I'll start describing my project from this picture.
A total mess!
My wife was looking at Amazon benches and Ikea furniture to make our entryway comfortable.
We had a width of about 151cm, and we did not find nothing that could fit and make the most of that space in a nice way.
I started scanning Pinterest for the nicest Mudroom projects and I got inspired.
Maybe the one I started from is this one Honeybear lane
I spent about 3 weeks (after dinner only :) on a sheet of paper with pencil, eraser, and a meter to measure the spaces available. You can project it in a few hours, but sleeping on that could help notice some errors or possible improvements. For me is the first “big” project.
Think in advance where to drill pocket holes to make them almost invisible.
As I realized it would be heavy to transport and hard to cut it smoothly, I decided to project also the cuts on every sheet of MDF and hardwood. I’ve been able to optimize the cuts and minimize the waste.
The whole realization has been made on about 3 weeks only after dinner or weekends. Less than 2 hours to make all the pocket holes with Kreg Jig. It’s really easy to use although it was the first time for me.
Step 1: Measures and Materials
SIZE & rough MEASURES (cm)
- Bench: 151w x 60 x 42h
- Top: 151w x 40 x 28h
- Vertical shelf: 38w x 40 x 160h
The main structure is made out of MDF 19mm while the bench top is 18mm hardwood. For the front face frame, I took 4cm x 1cm thick lattice.
- 3 sheets MDF 244x122 cm 19mm thick
- 2 sheets hardwood 100x60 cm 18 mm thick
- 7 lattice 250x4 cm 1cm thick
- Bead board 200cm height x 100m width
- Kreg Pocket Screws
- Caulking (white paintable)
- Sanding bar 320 grit
- Wood glue
- Wood screws
- Natural wax
- Nailgun (electric)
- Painters tape
- Hand wood saw
- Drill & driver
- Paint roller and brush
- Kreg Jig
- Of course pencil, meter and 90 Degree Angle Metric Try Square Ruler
COSTS (about) 230€
- 130 € for the wood
- 20 € for the hooks
- 70 € for the paint
- 10€ Glue, nails screws, caulking
It’s not cheap, and I know that with 3 Ikea Besta modules I’d spare time and money (not so much, it would cost 150€), but I like DIY and I’m very proud of the result of this built-in Mudroom.
For this project, I bought the Kreg Jig and the Black & Decker drill & driver, which had a cost that I’ll amortize in the next projects ;)
Step 2: Let's Get Started - Drilling Holes
As all wood was already cut, I started by making holes with Kreg Jig and drill. Fast e clean job. Make sure to use your breathing mask as MDF contains adhesives and synthetic sealants, which are harmful. I did it in open air.
Step 3: Assembling
The next part was trickier as I did not buy the Kreg Clamp for 90 degrees joints. I made some tests on scrap wood to understand how the pieces move while screwing them each other.
I noticed that on 90 degrees joints, the upper piece, the one with holes, was always sliding about 1mm towards inside. Therefore, I tried to drive compensating by positioning the piece 1mm outside, and the result was almost perfect.
As for drilling holes, the building of all 3 furniture: the bottom, the top and the vertical part, was very fast, less than 2 hours.
Although with Kreg Jig glue is not essential, I know that I’ll not need to dismount my mudroom and I decided to use wood glue to make everything more stable.
For the bench top, I used 3 pieces of hardwood to make it more solid and less flexible. The screwing process was much easier as you only need to place the pieces on a plane surface and keep them together with a normal clamp or with your knee ;)
Next step was smoothing the edges on the front side and sand the whole surface with my orbital sander. Make this step outside ;)
I was surprised on how precise all 3 pieces came out in measures and straightness.
Step 4: Positioning
Next step was to position it between my 151cm spaced walls.
I started removing the baseboard from the wall.
As I knew, the walls where not perfectly straight. Therefore, I had 151cm at floor height and 152cm at the bench top height. This process was also tricky to make all the pieces coincide each other but compensating the crooked wall. I did not use meter in this process but my eyes to make it well distributed on the space available.
I then used the level before screwing the vertical structure and the top to the wall to be sure everything was perfectly straight.
Step 5: Painting
This was the longest part. I know, the best way to paint would be make it before assembling and positioning, but as it’s winter and cannot make it outside, and moving those big panels around my home at every paint layer would not be easy, I preferred to paint it after positioning.
One reason I choose MDF for the main structure beside the cheapest price, was that it’s straight, plain and ready to paint, no need to sand.
I gave it a first layer of primer and sanded them lightly to a very smooth surface.
I started painting bench top which I wanted to have a natural aspect. I decided to test the natural coloring process made with Tea, Steel Wool and Vinegar. The result was not very even, so I sanded it lightly and repeated the process 2 times. For some reason is still uneven but nice.
I had to cover the bench top with painters tape on the edges, then cardboard and painters tape again just to be sure not mess up the nice color tone of the bench. Painters tape also on the walls and floor around the furniture.
I positioned the bead board to the wall with glue and nails and gave it to a layer of primer and a light sand.
I wrote the pros in choosing MDF, but I must say that this material absorbs a lot of paint and it’s dark brown. Therefore, after four layers paint, the bead board was completely white while the MDF had dark shadows almost everywhere. It required 3-4 more layers to become flat white.
Maybe in a next project I’ll give more layers of primer before painting.
Step 6: Finishing
As I wanted to refine all the edges with lattice and it would overlap the bench top, I started waxing the bench top panel. I didn’t know this material and waxing process, therefore I followed the instructions on the bucket: a layer of wax, wait 2-3 hours and then rub with a woolen cloth.
The last step is the crucial and most important as you’ll hide and correct all the imperfections.
By positioning the lattices, you can compensate the uneven wall and eventually correct not parallel horizontal or vertical lines. Take your time and use your level but your eyes too looking at the entire structure from different angle perspectives.
To position them, I used glue and my nail gun. Shoot your first nail on one extremity of the lattice and then use your level before shooting the second nail.
Trim and reposition the baseboard to the wall so the mudroom has a built-in look.
Now fill all the edges with caulking and let it dry.
I preferred to give the lattice a layer of primer and sand them before positioning just to make it ready for painting.
I painted all the lattices (3 layers) and one more layer to the whole structure.
To complete the project, I drilled four holes through the wood into the wall to set the hooks well stable.
Step 7: Enjoy
Remove all the tape, the cardboard and wooooooooow. I was literally amazed, incredulous!
I can’t say it’s perfect, but it’s my creation and I love it.
Sorry for my bad english and the grammar mistakes.
Please feel free to ask and suggest.