Honeycomb Bench

  • Advertise with us
Project by Scott Rhoades posted 12-25-2011 04:51 PM 2782 views 4 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This project started out as a simple refinishing of a bench we use as a coffee table in our small living room. There was a country theme checkerboard painted on the top and had been half worn away from years of use (and abuse from the kids). I originally had just wanted to put a gold pecan stain of it with some poly. After sanding it smooth my ambitions grew and I decided to put a honeycomb pattern over the entire top. My wife is a beekeeper and I knew she’d love it.

I printed out hexagons, covered them in clear tape, and cut them out. I wanted to try something different. I was going to use the hexagons and a painter tape border and then spray poly over the space left. The idea was that the poly would block the stain from penetrating where the honeycomb pattern was. A test on a piece of scrap shot this idea down. It still absorbed too much stain so I ended up having to tape it all off and use the tape to block the stain instead. It was a three hour process to tape, draw, and cut the pattern. The knife marks ended up helping prevent a lot of the bleed over from the stain by severing the wood grain. During layout I abandoned the idea to cover the entire top and decided to make three sections of honeycomb instead to make it look more natural.

This worked well but I ended up having to go back and hand sand some of the pattern to take care of bleed over from the stain. This left me with the pattern in finished in bare wood with stain on the rest of the bench. I was only a day away from xmas but my idea was still growing. I went into photoshop and made a few stencils for the bee. The white paint for the wings screwed me though. It went on way too thin and bled under the stencil. I had to re-sand and re-stain the area around the bee and then repaint the black. I sanded around the shape of the wings thought because the thin paint took on an almost cellular quality when it dried and went well with the natural theme. I then moved the wing stencil up a bit more than when I did the white and shot it with black which ended up looking much better than the plain white I had intended. Lucky mistake I guess. I hand painted the stripes to avoid another stencil incident. I finished it all with several coats of spray poly on the entire bench top.

My wife’s reaction on xmas morning alone made all the work worth it.

-- Scott Rhoades

7 comments so far

View KnotCurser's profile


2040 posts in 4521 days

#1 posted 12-25-2011 05:17 PM

Awesome project!

Using stain with stencils is a rather novel approach to finishing a large surface. I also like the way you wrapped the design over the edge. The bee, although it sounds like it took most of your time and effort, really ties the entire project together by creating a precise focal point.

Great job!


-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: [email protected] /

View Sodabowski's profile


2404 posts in 4286 days

#2 posted 12-25-2011 05:47 PM

Eye-catching! That’s a very nice refinish :)

-- Thomas - there are no problems, there are only solutions.

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1533 posts in 3814 days

#3 posted 12-25-2011 07:30 PM

I love it! Very imaginative, especially how you adapted your tactics to changes in the situation.

-- Clint Searl....Ya can no more do what ya don't know how than ya can git back from where ya ain't been

View Woodbutcher3's profile


463 posts in 4339 days

#4 posted 12-25-2011 07:50 PM

I’m a beekeeper, too! I love this! Nice job!

-- Rod ~ There's never enough time to finish a project, but there's always time to start another one.

View jaykaypur's profile


4017 posts in 3861 days

#5 posted 12-26-2011 03:29 AM

Very nice re-do. I love the hold-downs on the bee stencil. Aint nothing that cant be used as a tool….if it needs to be!

-- Use it up, Wear it out --------------- Make it do, Or do without!

View Scott Rhoades's profile

Scott Rhoades

11 posts in 4105 days

#6 posted 12-26-2011 04:00 AM

Thanks. I knew I was keeping that jar of rusty nuts and bolts for some reason.

-- Scott Rhoades

View wrench's profile


336 posts in 4066 days

#7 posted 12-26-2011 07:00 PM

very cool!!

-- WrenchsWoodworks

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics