If you follow along with me on Instagram, I’m sure you’ve seen my official entry for the IG Builders Challenge. This was the 3rd IG Builders Challenge and this time around the challenge was Ana White’s plans for her DIY bench.
I was a little nervous signing up for this challenge because I don’t have a lot of experience with building. I’ve tried a few things, like our farmhouse table and the fireplace mantel, but those weren’t at this level…well, from my experience anyway. That’s why I stuck with the plans instead of trying to come up with some other design. Since I’m more experienced with furniture refinishing, I thought I’d get creative with the color of the bench.
Getting all the lumber for this project made me realize I really need a pick-up truck…something beside a mini-van anyway. Yeah, those 12 ft. boards were sticking out of the passenger window, something I wouldn’t recommend. It’s good thing I’m not too far from the Home Depot.
After getting all that lumber home (which was quite a job), I had a young helper who was eager to help me start the project…
Including our 9-year-old daughter Jocelyn in this project was the best part about it all. She was so excited to help and did a great job measuring (twice, that is!) and even helped drill the pocket holes with the Kreg Jig! That was her favorite part of the job. Mom handled all the sawing, of course!
It was coming along nicely and we were more excited with every section of this bench we put together.
I think you can tell I’m a beginner by looking at this photo. There was a bit of repair work to do, filling the pocket holes with wood filler and sanding.
Once the seat pieces were attached it was time to attach the X’s on the back. I really thought this part wasn’t going to be difficult, but it was. I blamed it on the fact that I am not so good at math…that sounds like a good excuse anyway. I had a tough time getting the measurements right, and had to cut, and cut, and cut again. Luckily, I had plenty of 2×2 boards to make up for my mistakes.
I filled in all the pocket holes and the holes to cover the other screws that I attached. I sanded it completely to smooth out the surface with my mouse sander.
It all turned out pretty good for my first try at this. There are a few things I would correct or do differently, but it was a great learning experience and gave me practice for future projects!
I am really happy with the stain colors I chose. I used Varathane’s Weathered Gray for the base and frame and Bleached Blue for the X’s. I love the contrast and it gives the bench a beach-style look. This is the first time I have used Varathane stain, from the Rust-Oleum company, and I absolutely love it! It gave me great coverage and color while still showing the wood grain. I think Varathane will be my furniture stain of choice now. I still have to cover the bench with polyurethane, but it will be under our carport for now, out of the rain and in the shade.
To get Ana’s plans for this bench, visit: http://www.ana-white.com/2015/07/free_plans/large-porch-bench-alaska-lake-cabin
Thanks to all the hosts, sponsors, and judges for putting their time into this challenge! And, if you haven’t seen the entries for the IG Builders Challenge, check out the hashtags, #igbuilderschallenge3 or #IGBC3 on Instagram. You will see so many amazing projects from talented builders!