For Christmas we gave D a Bosch power tool set to join his already beloved Melissa & Doug Toolbox. Jed was especially excited about this present and decided a workbench needed to be built ASAP. He found the plans for the workbench from TheWoodFather.com.
The bench needed a more finished look since it was going in the living room. After debating paint colors, I decided to stain it so it would have more of an old workbench feel over time. Plus, I thought a gray wood tool box would look great on the bottom shelf.
The first thing I did was sand the bench with my random orbit sander to even out the seams.
Before I used Minwax Wood Finish in Red Chestnut 232 to stain the wood, I applied a quick coat of Minwax Pre-Stain. This helps the wood to take the stain more evenly and without blotching. I applied the stain with an old white t-shirt as soon as I was finished applying the pre-stain. Wearing gloves, I rubbed on a coat of the stain. Once I had finished a coat, I used the other side of the t-shirt to wipe down the bench taking off any access stain. This also helps prevent blotching and streaks.
After 4 light coats and a night of drying, I was ready to apply a protectant finish to the bench. I used Minwax Water-Based Polycrylic Protective Finish in clear satin and applied it with a foam paint brush. Typically I would have used a 4″ foam roller, but it was too large to get into the small spaces. I like using the water-based finish because if I get any buildup around the corners or creases, I can wipe it away with a damp towel. Since there are so many tight corners on the bench, I found it extremely helpful.
I had the bench sit overnight again. Then, using a 220 grit sand paper block, I gave the bench a very light sand. This helps to make sure the surface is smooth.
Finishing the bench was an easy and inexpensive project for us because we already had the pre-stain, stain, and finish from previous projects.
Now the workbench was ready for D to enjoy!