In our house we have always had a credenza placed behind our couch so that I have a place to set my wine while watching shows and everyone else has a place for EVERYTHING that shouldn’t be there….This credenza also acts a way to separate our entrance-way from our living room and to give everyone a place to take off hats, gloves, shoes, backpacks… pants… EVERYTHING!! Lets just say the credenza, which was actually a crappy old dresser, was well used and needed a serious upgrade! This thing needed a major overhaul! Keep reading to see how to re-purpose and old dresser into a bench!
I haven’t put on my CRAFT HAT, so to speak, for quite awhile so I was nervous to begin this project. It’s literally been 15 years since I broke out an electric saw to do more than whack at some annoying branches…luckily I was able to
goad coax my husband into being my slave helping me with the transformation!
As you can see, our dresser-denza had seen better days! I took this picture after i had already begun and had taken most of the drawers out, all of which never stayed on their tracks… The doors in the center were missing a piece of glass courtesy of my now 5 years old and the thing was HUGE! It left no room for people to get shoes off without plopping on the floor in front of everyone else who needed to come inside.
First things first, I took off the back of the dresser in
jiffy about an hour…I never thought a piece of flimsy non-wood could need so many frgggin’ staples! Or that a one year old could make this task so hard…
After we muscled the sucker outside and I smashed the remaining glass in the door, we started trying to figure out how to physically support the changes we wanted to make. We finally decided on making the entire back of our “bench” out of ply wood which would give the entire thing a nice, firm foundation.
We measured a piece of plywood (actually we ended up with 1/2 particle board) for the center and attached it exactly in the middle, ending where the drawer would have begun. Then we broke out the circular saw and cut straight across the top. To cut the side we had to stand the dresser on it’s side and do a little juggling, but with a little muscle we were able to cut the side with a circular saw as well and had the first area for our bench done! Holy cow, we were actually doing it! I was seriously a bit freaked out by the fact that we hadn’t screwed anything up yet…and by how much saw-dust was in my bra…
making progress/taking shape!
If you decide to attempt this bench, be sure to save the top section that you saw off on each side. This will easily drop down and become the seats of your bench.
Once we got each section for the bench correctly cut, we attached the rest of the
ply-wood particle board to make it extra heavy sturdy. From here, we had to start thinking about some more support. I was convinced that it needed more support for the sitting areas, however my husband thought I was a dumbass cute girly girl, and simply watched while I started shoring up the sides and bottom with extra pieces of wood I had taken from the drawers. We used the sawed of side pieces to create bottoms for the sections under the bench where I wanted to put cute, lady-like, baskets that the kids hide gross crap in would make me look fancy…
After we felt that everything was shored up, we made a couple small adjustments to sections we had cut from the top of the dresser that would now become the seat of benches. This was ridiculously simple and quick and I found that most of my shoring was, in fact, unnecessary. The bench seat fit easily and was rock solid.
Next we hit up Lowes for some cheap, decorative siding that we found in the molding section. This was a little more tricky, We used the table saw to cut the molding to the correct dimensions and then cut straight up and stopped before the decoration section. Here we had to use a hacksaw to get the little grooves and everything to fit correctly…
My husband We REALLY needs to invest a in a Jig Saw so I can force him in to even more annoying projects!
Once the pretty molding was attached (we used tiny, baby nails), we were done with the hard, construction aspect of the project! It took only 8 hours and we had created an awesome, functional bench for our entry way!
I, being the
annoying wonderful wife that I am, thanked my husband profusely for helping me with all the sawing, cutting, banging and especially for insisting we build and construct in his garage gym rather than let me bake in the sun all day. So much LAVA for my hubs!
The finishing touches!
The next day I took to the task of painting. I decided that I needed some good paint that would endure the constant smacking of 6 children and so bought some high gloss, hard drying, paint for the sections that I wanted to turn white. I also bought some Restor-a-Finish as I didn’t want to undertake the task of stripping ALL the wood and redoing it. I sanded all the places I wanted to paint white and used the finish repair to shine up and hide the imperfections of the wood I was leaving alone.
Here it is! I used a little bit of calk and wood glue to hide any places that we weren’t PERFECT at cutting and I think it turned out fantastic!
What do you all think? I am so happy with how this project turned! It actually looks so good that i makes everything else near t look like crap…on to the next project!