Mudroom Bench w/ Drawers

mudroom bench 3

When we designed our house one thing we knew we had to have was a mudroom bench and lockers for all of our daily stuff like jackets, back packs, shoes, etc. In this post I am going to go over the process of building and installing our custom built-in mudroom bench with reclaimed slab wood top.

If you love this stuff as much as we do, you might want to consider following us on Instagram where we post sneak peeks and behind the scenes stuff in our stories. Also, did you know you can get tons of projects plans from all around the web when you follow us on Facebook and Pinterest!

Disclosure: This episode was sponsored by Kreg Tool Company and DAP however the opinions are 100% my own. 

Full Project Video

Wanna see how it all came together? Check out the full project video below and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube so you won’t miss future videos!

Overview

Our mudroom bench needed to be built into this 88 inch nook. One side was up against the wall completely so I knew we would need to add a filler strip so that the drawer would be able to pull out. We also wanted recessed toe-kick since we plan on adding lockers above it. The base will get black paint and the top will be a 2 inch thick natural wood top. While this piece will be built-in I still wanted to make it look like a piece of furniture so we will be adding feet to the ends.

How to build a mud room bench overview 1

The Base

The construction of the base is very similar to a cabinet. However, in the build we are going to separate the carcass from the platform.

The width of your unit and how many dividers you have will be determined by your space and needs. However, the bench height is fairly standard at 18 inches, so that will determine the height of the carcass.

Building the Carcass

The height of the bench should be 18 inches so to get the height of the carcass you’ll need to subtract the top and the 3-1/2″ platform.

How to build a mud room bench Base

Dividers are equally spaced and the carcass is assembled with 1-1/4″ pocket screws. I found the Kreg R3 Jr. pocket hole jig to be the easiest to use when drill pocket holes in larger pieces of plywood like this.

Making a Built In Mudroom Bench 1

DIY Mudroom Bench 1

The Platform

The platform is assembled and attached to the bottom of the carcass with 1-1/4″ pocket screws. It looks something like this, with the feet just being glued up blocks of plywood that will get wood filler and sanded smooth for paint.

How to build a mud room bench platform 1

DIY Mudroom Bench 2

Drawer Boxes and Doors

The drawer boxes were assembled by a local cabinet shop that can do it better and cheaper than I but I did make the drawer front myself. To learn more about that process check out this tutorial. If you need to know how to make a simple drawer box you can get that info here.

DIY Mudroom Bench 5

Prepping for Paint

To get ready for paint we first needed to fill any joints and imperfections. We did so with Plastic Wood-X which is a wood filler with dry time indicator. Meaning the color changes from pink to tan when it is dry, so you know when you can begin sanding.

DIY Mudroom Bench 3

Another thing we did was to coat than plywood edges with wood filler as well. The other option is iron-on edge banding but we thought that this would be a more durable option.

DIY Mudroom Bench 4

Painting

Since this is bare wood, the first thing is to prime the surfaces that will get painted. Then, we followed up with two coats of BEHR® Urethane Alkyd Satin Enamel in the color Cracked Pepper. This paint is specifically designed with the durability needed for trim and cabinetry. Typical latex paint is not recommended.

DIY Mudroom Bench 6

The Top

For the top, we wanted something special, so we headed to Live Edge Detroit where we found two locally salvaged Siberian Elm slabs that was calling our name.

Cutting a Straight Edge on a Live Edge Slab

Since the slabs had a live edge on then we needed to cut a straight edge. We did so with the Kreg Adaptive Cutting System Saw.

DIY Mudroom Bench 7

I have always wanted a track saw and this thing is as awesome as I had always hoped it would be. It is super simple to use and much safer than a table saw.

DIY Mudroom Bench 8

Now we can start to get an idea of how this top is going to look.

DIY Mudroom Bench 9

Flattening the Slabs

When it came to flattening the slabs I ended up having to run half of the top at a time due to the capacity of my planer. Each piece was put on a sled and any gaps were shimmed so it wouldn’t compress as it went through the planer. This process work okay but not perfectly. Next time I would use a router, flattening jig and surfacing bit like my buddy John Malecki did here.

DIY Mudroom Bench 10

The Glue Up

For this glue up I wanted to make sure the alignment was as close to perfect as possible so I put some biscuits in to reduce the amount of planing/sanding required to smooth out the joint.

DIY Mudroom Bench 11

Then, with a high quality wood glue like DAP’s Carpenter’s Glue and some serious clamping, we were able to pull this top together.

Making a Built In Mudroom Bench 2

Making a Built In Mudroom Bench 3

Blending the Joint

To blend the joint I started out with a hand planer to plane down and high spots.

DIY Mudroom Bench 13

Anything that couldn’t get done with the planed got sanded down with a belt sander and finished off with a random orbital sander.

DIY Mudroom Bench 14

Filling Imperfections

We did have a crack in one board so we filled that with a two-part epoxy mixed with a drop of black acrylic paint for color.

DIY Mudroom Bench 15

Once it had hardened we hit it will a sander to level it out.

DIY Mudroom Bench 16

Prepare for Install

before we could make our final cuts to the top we needed to get a better idea of exactly how it needed to be cut. So I went ahead and started to install the base to make it easier. The baseboard trim has to get removed from the wall where the unit is going to go. I did so with a. oscillating tool and a pry bar.

DIY Mudroom Bench 17

Template Tricky Corners

Then I used a scrap piece of 1/4″ plywood to create template for the tricky corner on the left side.

DIY Mudroom Bench 19

Final Cuts to Top

Then I came back with the track saw to make the final cuts and a Japanese pull saw to finish off the inside corners.

DIY Mudroom Bench 20

Finish Sanding the Top

I then followed up those cuts with the fine grit sandpaper and eased any exposed edges.

DIY Mudroom Bench 21

Applying an Oil Finish

Lately we had started using oil more often as a finish and have really been loving it. This top got several coats of Tung oil and the natural beauty of the wood really came to life when the oil hit it.

DIY Mudroom Bench 22

Installation

Now it is time to install this mudroom bench. This is probably the easiest part of the process as it is just screwing everything in place.

Secure to Wall Studs

We started off by locating the wall studs and securing the bench to the studs with 3″ wood screws. During this process we made sure that the bench stayed level and shimmed as necessary to get it there.

DIY Mudroom Bench 23

Filler Strip

Then, since the base was made to fit within the trim we needed to install the filler strip. This is an L-shaped piece that was made wider than required and ripped down to the final width on install and secured from inside the cabinet.

DIY Mudroom Bench 18

Install Top

To install the top we set it in place, checked for level, shimmed from below as necessary and secured it from within the base with wood screws.

DIY Mudroom Bench 24

DIY Mudroom Bench 25

Install Drawers/Slides

The drawers were made by a local woodworking shop Elliott Woodworking who can do it cheaper and better than I. Plus they offer to notch the drawer and pre-install Blum under-mount slides for cheap! All I had to do was give them the width of the opening, height and depth of the box, and when they came in I just screw the slides in places, flush with the face of the base and slide the drawers in.

DIY Mudroom Bench 26

Drawer Front Installation

The back of the drawer fronts needed to be filled so that drawer handles that get installed in the future wont cause the panel to suck in. So I used some Rapid Fuse fast curing adhesive to bond 1/4″ plywood on the back.

DIY Mudroom Bench 27

I then applied 2 big dollops of hot glue to the back and temporarily glued them to the drawer boxes to make sure the placement was correct.

DIY Mudroom Bench 28

Once I was happy with the layout I secured them from within the drawer box with 1-1/4″ wood screws.

DIY Mudroom Bench 29

Finishing

To finish it off we caulked the cabinet into the wall and trim with DAP’s Alex Plus. After 30 minutes we could follow-up with touch up paint to match the walls.

DIY Mudroom Bench 30

mudroom bench 2

mudroom bench 3

mudroom bench 4

Questions? Comments?

As always, if you have any questions don’t hesitate to comment below and especially don’t forget to post pictures of your finished products in the comments! ENJOY!

About The Author

Related Posts