Vintage DIY Bench

Hey guys!  I just finished one of my favorite DIY projects yet!  I have been wanting a vintage looking bench for my entry for quite sometime and our awesome friend Ana White came to the rescue, once again!

Distressed Entryway Bench

She sent me a picture of this bench…I fell in LOVE immediately and with Ana’s Vintage DIY Bench plans, I was able to recreate this bench for only $100!

Vintage DIY Bench

Here she is;)  I am slightly in LOVE!

I will be honest and say that I was TERRIFIED to build this.  I am not experienced with my router and the idea that I would have to cut the detailing on that bottom board ~ which is what makes this bench so unique and vintage looking ~ was almost enough to turn me off completely!  Well, I loved it so much that I decided to give it a go and it was NOT hard at all!  I will share a few steps that made it easier for me and a few pictures of my building process as well!

Again, a huge thank you to Ana White for the Vintage DIY Bench plans!

kreg jig pocket holes and wood glue

how to install quarter round

joining sides

plans for woodworkingI told you I would share what I did to make cutting the detail easier for me:)  I started on one end of the board and used Ana’s measurements and connected the dots.

how to cut wood with a routerThen I used this super, hi-tech strategy… I traced the detail from the first side on a scrap piece of printer paper, flipped it over on the other end and traced it ~ pressing down on the paper hard enough to leave an indention in the wood.  I then just ran my pen over the indention and I had perfectly matching ends!  I used my Dremel Trio to cut the detail but any router or jig saw will do.  (A sander will be your best friend here…. it cleans up all of the imperfections;)

how to install a drawer face

how to build a wooden drawerI cut my wood as I was building to make sure everything fit perfect!  Nothing worse that having to go back and make adjustments!

How to install a wooden drawer

Kreg jig pocket holes

how to cut MDFOkay, this is my favorite part of the bench;)  I just discovered PureBond ~ it is a Formaldehyde-free, decorative hardwood plywood that is not only better for the environment, it is BEAUTIFUL!  It paints and stains better than the plywood we have built with in the past and it is very comparable in price!  I was completely sold on it after seeing it in person at the Haven conference….so much so, that I returned the huge sheet of plywood I purchased before the conference, and exchanged it for PureBond!  I used my Kreg Jig Rip Cut to cut it down and again, this nifty gadget is the bomb!  It is inexpensive and is a great alternative to purchasing a table saw!

free diy woodworking pdf plansHere she is before paint:)  Notice how pretty the birch Purebond is on the backing… beautiful even before the finish!

I used the Vaseline technique to distress this beauty!  I started with 1 coat of Rust-Oleum Espresso spray paint (in satin finish).

Rustoleum Espresso spray paingI was so impressed at how pretty this paint was!  I have never been a fan of painting wood brown (I prefer stain) However, I called Whit as soon as I used this and told her that I want to finish a piece of furniture with it now!  It is so rich and the color is gorgeous!

I’ll save that for another day though because this bench is all about looking OLD!!! I used Vaseline on all of the areas I wanted distressed.

No science to this….I just went crazy:)

Heriloom White spray paintAfter the Vaseline, I sprayed 2 coats of Rust-Oleum Heirloom White spray paint, all over:)

Then sanded the edges to reveal the espresso.  It takes very little to sand because the Vaseline keeps the top coat from soaking in.

drawer with pullsI added my favorite decorative pulls ($5 from Home Depot) to the drawer and that was it!

how to build a vintage bench

how to distress wood

free woodworking plans

quarter round detail

diy projects

free PDF woodworking plans

I can’t wait to bring this beauty in and show her off in my entry:)  Again, I was so intimidated to build this but I stuck to it and it was not hard at all!  I have only been building furniture for 2 years and never thought I would be able to build a piece that had any kind of detail to it!  If I can do it so can you!  It’s all about having the right tools and if you can follow a recipe you can follow building plans!  My first build ever was this Pottery Barn Inspired Storage System and it is still being enjoyed today.  Here are a few other pieces of furniture I have built, for our home, in the past 2 years…. Outdoor patio furnitureside tables, storage bed, coffee table, night stands…. this is just a few (it’s addicting;).  Start with something small and keep challenging yourself!

If you love my bench, I would so appreciate pins below:)



  1. Kelly on October 6, 2013 at 8:18 am

    How did you learn to build? bought all these tols to learn, but I’m terrified! I don’t know enough, I’m starting as a beginner and I can’t find classes anywhere. I’m very discouraged, and my husband can not build anything either. I love your work!

    • Shanty2Chic on October 6, 2013 at 8:27 am

      Thank you so much Kelly! We started just like you but we didn’t have all the great tools so you are a step ahead! Don’t start with this bench. Start with a smaller project like framing a mirror for practice. Go to our wood working category in our project gallery and look for a beginner project. We guide you through the process and hopefully that will give you confidence! Go girl!!!!

      • Kelly on October 7, 2013 at 10:29 am

        Thank you Ashley! I will take a look!

  2. Keith Reynolds on July 28, 2013 at 9:10 pm

    I saw something similar on another site. They made one out of a small dresser and taking the top two drawers out and the top.

  3. Linda Keesee on April 11, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    Beautiful piece. When I first seen it I thought that it was an old piece of furniture tuned into a bench not built from scratch. Awesome work. Don’t know which color I like best, there all beautiful. Thanks for sharing. Pinning!

    Linda @

  4. nina sæthre on October 27, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    Do you have any ideas to how i can distress, or make some white painted furniture i have, the original colour on one piece is light oak and one is dark blue and these have been painted white. i d like to have them looking old oand shabby chic but i dont want to paunt them grey or brown and then repain them white…….. surely it must be a way to do this on already white furniture?????????
    you can email me on ninajeanette2 @ hotmail “dot” com

  5. Theresa Allen on October 25, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    Looks wonderful and I’m inspired to build one !! Thank you for sharing !! Theresa @

  6. Jules on September 10, 2012 at 10:19 am

    If I wanted to do the red top coat, what would I use as a color for the undercoat?

  7. Ashley B on August 8, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    Ashley all your pieces are AMAZING!! You are so talented!! I would like to make this, but I’m having a hard time following the directions. Any recommendations?

  8. Katie Jasiewicz on July 16, 2012 at 11:50 am

    I’m in love with this bench and the color you painted it! I too have just started using pure bond and love the product!

  9. Terry Moore on July 14, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    Initially I though that this used to be a dresser that you converted into a bench, but then realized it was newly built. But I guess you could use a dresser. Thanks for the idea. Love it! Saw you on HomeTalk. My blog is

    • Shanty2Chic on July 14, 2012 at 10:05 pm

      Thank you Terry! I never thought about building this out of a dresser until it was suggested!! It would be very possible and maybe cheaper!! Still love that you can achieve a vintage look from a new build:))
      Sent from my iPad

      • Sergio on April 29, 2013 at 1:34 pm

        I made one out of a dresser, I would like to send some pics, to show you guys, is it possible? my email is [email protected] thanks. Sergio

  10. Maria Ballon on July 10, 2012 at 7:43 pm

    Wonderful!! Inspiring – thank you:)

  11. Mae on July 10, 2012 at 3:47 am

    Thanks for this.

  12. Jennifer Anne Hoyle Boothe on July 9, 2012 at 9:11 pm

    Could you do this with an old dresser?? I have one right now and am looking for the right project to upcycle it.

    • Shanty2Chic on July 10, 2012 at 6:40 am

      I am sure it would be awesome! Send us pics if you do it:))

  13. Vicki on July 8, 2012 at 8:53 am

    When I first saw this picture, I actually thought it was an old dresser made into a bench – which I might attemt to do, by the way. I love the way yours turned out!

    • Shanty2Chic on July 10, 2012 at 6:39 am

      That sounds like a great idea! I’d love to see your finished piece if you do attempt it! Thanks:))

  14. Jacob Vanhorn on July 6, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    Hey Ashley, looks awesome! Can you estimate how many hours you spent on this project? We have a program called the ReWork Project where we provide a work space for homeless men and women to repurpose old things and build new things. Would love to consider adding this piece. (

    • Shanty2Chic on July 7, 2012 at 7:22 am

      Jacob that sounds awesome! I would say about 6 hours from start to finish!!

  15. Heather Beasley on July 6, 2012 at 9:09 am

    Omg! I want one! It looks so professional!

  16. Debbie on July 6, 2012 at 6:40 am

    This is pretty friggin fabulous!!!! Love Ana! I’m working with her on plans for a cupola. Great job on the bench!

    • Shanty2Chic on July 7, 2012 at 7:38 am

      Thank you Debbie! Can’t wait to see it:)

  17. kellie on July 6, 2012 at 3:41 am

    Awesome job! I love it! 🙂

  18. on July 5, 2012 at 11:53 pm

    Neat vaseline trick!

  19. Deneen on July 5, 2012 at 7:22 pm

    Love this bench! Anna gives good inspiration! Love the way yours came out!

  20. Lisa on July 5, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    Looks so great! I’ve heard of the Vaseline technique, but have never seen directions. Thanks!

    • Shanty2Chic on July 7, 2012 at 7:36 am

      Thanks Lisa! It is so much easier to distress and I love the chunky pieces of paint it takes off. Gives it a more aged look!

  21. Sally Spratt on July 5, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    Love it!

  22. June on July 5, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    Oh wow, this is REALLY gorgeous! Nicely done!

  23. WEST FURNITURE REVIVAL on July 5, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    you did such a beautiful job, it turned out perfect!

  24. Sarah Kane on July 5, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    Love it!! I am pretty new to building and I agree working with a project that involves detail is scary… but you nailed it!! I hope you share how you use it in your entry!!

    • Shanty2Chic on July 7, 2012 at 7:28 am

      Thank you so much Sarah! I will soon:)

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