This took about 10 hours, including prime and paint. I raised the side rails 3 1/2 inches to dado the posts to accept a 2x4 siderail on the inside of the post, with 1x8 covering it at the center of the post. The siderails are bolted with 4x5/16" bolts, washers and nuts. We chose to leave it more rustic, showing the siderails at the ends and the bolt holes. It is all pine, bought new and along with a 1" forstner bit to recess the bolts, cost $198. It can be repainted at any time. Tools I used were a compound saw for ease of cutting straight cuts, a cordless and corded drill, 1/2" socket and box wrench, easy square and a circular saw for the 1x8's. We painted it with left over paint. Because its pine, we primed with BIN,
Benjamin Moore Pearl Luster "
Butter" Finish Coat, two coats.
I sand all wood with an orbital sander prior to assembly. Then I use a block sander after the primer dries and between the first and final coat of paint. I only sand after the primer and paint to knock off anything that might be sticking up off the surface. I don't go crazy.