DIY Entry Bench Start to Finish, 3 Injuries

Okay, fine readers, here it is – a pictorial sequence of our new front entry redo. Our DIY entry. Our big-time remove-the-eighties from the eighties house. This here is a compilation of numerous arguments, several rounds of paint, at least one bottle of gin, a fair amount of expletives, a huge ask of my family to have patience as I attempted something of this nature, and my new favorite room of the house.

We used to walk in the front door and go immediately into the front closet. You couldn’t have the front door and the closet door open at the same time. When guests left, we stood close enough to suggest flossing. It got awkward.

My ultimate favorite photo of the entire blog is this one right here. My son did the honors. It was exhilarating.

Demo was hugely fun and immensely dusty.

We filled in the walls and then put in a new floor and it sat for a year. Why rush these things?

In the meantime I painted trim and doors and the stair railing. Good move.

The bench ended up being built to withstand the entire defensive line for the MN Vikings. The thing will still be in one solid piece 100 years from now.



Grandpa Deaner would have been so proud to see my excellent carpentry skills.

Things slowed down a bit for me to figure out 1) how I would top this thing and 2) how to do it without spending a huge amount of money. I ended up finding a 20″ x 72″ red oak piece and spent more on the new router bit than any other one piece of material. A friend has a router table and we practiced several times before digging in to the final cut. The wood had a bit of a red tint to it and I used Varathane Kona and a little Varathane Ebony stain to work the shading and coloring to my liking. It had to at least pretend to be samers with the flooring.


Then it sat again a little while so I could regroup on doing board and batten around the wall. To be honest I was nervous this last step would eff up the whole thing.

Turns out this went mostly according to plan. Of all the steps in the project the biggest argument with my spouse was rehanging the hooks. It was literally the very last thing and my pea brain could. not. do. it. So I did what any other wifey would do: I got mad at the hooks, got more mad at the drill, took it out on my innocent husband, and stormed off. #adulting

Things I’ve learned along the way?

  1. My idea of good enough is not the same as “square.” Turns out the bench should be square.
  2. Who cares how long it takes? Look at it! Just look!
  3. If it doesn’t line up or cuts are short, USE MORE CAULKING. Paint over that sh*t and move on.
  4. It’s okay to squeal.
  5. It’s okay to swear.
  6. Someday, after the defensive line visits and after the hurricane it will take to break this bench, someone will find copies of this blog and what I (we) went through to build it.