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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Laundry Renovation - Turning A Wood Panel Into A Bench Top

Today I'm sharing a laundry renovation update on how we turned a wood panel into a bench top.

After shopping around for a timber bench top for the laundry room we settled on this large wooden panel in Karri wood that we found in Bunnings for $99.

We cut the panel to size to fit on top of our laundry flat pack cabinets and have quite a big piece left  over to make a chopping board or something out of.

We cut the panel with an electric saw and kept the plastic packaging on the panel to protect it so it didn't get scratched. 
We then used a planer to make some final adjustments and plane the edge - this planed edge is going against the wall and the factory edge will be the edge of the bench that you'll see.

We also cut the hole out for the laundry sink using a jigsaw .... I accidentally threw the sink template out and had to go scrounging around in the rubbish bin to find it - the template for the sink is the cardboard packaging it comes in so don't throw it out like I did!
Another fingers crossed it fits test to make sure the sink hole was cut properly and all the plumbing is going to line up and fit nicely.

Now to sand out any scratches or imperfections - for the deeper scratches we used our floorboard filler which worked perfectly and the colour match was spot on. Once it was as smooth as a baby's bum it was ready for a wipe clean with a clean dry cloth and a coat of varnish to protect it.

The wood had already been finished with a HardWax oil to give it a natural surface treatment for wet environments. We wanted to keep it natural but add another layer of protection from water damage being that it's going in the laundry with water splashing from the sink and humidity from the washing machine.

So we picked out this Minwax Helmsman Clear Satin varnish - being clear it will allow the wood tones to shine through and it was low odour and easy clean up as its water based.

In the end we painted on 5 coats of the varnish on both sides of the panel with a light sand in between each coat and allowing it to dry overnight between coats.

When we were happy with how it felt nice and smooth and knowing it's going to be water proofed with that many layers of varnish, we were done and this baby was ready to be installed. 

We used the level and measured a zillion times to make sure the bench top was straight and then fixed it into place using metal brackets screwed into the wall and the bench underneath.

Once the bench top was in, we glued the laundry sink in using a SMX polymer that pretty much bonds anything to everything!

We weighed the sink down with some bricks to make sure it stuck good and water tight and left them there for a couple of hours.

It was a labour of love turning this wood panel into a bench top but just look at it now .... the Karri wood colour shows through beautifully and the grains and knots in the wood add a heap of character too.

We are now ready for the trades to come back - the plumber to hook up the plumbing to the sink, taps and our new front loader washing machine and the tiler to finish the splash back behind the bench and vanity in the powder room and complete the kick tile all around the room.

Then we can finish painting and decorating and we are well and truly on the home stretch!

What do you think of our wood panel turned bench top?

To see our laundry renovation progress to date check out these posts:
Laundry/Powder Room Renovation - Demolition Success
Laundry/Powder Room Renovation - Demolition Weekend Plans
Laundry Renovation - The Final Design
Laundry Renovation - Wood Look Bench Top
Laundry Renovation - Flat Packs Vs Cabinet Maker
Laundry Renovation - Flat Pack Assembly and Install
Tips for picking out laundry flat pack cabinets
Powder Room Renovation - It's All In The Flush
Powder Room Renovation - Basin and Vanity: Take Two
Powder Room Renovation - Basin and Vanity
Splash Back Choices - Be Brave Or Play It Safe
Laundry Renovation - Let's Go Mosaic Tile Shopping
Laundry Renovation - Picking The Tiles
Laundry/Powder Room - Floor Tiles Laid
Laundry Before - Our 1960s Laundry/Toilet
edesign Mood Board for the Laundry
Renovating - 5 tips for planning and designing

Sharing with link parties:
Home Coming - The DIYers
The Dedicated House - Before and After Wednesday

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[All images my own]

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  1. Oh, I just love it!!! You really worked your magic on it!

    1. Well Mr P did all the hard work! I love how it turned out :)

  2. Just stumbled upon your excellent blog while researching bathroom/laundry renovations. I'm from Perth too, and looking at using exactly the same Bunnings $99 Karri panels for benchtops (seems like great value), and wondering how your benchtop has fared after 3 years? Have you needed to re-varnish at all? Thanks for the great info.

    1. Hi Libor, it's held up really well hasn't needed to be re-varnished or anything it still looks great! The wood really adds a lot of warmth to the room too :)

    2. Thanks, that's good to hear.


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