This all started with a desire not to be plain and boring, and as you would have seen in last week’s post, my awesome cedar bench turned out far from plain and boring. It was the exact statement piece I wanted for our front porch. But it didn’t come easily. There was some sweat, elbow grease, and maybe even a little blood put into this project.
It all started the July long weekend. After weeks of researching, sketching, and planning we were ready to get down to business. I think we spent nearly 45 minutes picking out our cedar boards at The Home Depot. I wanted ones that had a beautiful grain, while “J” just wanted ones with no chipped edges. Yeah, we’re picky like that. We decided at that point not to get them cut in-store, but rather rent a Home Depot van to get them home. By the time we had shopped, shipped, unloaded, and returned I was itching to get started!
This was definitely one of those projects where you have to be ok doing a repetitive task. I have the attention span of a 3 year old, so four cuts into our 48 required cuts I was about ready to bail. Twenty cuts in and I was ready to unplug the saw. By the last cut I was a twitching. At that point I realized I had to sand all 48 of those suckers! (what had I gotten myself into?)
Then came the assembly. While I finished sanding all 48 pieces, “J” began assembling the planters. We decided on a modern looking planter (something that wasn’t too boxy), so we opted to stagger and alternate the boards. Down went the first two boards for the base. The next two boards were arranged on top, slathered with some Gorilla Glue, and then screwed in place. Again, a repetitive task.
Once the planters were assembled (20 boards high each), “J” began to build the frame for the bench. With the frame built and securely attached to the two planters it was time to make a decision… Did we want an asymmetrical bench (like the one that originally inspired me), or bench that was flush all the way across? In most cases I would choose symmetry, however I wanted this to be a statement piece and have unique qualities…
So we added an additional 3 layers on the right-hand side creating a nice, raised planter. “J” even dressed it up with some perfectly cut cap pieces…
Once the build was complete I filled every single screw hole with wood fill, sanded the entire bench, and applied a coat of clear Varathane. As much as I love this bench, this is the point in the project when I swore I would never do this again. And then I had a celebratory beer.
// Project Breakdown \\
For those of you who are interested in the materials and cost breakdown of this project, you can find everything listed below. We choose to buy every thing new, so your total costs may vary based on what you already have on hand. Going with pine vs. cedar would also be a great option, and it would considerably lower the price of materials.
- 15 Cedar 2×4’s (8ft long)
- 6 Cedar 1×6’s (8ft long)
- Gorilla Glue
- Duragrip 8×2-1/2 Cedar Deck Screws
- Duragrip 8×3 Cedar Deck Screws
- 4 bags of Alexandria Moulding Hardwood 3/8 Birch Head Plugs
- 1 package Norton MultiSand 9 inch x11 inch Sanding Sheets Fine-150 grit
- Elmer’s Tinted Wood Filler Natural Tube
- Varathane Diamond Wood Finish – Outdoor (Water, Satin)
- Paint Brush
- 2 8inch diameter clay pots
- Ferns (or plants of your choice)
- Potting soil
- 3 decorative pillows
Looking for more summer DIY inspiration? Check out the other talented bloggers that took part in The Home Depot’s #SummerDIYChallenge:
Disclosure: I was provided with a gift card from The Home Depot in order purchase supplies to complete the Summer DIY Challenge.