Thursday, January 5, 2012

Maddux's Workbench tutorial

So one evening a few months ago I was getting my pinterest fix 
and found this lovely idea 
I was so excited and thought Maddux was at the perfect age to Make him 
his own workbench for Christmas

Well it was harder to find the perfect nightstand than I thought
I searched and searched and had no luck
I had almost given up and decided we would just keep looking
and make it for his birthday (in April) instead
but just a few weeks before Christmas while I was out running 
errands with Maddux I decided to go and check the DI one more time
I found 3 different nightstands that would have worked all for about $15
I was so excited so as I was sending pictures to Ty to have him help me decided

I found this perfect cabinet for only $5
it was the perfect width and the perfect height for Maddux
it seriously was meant to be 
I bought it right then and there
and it made me so excited to bring this all together 

The materials I used/the break down:

-cabinet (DI) $5
-MDF board (Home Depot) $11.50 we used about $5 worth of the board
-Peg board (Lowes) $5 we used about $2.50 worth of the sheet
-Kilz primer (Walmart) $7 used about 1/2 the can
-Krylon Red paint can (Walmart) $7 used about 1/2 the can
-chalkboard paint (Home Depot) $5 used about 1/3 the can
-storage pegs and hooks (homedepot) $7
-electronic sander
-Sponge paint roller 
***The whole project cost about $30-$40 depending on what materials you already have

What I did:

Once Ty was done with Finals we started 
First we took off all the hardware and the doors 
Then came the disaster 
We sanded it primed it and painted it all outside in the garage and it looked horrible 
I pretty new to the whole painting furniture thing and 
didn't realize that when it is freezing outside the paint does not dry the right way
it was so blotchy and runny I was so upset 
but Ty calmed me down we decided to
get a huge drop cloth and work on it inside
so while Ty was out with a friend one day
I re sanded it getting off all the paint and brought it inside
primed it with the kilz primer using a sponge roller and let it dry with the fireplace on
It was already looking better 
so I was getting excited for it again
you live and you learn right?! 
Love when things work out

It took 5 coats of the red paint to completely cover the cabinet and look professional
Yes you heard that right 5 coats
When I redo furniture I am used to using 2 coats of paint and it looking 
fabulous but warning if you want to paint something
red just know it takes a lot more paint and coats to cover the piece of furniture
but once you get to that 5th coat it looks amazing 
We finally got the whole thing painted and finished by Christmas eve
we did a coat a day letting it dry between coats and lightly sanding it 
before doing another coat

Read more about painting furniture HERE

While we were working on painting the base
and letting it dry between coats
we started working on the other parts of it
So I measured the top of the cabinet 
and My amazing hubby cut the MDF board to fit it and go on top 
with a 2 inch overlay on each side 
Then Ty and My father in law Drilled three holes on each side of the overlay
so that Maddux can hammer in his nails or screws or store some of 
his tools in them

Once it was cut to the right size and the holes were drilled it was time to get started on the
top which is the actual work surface of the piece of furniture
First I did two coats of primer 
(MDF kinda soaks it in more than real wood so that is why I did two coats)

Once that was all dry 
I got my chalkboard spray paint and painted away

It was so easy I just did even strokes back and forth the whole thing until it was covered
then it was dry with in minutes

I did a second coat within 20 minutes of it drying
and it looked amazing 
 Once your chalkboard paint has been dry for 24 hours it is time to prepare it 
so that it can be used as a chalkboard
you just take a piece of chalk and cover the whole thing with the chalk and
then take a dry cloth and wipe it all off
and it is ready for your little one to color away
I am so excited for the top to be chalkboard paint 
so that it can not only be a work surface but a place to color
and what toddler doesn't like to color?! 

The peg board was the next important piece
We found this at Lowes it was the perfect sized holes, the perfect thickness
and we loved the color it made it look like a real grown up
workbench so we left it alone
all we did was measure the length of the cabinet
and cut the peg board that same length
then we just found the height we wanted it to be and cut it

This next step is optional 
I decided I wanted to put a clear protective coat on them
so once the 5th coat of the red paint was dry on the cabinet and the doors 
I used the Minwax Polycrylic water based spray paint 
and did 2 coats letting it dry completing between each coat

On Christmas Eve it was finally all dry 
and ready to put together
so when the kids went to bed Santa and his elves (me, Ty, Dan and Dave)
made it perfect
First all the hardware and the doors were all put back on
Second the chalkboard MDF board was wood glued onto the top of the cabinet
leaving a 2 inch overlay on each side
Third we attached the peg board to it all with screws 
and lastly we got all the storage hardware and hooks onto the pegboard
all ready to store all his tools he got on Christmas morning
And it was done just in TIME!
Ty was such a trooper thanks babe for helping soooo much!

The inside has a ton of storage 
he stores his new tool box, some tools, his hard hat 
and his tool belt in there

The holes that were drilled to hammer his nails into

His tools all in there place and ready to use 

another look at the before and after



Perfect and ready for a crazy toddler to enjoy

Maddux loves it
It is the first thing he runs to in the morning and after his naps
he loves the tools, he loves to pretend he is fixing things,
he loves us to fix things
and he loves to color on the top
oh and he loves to get all his tools down from there pegs
and mommy and daddy love that all the hard work was worth it
and love his smile every time he is playing with it
so much better than the plastic ones that break in five seconds and cheaper!

If you have any questions never hesitate to email or comment
I hope I have given you the tools and confidence
to be able to make one of your own workbenches for your little man 
Mix up the color, the cabinet and just have fun with it
It really is so much fun and your little one will love it when you are done

Maddux's Workbench is linked up here 
and here

Todays Creative Blog


The DIY Show Off

Thank you for all of your support, comments and for following 
Make sure to link up your fun projects to the show and share party Next Week
And make sure to come check out Motivate me Monday for
health and fitness support and ideas


  1. That is amazing! Great job, guys! If I had a boy I would so make this..

  2. love it girl!!! I will totally be coming back to this sometime:)

  3. Wow, that is really amazing! I love homemade kids toys like that. A friend of mine and her husband made a play kitchen for their daughter and it turned out really cute!

  4. It turned out perfect. You should link it to my party ;)

  5. This is super duper cute! Way to go Whit! I wish Lucas was younger so I could do this for him!

  6. You did an amazing job!

    ~Mrs. Delightful

  7. You and Ty did such a great job! I'm so glad that Maddux loves it so much! Maybe one day I'll make one for Ollie. :)

  8. You did an awesome job!! I love it when you find exactly what you are looking for!

  9. This is so great! You are so talented! If Dan and I ever have a little boy, we have to make one of these!

  10. This is the cutest project ever! I want to have a kid just to make this! Heck I want to make it for myself :) Great job!



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