Stacking BenchesCheck out these easy-to-build benches that tuck under each other, have many uses, and take up little space. You can use them indoors or outdoors as side tables, footrests, or plant stands. Fasten a small chair umbrella to the largest bench to turn it into a shaded table for a child to snack or play on.

Putting my mark on a project is always rewarding, so I added a few to this project! Distress marks, that is! My wood choice was common pine for its rustic charm, and then I added distress marks to create more interest and character. I had some creative fun with combining different stains to enhance the appearance of the new wood. For the large bench, I chose two colours of Minwax® Wood Finish alkyd stain (Classic Gray & Red Mahogany); for the medium bench, two colours of water-based Minwax Wood Stain (Antique Red & Charcoal Gray); and for the two smaller benches, two colours of water-based Minwax Wood Stain (Natural Beige & Parchment) plus a Minwax Gel Stain (Chestnut) for an antique effect.

Remember to always protect your projects with the proper finish to ensure they stand up to many years of use and exposure to the elements.

Finishing Tips:Download Instructions
  • Always test staining and finishing results on a scrap piece.
  • Randomly distress wood using tools and sandpaper.
  • Fill nail holes with Minwax Stainable Filler prior to sanding.
  • Use Minwax Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner for even stain penetration.




Multiple colour staining using Minwax Wood Finish
Stacking Benches
Apply the darker colour stain to the areas you want to accent using a small, natural bristle brush, a cloth, or Minwax Stain Marker. Allow the stain to dry a minimum of four hours. Apply a coat of the lighter stain over the entire project. Wipe off the excess stain. Dry overnight.

To add an antique look to the project, apply Minwax Gel Stain or Wood-Sheen as desired. Wipe off excess stain. Allow to dry. More stain can be applied to deepen colour.

Multiple colour staining using Minwax Water-Based Stain
Apply the lighter colour of stain to the entire project using a synthetic bristle brush, a cloth, or staining pad. Wipe off the excess stain. Dry for a minimum of two hours. Use a piece of 150-180 grit sandpaper to create wear areas on the surface as desired. Remove all dust. Apply the darker stain to the sanded areas, and wipe off excess stain. Allow the stain to dry for two hours before applying an additional coat of the lighter colour to soften the effect.

To add an antique look to the project, apply Minwax Gel Stain or Wood-Sheen as desired. Wipe off excess stain. Allow to dry. More stain can be applied to deepen colour.

Protecting your projects
Interior projects
Protect with three coats of a Minwax finish. Choose an oil or a water-based formula in a satin, semi-gloss, or gloss sheen that can be applied over oil or water-based stains. Polycrylic® dries clear and cleans up with soap and water. Oil-modified Polyurethane has a warm, amber glow, and is water-based therefore it cleans up with soap and water. Fast-drying Polyurethane is an oil-based formula that cleans up with mineral spirits.
• 1877-179/552/589, 1877-958/959/960

Exterior projects
Protect with three coats of Minwax Helmsman spar urethane available in satin, semi-gloss, or gloss formula. Cleans up with mineral spirits.
• 1877-730/767/918

Outdoor Fabrics
Spray two coats of Thompson's® WaterSeal® Fabric Seal to protect against water damage, and to resist colour fading with UV inhibitors. It repels spills and stains while allowing the fabric to breathe.
• 4510-000

That's the Finish
Ralph Swan

Ralph Swan is a wood care expert for Minwax®, and is a frequent contributor to Home at Home magazine.

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