I built a shoe bench, and you can too! You know those projects that float around in your head for a while. Sometimes years even. And you just keep saying, “Someday I want to…fill in the blank.” Well, I’m trying to be better about filling in the blank. This bench is one of those ideas.
I don’t mind people wearing shoes in the house – I usually keep my shoes on too. But the shoe pile by our front door still looks like this.
Almost since we moved into this house a year ago I’ve wanted to have a bench by the front door so the shoe situation would just look nicer. I looked through plans over on Ana White and saw the Spa Bench. I knew with just a couple of modifications I could make it perfect for what I wanted.
Here are my modified plans:
1 — 1×12 @ 37 inches
2 — 1×10 @ 34.5
2 — 1×10 @ 17.25 inches
4 — 1×3 @ 17.25 inches
2 — 1×3 @ 31 inches
2 — 1×2 @ 31 inches
You’ll also need:
Kreg jig for pocket holes and 1 1/4 inch pocket hole screws
Clamps are helpful
A drill (I love my Rockwell!)
Paint/ stain/ clear coat of choice
A couple of notes on the pocket holes above. these are the 1×10 pieces. The shorter piece on top is one of the sides. See how the middle hole isn’t in the middle? It’s because I didn’t want the shelf to get in the way. Those holes will attach the trim pieces to the sides, making the legs.
Then the larger piece is the shelf and the top of the base. The two holes on the end attach to the sides. The holes along the long edges will attach to the front and back trim pieces. **The 4 holes in the corners should have been brought in away from the edges more. They were a super tight fit to get the drill in there once the piece started coming together!
I drilled pocket holes along the sides and ends of the two “shelves” and the two sides.
Screw the two sides to the top and add the shelf in 7.5 inches up from the bottom.
Then start putting the trim for the legs and top. These are the 1×3’s. The 1×2 is for the middle shelf.
With the base built, you can now sand everything. I used a random orbital sander and got a little carried away. You want to start coarse (low number) and move up to higher grits. So I did 80, 120, 220 and 320. But I really should have stopped at 220. For my top piece I was having so much fun getting it so smooth I went up to 400. After my arm felt like jelly from holding the sander, I wished I stopped 🙂
Vacuum the bench (especially in the corners where it’s harder to reach) and then wipe all surfaces with a tack cloth to remove dust.
Then stain the top (don’t forget the edges, and under the edges a couple of inches.)
Paint the base. I used a sample size of a combined paint/primer (Behr Aqua Mist.) I got great coverage in just one coat. But I still added a second coat right on the front side so that it would be more protected.
The final step was to protect everything. I applied two coats of clear gloss Polycrylic on the stained top and one coat of soft touch varnish over the blue paint. Hopefully this will help everything not get beat up by shoes, and be easy to clean.
After letting everything dry and cure for at least 24 hours, it was time to attach the top to the base.
I spread a layer of wood glue, placed the top on, making sure it was lined up flush in the back and overhanging the same amount on each side. I laid a paper grocery bag on it and we put to heavy buckets of wheat to press it down while the glue dried overnight.
The final step was just to add some felt tape to the legs so it won’t scratch up our floor at all.