Ikea hack: Ikea bunk transformed in mudroom bench

Yippy! People, I am so happy to be finally done with the latest building project! My darn perfectionist side kicked in and boy did it take forever to finish this project. Folks, one can only sand and paint, over and over so many times before craziness kicks in. I finally had to tell my perfectionist side to be quiet and deal with it. Yes, I have conversations with myself.

This project was made from an old Ikea loft bed that my daughter had used. I bought it years years ago. While it isn’t that old, there were some pieces of wood that were starting to bow pretty bad. So bad, that one started to crack. I had using this loft bed for a little bit, but after hearing some odd noises when he would climb into bed and seeing the crack, the loft bed was quickly dissembled. I wish I could remember the name of the bed, but you can see part of it here:

So without further ado, here is the garden bench made from an old Ikea loft bed.
Old Ikea loft bed made into a garden bench.

Old Ikea loft bed made into a garden bench.

Here is what the bench looked like, before it was transformed. I have labeled the bed so you can see what pieces of wood became what.
Crazy, huh?!

Crazy! Hey, at least it’s FREE wood!

And because all of us get inspired from one source or another, my inspiration came from Anna White’s site. This is why this is a partial tutorial. The plans on Anna Whites’s site are very good. Besides, the size of wood we used varied greatly since we were using what we had on hand. Our bench is also a much smaller in length, due to where it will reside.

I have a confession; I did not build the bench. Gasp! H, did. Yep, when I realized we did not need to buy wood and could use the loft bed wood that had been sitting in the basement, H got to work. He loves doing stuff like this and was so sweet to keep checking with me about my vision for the bench. What was I doing? I was working in the garage (putting cabinets together, cleaning, organizing, etc.) while he was building the bench. Once the bench was done, he handed it over to me so I could caulk, spackle, sand, prime and paint. Go team!

Okay, the next step was to cut some of the loft bed pieces in to the sizes needed.
Bench legs and back support are cut.

Bench legs and back support are cut.

The first thing H made was the bench seat, aprons (seat sides) and underneath support. On the original plans on Anna White’s site, there is one support beam for the seat that is diagonal. We chose not to do this and have all three support beams straight. Our bench is much smaller in length (36″) and we opted to forgo the diagonal support. The straight support beams work just fine. 

The bench seat was made using the bed slats.
Garden bench seat assembled.

Garden bench seat assembled.

The bench legs were then attached using #10 – 2 1/2″ flat head, wood screws.
Woo-Hoo! It is starting to look like a garden bench.

Woo-Hoo! It is starting to look like a garden bench.

To increase leg stability, bottom leg supports were added (the leg support made a huge difference!).

The bench back support was then added. I decided instead of two back supports, I wanted a third and smaller width one in the middle. This piece of wood will be painted an accent color, along with the front apron.
Almost done building!

Almost done building!

And finally, the arm rest. The arm rest is 1 3/4″ wide, 18 1/2″ long, with a 3/4″ overhang.
All done building!

All done building!

H decided now would be a good time to purchase a router. Hmmm…maybe he planned this all along? I know he has been wanting one for a long time. Anyway, he used a quarter inch router bit and rounded out the arm rest and the top of the back legs. Here is a before and after, of the top of the back legs. What an amazing difference a router can make!
I love the routered look!

I love the routered look!

At this point, H was done and passed the bench on to me. I am very proud of him! He did such a fantastic job building the bench! There were lots of screws to be spackled, along with previous holes from the loft bed configuration and some seams that needed to be caulked.
There was a lot to spackle! Obviously, these pics do not show all the holes.

There was a lot to spackle! Obviously, these pics do not show all the holes.

It was a lot of sanding. I used 120 grit sandpaper and sanded the entire bench. The wood had light poly top coat as part of the original manufacturing process.
Time for some primer.

Time for some primer.

Once the bench was baby butt smooth and free of sawdust, I used Zissner, 123 primer. I love this stuff! It did a fantastic job covering the pine wood knots.
Yeah, I ran out of primer when I took this pic. Ooops. H was kind enough to go to Lowes and get me some more. :)

Yeah, I ran out of primer when I took this pic. Ooops. H was kind enough to go to Lowes and get me some more.

Because I was going for an all over smooth finish look, I sanded after I primed and in between coats of paint. I did a total of three coats of Valspar’s, white spray paint (satin finish) on the bench. Once I was done with the white spray paint, I taped off sections of the bench so I could add my accent color.
Taping off for Valspars, La Fonda Mirage spray paint color.

Taping off for Valspar’s, La Fonda Mirage accent color.

Here is the bench and all finished. I am really happy with the end result!
Old Ikea loft bed made into a garden bench.

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