Mud room bench progress

January 23, 2014

Well I had hoped to have so much done to show you in the mud room but the painting part took EONS. I mean, seriously. But…there’s progress and I’m stoked so I wanted to share. 

I can see the finish line – at least the finish line for the built in bench. Baby steps!

Last I left you I shared how I built the bench using cabinets for our mud-room-used-to-be-laundry-room:

DIY mud room bench

Built ins out of kitchen cabinets, it’s what I do. It keeps working so I keep doing it. :) 

It didn’t look like much like a bench yet there…but it’s looking more like one now!

Since then I’ve installed the baseboard under the cabinets:

I searched high and low for a piece of trim that was exactly four and a half inches high. They basically don’t exist. 

Except this one – I don’t know what it was called but it had this cut out at the end:

Score! I don’t have a table saw and the hardware store won’t cut down thinner pieces of wood (length wise) so I’m glad I found that!

The trim comes almost flush with the cabinets, which I wasn’t planning on. I wanted it to be a little recessed, I just like that look. Now it looks like the base is part of the bench which won’t be a bad thing really – I’ll just need to do some spackling to make it seem like one piece.

I mentioned before I was going to try to get this trim piece in the middle looking seamless and I’m almost there:

I need to sand down the bottom where it meets the base and then fill it with spackle one more time and I am pretty sure you won’t see it when it’s painted. Crossing my fingers! If it’s noticeable I have a plan.

When I got the cabinets in I was a little worried about how much room we’d have for shoes. But we’ve started using it and there’s plenty of room:

shoe storage

See, both shoes and cats fit! We just throw our shoes in and pile them up. 

With our reworked closet (another project for this year), we won’t need to keep nearly as many shoes down here. That’s the plan anyway. We’ve always kept entirely too many down in this space so I’m trying to stop the madness.

My FAVORITE part so far is the long awaited butcher block on top of the bench! I got it from IKEA early last week and sent it off to get cut down. And patiently waited. 

You’d think I could have gone ahead and painted the cabinets while I was waiting for it, but no. That would only make sense. :)

I finally got the wood back yesterday and decided to stain it with the color they use on our floors, Jacobean by Minwax:

jacobean stain

There was plenty leftover from the floors in the mud room so the flooring guy left it for me. I showed you how to stain butcher block in this post.

Staining wood is probably right up there as my favorite DIY project – seeing plain wood transformed into beautiful, rich, luscious wood is AWESOME. I never tire of it. I used this beech butcher block from IKEA – I’ve always used the birch version and I like the way the birch stains up just a bit more. My IKEA didn’t have the birch in stock and I’ve heard they don’t carry it anymore?

Either way, when we put in on the bench last night I squealed with joy: Mud room bench with kitchen cabinets

It made it look like an actual, real bench, finally! WHOOT! I’m SO excited about how it’s coming together! The wood fit like a glove too – just perfect.

I still need to secure it with nails from the top and screws from underneath but it’s pretty secure as is. It also needs a couple coats of polyurethane. That will give it a nice finish, bring out the tones of the wood even more and protect it.

I had hoped to have the bench painted before I showed you but I was pretty happy with it at this point. I hope you can see my vision! I’m finally starting to. ;) 

I was trying to decide what color to paint the beadboard around the bench and you all had great suggestions. I ended up going with the peacock blue around the whole thing and I LOVE IT. The bench will be white and I think it will be beautiful.

Again, here’s how it looked a few days ago (I like before and after pics):

kitchen cabinet bench

(I shared how I made those plugs flush with the wall here.)

And here it is now:

mud room bench with butcher block top

Ack. Progress! 'Tis good.

I was going to paint those outlet covers blue but then I’d still have the white outlets, so I’m not sure what I’ll do. I hope to do some pillows or a cushion so you won’t see much of them. (I left them from when our washer and dryer were there and they are handy to have.)

Still need to do a few things to finish up this area – paint and install the trim around the top of the beadboard, paint the bench white and install hardware. Oh and touch up the wall paint – I didn’t remove the old shelf when I painted. :)

Of course that’s only half of it, I still need to decide the plan for the wall above the bench. I’ve got tons of space to work with up there and cannot wait to add more storage!

Here’s a before from a few months ago, after I painted the walls white:

white mud room

And here’s that same spot with the bench I’ve been dreaming about for ten years now:

DIY mud room bench

I hope to have at least the lower portion done next week and will be sure to share it!

Can you see my vision coming together? I’m thrilled with it so far!  

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  1. It looks great! I love that stain with the blue walls. Can't wait to see it completed.

  2. I love love love this! The navy blue is incredible.

  3. OMG its so awesome!!! You did a great job! Love the peacock color on the beadboard! Can I ask why you had to send off the butcher block to get cut down? Is it hard to cut or something?

  4. Yes, I can see the vision and it will look great. You definately should leave the outlet covers white. Otherwise you'll have these little peacock eyes starin' at you sideways! Would a long, trim (not real thick to not take away from the depth of the seating) pillow across the back cover the outlets, and then add two regular sized ones in each corner at an angle? (If the outlets in white is really bugging you--I think totally good as is though).

  5. Okay this is super cool. you are so creative! AND I see some wood working above those louver doors! can't wait to see it finished :)

  6. Let me tell you, this is SWEET! Love the blue with the stained're the bomb!

  7. It looks awesome!! I am loving that peacock blue color - soo pretty!!

  8. You can probably find a spray paint close to that color and spray the outlet and the cover. I'm disappointed you didn't save that cool long space behind the cabinet with a sliding bench. (of course that would encourage you to store more crap-so in a way I envy you for preventing that)

    1. Love the idea! It will take more reworking than I want to do right now but I can always do it down the line. Still thinking of how I could make it work.

  9. It looks amazing! You are so clever, I'd love to be able to make things like that :-)

  10. The blue colour is stunning - and so is your creativity! I'll definitely be referring to this for inspiration when I make my own entryway bench.

  11. So I would spray paint those plastic baby proofing outlet plugs a similar blue. I think it would cover the whole white part but I don't have one near by to check.

  12. LOVE IT! I keep going back to the sad old cabinets at the ReStore...and revisiting my wish for a mudroom/bench in the garage. NOW. NOW I have a direction! Hopefully I can sway The Man onto the same.

    1. If we had a ReStore closer I would have done that too -- I can never find the right cabinets I need the few times I get there.

  13. Love the color and your confidence to take on this project. Great idea using cabinets! Do you need those outlets? If not, buy outlet covers (the flat ones that cover everything) and paint them. You can always go back if you find you need them later on. I like the baby proof socket cover idea, too. I just checked and they do cover the whole socket part. Can't wait to see the end result!

    1. I just got home and checked too. I think it would be better because plugging stuff in could scratch the paint off if it were just the painted socket.

  14. Love it! My head is spinning about where I NEED a bench now!

  15. love, love, love it - especially the blue paint and bench top

  16. What a great idea using the kitchen cabinets! This is looking beautiful and I love the color of the stained top!

  17. Wow, Sarah, this is turning out so well! The bench top is AMAZING, in particular. What a great choice! The wood is so dreamy against that gorgeous peacock blue :)

  18. Love the bench and the paint color is gorgeous. I use the 12 pair shoe organizers you can find at Target to coral the shoe problem in my house. One cubby per pair of shoe. I emptied half of my closet in my mudroom and stacked two on top of each other.

  19. I really like how this is coming together, especially the color. I can relate to how you said it's a project you've had in your mind for over 10 years. I have projects like that too. Your patience has paid off. I'm looking forward to seeing it finished!

  20. I love the stain color with that shade of blue. They look great together. It's really shaping up to be a great space in your home.

  21. Oh, wow, I really LOVE the color you chose for the wall. So unexpected with the beadboard look but completely right. It looks great with the stain color, too. :)

  22. It looks awesome! I don't know about painting the front of the cupboard white though. In my house it would show scuff marks. What about something that coordinates with the blue? That way the top of the bench would really stand out. Just a thought. Great idea, I'll remember when it's my turn.

  23. That is looking so great. I love built in storage. The blue is a lovely color. As for the outlets. I always paint the entire thing. Use a little foam roller and roll over it gently. Then wait for that coat to dry and repeat. I remove the covers and paint them separately. I have been doing this for years. I saw it a long time ago on a DIY show called "Surprise by Design". Do you remember that show? I had always wanted them to blend in and disappear but I didn't think they could be painted. The designer did it and I copied her. I have never had an issue with the paint. Plugging and unplugging eventually scratches a bit but can be touched up with a q-tip if a big deal. And it's not like a hairdryer will get plugged in there every morning. You may want to try it.

    1. We don't use these outlets too often so far so I may try that later!


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