Banquette time. Go.
Break It Down Now
First step was to ditch the disgusting, heavy, and enormous rectangular objects posing as cushions. They were unwieldly like squished and flattened dead bodies covered in fabric.
They weren’t even soft enough for my kids to jump on without adding additional padding.
Next I tore off the lip of the bench, the back trim on the bench, and the nineties rounded side trim (yo nineties, what were you thinking?).
And then I sat down on the bench, which yielded a key observation: my bench was less than a foot tall. Not exactly chair or banquette height (my chairs are 17.5″ seat height). Why had I not noticed this before? The pancake cushions probably added about an inch or two at most, so how did I live in ignorance for three years? Umm, probably because the cushions were so gross I rarely sat on the bench. Well, now the truth was out I had to raise the bench to be more comfortable to a 5’6″er like me, as opposed to just my six and a half feet tall cousins. So I came up with Plan B, which involved tearing out the bench tops, tearing out some window trim, and ending up with a heavy pile of torn out wood/mdf.
I may or may not have used muscles I didn’t know existed when dismantling and carrying all this junk. No clue why I chose to do all this when the hubs was gone.
Build it Up Now
I wanted to build up the banquette in height and also beef it up in strength. We like to entertain and lots of booties can sit on that thing at once. Don’t want to risk one of them falling through the bench. So enter eleven 2x4s that ended up like this:
I cut them like a puzzle, first creating one layer of 2x4s and attaching it with wood glue and nails. Then I did another layer of 2x4s, making sure I had no seams on top of each other. Next I added my plywood bench tops, which I adhered with wood glue and my nail gun.
Then some wood trim (more wood glue + nail gun).
And then paneling (paneling adhesive + nail gun).
All of these pieces were cut by my favorite cutter dude at Home Depot – he totally remembers me and my penchant for crazy cut lists (side note: why don’t people use the word “penchant” any more?).
Then add in trim (more wood glue, more nail gun).
And that’s it for the tearing out and re-building of this ol’ banquette. It was more work than I planned, but totally worth it to not have a bench only suitable for long-leggers. Next up, finishing this sucker. And if you aren’t sick of the pics in the post already, here’s a peek of what’s next:
Hello dark stained bench!