I built 2 end tables to go with my park bench. I had a lot of trouble with splitting wood, because the 1x2s where so thin. I'm used to more robust lumber. I tried something new. I drilled pocket holes, sanded, primed and painted everything before I assembled. I don't like painting as much, because I love using power tools. I psyched myself out by thinking I was giving it an elegant finish. Sounds so much nicer than slapping some paint on wood.
My son made some tic-tac-toe pieces from scrap treated lumber, by painting black X's on one side and white O's on the other. Now we can play on the end table!
Ana White's site is wonderful with downloadable, step-by-step shopping list, cut list and instructions.