Well I had hoped to have so much done to show you in the mud room but the painting part took EONS. I mean, seriously. But…there’s progress and I’m stoked so I wanted to share. I can see the finish line – at least the finish line for the built in bench. Baby steps!

Last I left you I shared how I built the bench for our mud-room-used-to-be-laundry-room using kitchen cabinets:

DIY mud room bench

Built ins out of kitchen cabinets, it’s what I do. It keeps working so I keep doing it. :) It didn’t look like much like a bench yet there…but it’s looking more like one now!

Since then I’ve installed the baseboard under the cabinets:

I searched high and low for a piece of trim that was exactly four and a half inches high. They basically don’t exist. Except this one – I don’t know what it was called but it had this cut out at the end:

Score! I don’t have a table saw and the hardware store won’t cut down smaller pieces of wood (length wise) so I’m glad I found that!

The trim comes almost flush with the cabinets, which I wasn’t planning on. I wanted it to be a little recessed, I just like that look. Now it looks like the base is part of the bench which won’t be a bad thing really – I’ll just need to do some spackling to make it seem like one piece.

I mentioned before I was going to try to get this trim piece in the middle looking seamless and I’m almost there:

I need to sand down the bottom where it meets the base and then fill it with spackle one more time and I am pretty sure you won’t see it when it’s painted. Crossing my fingers! If it’s noticeable I have a plan.

When I got the cabinets in I was a little worried about how much room we’d have for shoes. But we’ve started using it and there’s plenty of room:

shoe storage

See, both shoes and cats fit! We just throw our shoes in and pile them up. With our reworked closet (another project for this year), we won’t need to keep nearly as many shoes down here. That’s the plan anyway. We’ve always kept entirely too many down in this space so I’m trying to stop the madness.

My FAVORITE part so far is the long awaited butcher block on top of the bench! I got it from IKEA early last week and sent it off to get cut down. And patiently waited. You’d think I could have gone ahead and painted the cabinets while I was waiting for it, but no. That would only make sense. :)

I finally got the wood back yesterday and decided to stain it with the color they use on our floors, Jacobean by Minwax:

jacobean stain

There was plenty leftover from the floors in the mud room so the flooring guy left it for me. I showed you how I stain in this post.

Staining wood is probably right up there as my favorite DIY project – seeing plain wood transformed into beautiful, rich, luscious wood is AWESOME. I never tire of it. I used this beech butcher block from IKEA – I’ve always used the birch version and I like the way the birch stains up just a bit more. My IKEA didn’t have the birch in stock and I’ve heard they don’t carry it anymore?

Either way, when we put in on the bench last night I squealed with joy: Mud room bench with kitchen cabinets

It made it look like an actual, real bench, finally! WHOOT! I’m SO excited about how it’s coming together! The wood fit like a glove too – just perfect.

I still need to secure it with nails from the top and screws from underneath but it’s pretty secure as is. It also needs a couple coats of polyurethane. That will give it a nice finish, bring out the tones of the wood even more and protect it.

I had hoped to have the bench painted before I showed you but I was pretty happy with it at this point. I hope you can see my vision! I’m finally starting to. ;) I was trying to decide what color to paint the beadboard around the bench and you all had great suggestions. I ended up going with the peacock blue around the whole thing and I LOVE IT. The bench will be white and I think it will be beautiful.

Again, here’s how it looked a few days ago (I like before and after pics):

kitchen cabinet bench

(I shared how I made those plugs flush with the wall here.)

And here it is now:

DIY bench out of kitchen cabinets

Ack. Progress! 'Tis good.

I was going to paint those outlet covers blue but then I’d still have the white outlets, so I’m not sure what I’ll do. I hope to do some pillows or a cushion so you won’t see much of them. (I left them from when our washer and dryer were there and they are handy to have.)

Still need to do a few things to finish up this area – paint and install the trim around the top of the beadboard, paint the bench white and install hardware. Oh and touch up the wall paint – I didn’t remove the old shelf when I painted. :)

Of course that’s only half of it, I still need to decide the plan for the wall above the bench. I’ve got tons of space to work with up there and cannot wait to add more storage!

Here’s a before from a few months ago, after I painted the walls white:

white mud room

And here’s that same spot with the bench I’ve been dreaming about for ten years now:

DIY mud room bench

I hope to have at least the lower portion done next week and will be sure to share it!

Can you see my vision coming together? I’m thrilled with it so far! 


P.S. Go here to see this area completed!