We needed more chairs for our dining room table but didn't want to invest in more chairs; this plan from The Handbuilt Home proved to be the perfect solution! We shortened up the dimensions for the bench so in the end it didn't require much wood and was a very simple build (especially with the aid of a pocket hole jig!). Because we have a baby, my husband and I tag teamed this effort. I re-dimensioned the plan & marked off the cuts, then he went in cut. I sanded down the jig saw cuts and assembled the box (it was such a fast build with pocket holes!). We worked together to put the frame on with some finish nails & a hammer. After making the box I was nervous the bench would be a little flimsy, but after adding the frame the bench was -very- solid. Espresso stain made it match our existing dining room furniture perfectly. This was a very satisfying build.
We prepped with wood conditioner and applied two coats of stain. Finished it with Minwax Fast-Drying Polyurethane in Satin.