Hello DIY friends! Today we will show you how to take a boring entryway and turn it into a bright and cheery farmhouse nook with great organizational features. You will see how this Mudroom Entryway Bench featuring Shiplap Walls can completely transform your home!
[This DIY tutorial has been shared with us by Jenn, who has made some fabulous DIY improvements to her home. Read on to see how she did it!]
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Updating our Boring Entryway
Previously when you walked into our home the first thing you would see was our laundry appliances; usually covered in whatever we were carrying when we came through the door. I tried hanging curtains from the ceiling to hide them, even positioning them on the opposite wall.
I contemplating building a wall around them but that would not work either. No matter what we tried nothing appealed to us. Nothing gave us the adequate space that we needed.
It was always a complete nightmare coming home to this space. Just a dull, dingy, unorganized mess!
Our entryway was cut down so much by the appliances. There was limited space for jackets, backpacks, boots etc. We had one upper row of hooks for my husband and I and a lower row for the kids.
Straight ahead was a notched out nook that housed our breaker box. I’m not entirely sure why it came out so far, but then again there are a lot of things in this old house that doesn’t make sense haha. The breaker box was so unsightly, yuck.
Building our Entryway Bench
We had some 16″ white shelving on hand. These were used in my different offices over the years as shelving and storage space. I figured this would be a perfect way to utilize them once and for all.
Laying them out on the floor helps to get a better idea of where they should start and stop. We knew we wanted an ‘L’ shaped entryway bench.
We also patched some holes in this wall with spray foam where we felt a cool breeze coming in. This mudroom porch was an addition to the home years ago along with our master bedroom.
I didn’t bother to fill any holes in the drywall because the shiplap walls above the benches would cover them.
We determined what we wanted the height of the bench to be. Taking into consideration the thickness of the top board that will come in in the final stages. I used a level to mark along the wall where my white shelving board would sit. Then I screwed a piece of 1×4 to both walls to act as the back brace for the top.
Cutting the Melamine for the Bench
Using our table saw we cut the top of our bench pieces down to the correct lengths. We then cut another length of white shelving to the heights we would need to make the cubby compartments. Then we cut six pieces to our desired height minus the thickness of the top board.
We predrilled all of our holes and used 1/2 inch screws to put the melamine boards into place. Make sure to screw your top bench board to the 1×4 run across the back brace along the wall.
When cutting melamine shelving it is best to use a special carbide blade.
A carbide blade is a blade with a high number of teeth that are designed to cut masonite and plastic.
You can also use painters tape to protect the shelving from chipping when you cut it. Simply draw your line on the board with a square. Then apply tape as close to center over front and back of the board.
We did this for our first cut but because our blade was new and designed for masonite, chipping was minimal we didn’t need it for the remainder of the cuts.
Strapping for the Shiplap Walls
Next up we strapped the wall. I’m not going to go into too much detail in this post but you can read more about strapping your wall in our pallet wall post.
Strapping is essential for building strong shiplap walls. If you intend on hanging hooks or shelves make sure to strap your walls first!
At this point, we decided to start filling in the little nook beside the breaker box. I wanted my wall to go above that height to allow plenty of length for hanging jackets and such.
Creating our Shiplap Wall
To make our shiplap planks I purchased 3/8ths good one side fir plywood from the supply store. I had done a bit of research prior to buying my wood for this project. That’s how I discovered I would want something that was not too thin and would warp. This plywood is priced perfect for my budget at around $20 a sheet.
Cutting the shiplap planks
We used approximately 2 sheets for our Shiplap Walls. We set the blade to 6 inches and cut the length of the sheet of plywood. This gave us 8 strips of approximately 6″ by 8′. Once they were cut I gave them a quick light sanding focusing on the cut edges.
Installing the Shiplap Walls
To attach the shiplap to the strapping I used the nailer and air compressor. I used the miter saw to cut the lengths I needed which makes this step quick and easy. The first boards were attached directly above the top of the bench keeping it flush all the way across.
When we built our garage they drew power from the breaker box down into the basement. The washer hid this cord previously. We decided to allow a gap at the back corner for it to fit against the wall. Then wracked our brains to figure out how to conceal it.
Once the first row is on, place your second board on top. Slide some nickels in to use as spacers between the rows. The nickels will help you keep an even gap between each shiplap board. Keep some extra nickels on hand because they tend to roll off out of reach.
Make sure you are nailing into your strapping as you attach your shiplap to the wall. You should also keep your level handy so you can ensure you don’t start going off from level.
Unlike our pallet wall, I did not stagger the boards, rather I used full lengths against each section of the wall making it seamless.
If you do have to have seams you could always caulk the seams with paintable caulking before painting your shiplap walls.
Concealing the Breaker Box in our Shiplap Walls
While I finished the shiplap walls, Josh created a shiplap door and built up a box around the breaker box. We were finally able to conceal this unsightly area once and for all. The door pops on and off rather easily so we can still get access to the breaker box when needed.
Hiding the Power Cord under the Shiplap Walls
We took a leftover piece of the plywood and ran it along the table saw creating an angle on the two long sides allowing it to fit perfectly into the corner. I then used this to conceal the power line to the garage that is in the corner we talked about earlier.
Add some strength to the Entryway Bench
After deciding I wanted to add some strength and stability to our bench uprights I cut some more 1×4 to fit between each cubby along the floor. Then I attached it to the wall flush with the floor by screwing into the studs. I made sure to check with my square for each cubby to ensure my upright was straight.
Choose a Durable Paint for the Shiplap Walls
Of course, we all know mudrooms get a lot of traffic, therefore, I wanted to use some really durable paint that could stand up to ‘the children’. I went to my local hardware store to check out what they had. One of their friendly staff pointed me in the direction of their extra durable urethane door and trim paint. A bit pricy but totally worth it.
Use durable paint for high traffic areas!
Paint the Shiplap Walls
I used a roller to apply two thick coats of paint. Using an Xacto knife blade I skimmed through the nickel gaps after each coat so that they would not fill with paint.
When I’m doing multiple coats of paint I like to place my roller, brush and tray into a plastic shopping bag so it does not dry out and no need to wash in between coats, huge time saver!
Adding details to our entryway
I wanted shelving at the top of the shiplap so while I was painting Josh started building the corbels I designed (omg I love them!). He did an amazing job using some wood we had on hand and a router.
Once all my painting was done I decided I wanted to give it a bit more detail. I painted up some strapping that I had made out of 2×4’s to add some detail to the bench frame. I think this adds a more expensive and built-in look.
While I was painting the trim I also painted the shelves that I had salvaged from the old cubby unit we had in our porch and painted up the corbels too. My excitement was getting the best of me and we pushed forward to finish.
Our Mudroom Entryway Bench Top
I wanted a beautiful stained wood top for the bench and went with my favourite 16-inch laminated pine shelving for this.
We cut these boards the opposite of the first boards (the melamine shelving) so that our joints didn’t overlap and give us a weak spot. We also added a bit of length to each board so it would create an overhang on the two ends.
This method worked amazingly; it is very strong and sturdy.
I stained the laminated pine shelving dark walnut with ebony over top.
Now it was time to install everything, we started with attaching the stained wood top to our entryway bench. We predrilled from the bottom up and used wood glue in our seam.
Because we put the shiplap walls on before the wood top we have a nice little overhang on the bench top front side to match the ends overhang. We calculated how much extra in the step above to ensure it was the same on all three sides.
Adding Trim Details To Entryway Bench
Once it was installed I moved on to installing the trim using the air nailer. It went very quickly since I had pre-cut everything prior to painting.
I first ensured that all the pieces were in the correct spot before nailing into place because nothing is really square in our home so they were many different lengths.
Adding the Corbels and Shelving To Our Shiplap Walls
Now we focused on installing our shelving and corbels. These are very strong which is perfect for the amount of weight we might put on that top shelf over the years. I can not tell you enough how much I love seeing these on the shiplap.
I’m so grateful that Josh made them for me and I didn’t need to use some sort of hideous metal bracket. These are all made from repurposed wood that we had on hand so no extra cost here!
Adding Hooks to Our Strong Shiplap Walls
Once that was all finished our next step was to install some hooks. Is it just me or does there never seem to be enough hooks in the house? Well because of that reason I decided on three double hooks for each of us.
I had purchased these as silver and just gave them a few quick coats of charcoal spray paint. Don’t forget to spray the screws too, simply push them into cardboard, plastic board or styrofoam to keep them upright. Love how they turned out!
Paint your hooks a dramatic color to create contrast!
We predrilled and marked everything with a level to ensure they were all unison. Quite a bit of measuring took place to ensure we didn’t drill in the wrong spots and cause any unwanted holes.
Seal the Stained Mudroom Entryway Bench
My final step for the entryway bench was to add a few coats of polyurethane to seal the stained wood. I’m not fond of a lot of shine so I like to use a satin finish polyurethane.
Seal with high traffic sealer & refresh every six months for maximum protection!
I had used this sealer for our hardwood floors I found upstairs last fall and loved it. I was amazed at how the scent was not overpowering. Therefore I was not deterred with applying it in our home.
This stuff goes a long way; I’ve done the girls floors, this mudroom bench, a few countertops and most recently my kitchen island. Still have a lot left to do re-coats over the coming years.
Adding a Rug to our Entryway
I bought two large rugs and trimmed one down to size to fit in each cubby. This floor area is now completely covered, solving winter wet floor problems. Because of the piling, I actually find it sweeps very well which is right up my alley since I hate dragging out the vacuum for one small area.
Adding the Finishing Touches to our Entryway Bench
Later I painted the ceiling a fresh white, would you believe it was a gross peachy rust color?!? Yuck! For the walls, I used two shades of teal that I fell in love with. One has a sort of seafoam mint color to it and the other is a dark bold teal. The actual color swatches are Splash and Key West by Premier paints at Canadian Tire.
I considered doing a slate blue color, but teal won in the end.
After the painting was done I added farmhouse trim. Check out the tutorial to see how I trimmed this entire room for under $40!
I’ve been building a bit of decor for this area as well. Keep your eye out for those tutorials!
Our Finished Mudroom Entryway Bench With Bright White Shiplap Walls
This project took us two days to complete! Yes, long days, mostly kid-free days (school). Partially because I can’t wait to see the finished project but also because it really is much easier than it looks. Installing shiplap doesn’t take much time at all.
The room, however, did not get painted and trimmed for a few more weeks.
I’m so proud to open my door now and welcome people into our beautiful new mudroom featuring these gorgeous shiplap walls and entryway bench. Usually, winter clothing gets overwhelming but this year it was so much more manageable.
This room is now bright and airy with a welcoming overall feel. It functions well for our little family and brings me joy walking into our home.
The new paint freshens everything up dramatically. The white shiplap is so clean and fresh and makes the room look even larger than I could have imagined. Our finished mudroom entryway with shiplap walls and L shaped bench still blows my mind away.
The Cost of Our Mudroom Entryway Bench & Shiplap Walls
This project looks like we spent hundreds of dollars. However, being that I’m a hoarder and we repurposed so much of this project we did this very frugally.
The only things that we actually purchased were: $44 in plywood. $80 in laminated pine for the mudroom entryway benchtop. Two carpets for approximately $80.
Everything else was made from repurposing. 2×4’s ripped down to create trim and strapping. The shelving from my past offices’ shelves. Hooks I hoard. Spray paint on hand. Oh yes, and the saw blade I purchased at habitat for humanity at a killer deal!
I love that this beautiful new feature didn’t break our bank account!
I’m so glad you could join us today for this tutorial. I know this is quite a lengthy post but I really wanted to show you all the details that went into our favorite project in our home so far. I hope you loved seeing this makeover and that it inspires you to try it too!
Are you adding an entryway bench? Are you looking for more inspiration? Let us know what you think or ask us questions below. Happy crafting!
Amanda is a mom of 4 living a mostly crunchy lifestyle outside of Atlanta, GA with her husband, 2 dogs, and a cat. As a former special education teacher who also has her personal training certification — Amanda really enjoys teaching others how to do things!
When she’s not working, Amanda enjoys DIY projects, exercising, photography, hiking, and long walks through Target.