The $200 bench

Would you pay $200 for this bench?

Completed bench

The paint is still drying in this picture. It's actually more shiny and red and less pink and blotchy in real life.

How about this one?

West Elm bench. List price $199.

I adore West Elm. In fact, if you are looking to buy me present, you could probably just open a West Elm catalog to a random page, close your eyes and point at something. I would probably like whatever it is that you pointed at.

I am pretty sure that this makes me boring, but I can only muster up so much caring about the state of my coolness these days (Ok, fine, I could never really care that much about the state of my coolness. Whatever.).

Anyway, I love West Elm, and I think that a lot of their products are well priced, but the price of outdoor furniture in general practically sends me into a decline. This shit goes out in the yard, people. In the sun and the rain and the snow and the dirt and the bugs.

Unless it’s made of stainless steel or wrought iron or something like that it’s not exactly going to last for the long haul, and even then it’s going to need regular painting/maintenance. So, why is it just as expensive, if not more so, than indoor furniture? It confuses me.

Anyway, back to my point. Basically, I pretty much love all things West Elm, but I really can’t afford their furniture. So, I built some. Really, the credit goes to Ana White. Her website is full of simple plans to build trendy, knock off furniture. You really should go check it out if you’ve ever thought it would be cool to build your own furniture.

I actually ended up spending just about $200 on the bench I built, but that includes lumber, hardware, sandpaper, paint and most importantly this baby:

My new baby. The Hitachi compound miter saw.

So, overall I think I got a better deal. I’ve already used the saw to make a work bench, a printer table and to start making the matching table.  I’ll blog the rest when I get a chance/prod The Art Director into getting some picture.

Honestly the hardest part about this project was finishing it. I sanded and painted each individual board before I assembled the bench.

Sanding and priming the planks for the bench

Sanding and priming the planks for the bench.

This felt a little insane, but I read that it is helpful to finish as many surfaces as humanly possible when you are dealing with outdoor furniture.

Painting the planks for the bench

Painting the planks for the bench.

Did you know that if you get paint all over your arms and legs it will be insanely difficult to get off, and you will have to go to work all painty for the better part of a week. Now you do. Wipe that shit off while it is still wet, or you will pumicing yourself raw for a week.

Letting the second coat of paint dry

Letting the second coat of paint dry

I think it was worth, though.

Completed bench - head-on

Completed bench. Again, still drying.

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One Response to The $200 bench

  1. Stephanie says:

    I’m very impressed! Nice Job! I’m can’t wait to see all you have done. It sounds wonderful.

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