Although this is a diy project it will require a bit of skill set with power tools. If you don't have the tools or experience to work with them don't get discouraged. Improvise, find yourself an old piano bench or something that has the look you want and start at the painting and distressing stage.
Stage 1, cutting your 2x stock to the right dimensions and getting the clean line look. Standard 2x material has rounded edges for this project we want to cut off the round edges from both sides of the lumber. Set your table saw to remove a 1/4" then cut it off. Flip the 2x and cut off the other sides rounded edges. This leaves you with 3" instead of the typical 3 1/2" from a standard 2x4."
|stage 1, cutting off rounded edges of the 2x4's|
Stage 2, determining the bench length. Our project is going to be 40" long and 13" wide. this allows for easy measuring and miters. Pre-cut all your 3" material to the determined lengths (2) @ 40" (2) @ 13." Once your material has been cut you need to miter the corners @45deg. Make sure all the ends are mitered inward to frame out a box.
|stage 2, determining length and cutting miters|
Stage 3, glue your box together. If you have a pneumatic finish nailer this is a great place to use it (shoot 2" nails) to each corner. If not use deck screws (3") to hold corners together. Be sure to pre-drill or you will split the wood.
|stage 3, making the box for the bench|
Stage 4, the box is together and needs a center support. Find center of the box and measure the distance, it should be close to 10" (if you used our 13" dimension for sides). Glue, nail, or screw with (3" deck screws) flush with box.
|stage 4, adding center support|
Stage 5,cut (2) leg supports. For this step use 2x6 material it has a bit more area than a 2x4 and will make for a stabler project. Set into location glue and attach. They should be flush to the bottom of the box opposite your center support. Use (6) total deck screws to attach each support.
|stage 5, leg supports|
|stage 5, counter sink holes to hide 3" deck screw heads|
|stage 5, what project should look like at this stage|
Stage 6, cut out legs. Determine your over all bench height and cut legs according to that distance. the bench box is 3" a comfortable bench height is between 15-18." To be within this height cut your legs at 16-17" square (use 2x6) material and you get 2 legs per piece. Measure over 3 1/3" turn to opposite end and measure out 3 1/2" scribe a line from mark to mark and you have a tapered leg. Add a 15deg cut to each end off the leg to give the legs a simple flair.
|stage 6, cutting out legs|
Stage 7, attaching legs. Turn box right side up grab one of the legs square off in corner and scribe the outline. This allows you to know where to pre-drill holes for deck screws (2ea) per leg.
|stage 7, squaring and scribing|
Stage 8, glue and attach legs to box. The pre-drilling of the holes will help you to locate the legs to the proper location. Be sure to glue then attach with 3" deck screws.
|stage 8, all legs attached|
Stage 9, sand entire bench. Plug holes with wood plugs the same size of hole (if you used 1/4" counter sinks glue 1/4" wood plugs in, let sit to dry properly. in the meantime fill in all holes with wood putty, let dry, then sand (course, medium, fine).
|stage 9, prepping for sand|
|stage 10, base coat black|
Stage 11, top coat. Distressing doesn't have to be difficult and doesn't necessarily require special paints. Because I want our project to have some sparkle the top coat is a Ralph Lauren metallic. I had left over paint from some other projects why not use it. Paint out project let sit and dry.
|stage 11, top coat|
Stage 12, distressing. Distressing rules can vary I try to keep it simple. Distress area's that are typical ware area's i.e., corners and edges. I also use a variety of distressing tools such as sanding pads, steel wool, and sand papers. Work area until you achieve your desired look. Once that look is achieved steel wool the entire project it really smooths and adds a great look.
|stage 12, distressing side|
|stage 12, distressing corners and edges|
Stage 13, cutting out seat from mdf and adding foam. Cut a piece of mdf to your projects over all dimensions. For example ours is 40"x13" that's my mdf dimensions.
With an electric knife cut your foam out to that same dimension and secure to mdf with spray adhesive.
|stage 13, cutting mdf and foam|
|stage 13, adhering foam to mdf|
Stage 14, upholstering the seat. Pick out your fabulous material and attach it to the mdf seat. Always start in the middle of your longest edge (it will allow you to stretch fabric evenly). Turn to other side and do the same. Finally you have the small opposing ends fold them up like a present and staple them down.
|stage 14, attaching fabric|
|stage 14, fabric all attached|
Stage 15, secure your seat to the bench. I used finish nails along the outer edge of seat they're just small enough to go all the way through the fabric without noticing or damaging your fabric.
|stage 15, attaching seat to bench|
Projects done!! Another cool, fun, one off designer piece that had no problem finding it's way out of my hands into my daughters...