put a new door seal on it and I’m done. It has some hard to see runs in the last coat of poly, but it came out very nice I think. Yeah, I could have done a better job, but with only the outside needing major work, I think it came out ok. I think it will match the mudroom bench perfectly.

View GrandpaLen's profile


1652 posts in 3607 days

#2 posted 07-17-2015 07:27 PM

That’s a beautiful door and the bench is a good match.
You may want to keep an eye on the bottom center of the bench, if it starts to sag, you can place a single ‘foot’ in the center (side to side and front to back) of the bottom of the box, a 48” span of plywood, unsupported, can be problematic.

...if momma’s happy, everybody’s happy. ;-)

Work Safely and have Fun. – Grandpa Len.

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

View Hoffmanuno's profile


10 posts in 2457 days

#3 posted 07-17-2015 08:12 PM

Yeah, I was worried about sagging. I’d asked my mom to pick up 6 feet, but she forgot and only got 4. I looked at it and said I could always add 2 more. Just like you said, I plan to keep an eye on it. Since she doesn’t get a lot of company and we are all under 190lbs, I think it should hold up alright over time. Still, I designed it to have a third pair of feet under the middle support. Hiding one in the center is a great idea! Thanks!

She was going to replace that door, but I told her I could bring back the outside to look better than it did before. She’s glad she let me do it now.

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