We made eight of these benches for Christmas gifts this year. It was a lot of fun and we learned so much along the way. We made 5 benches in the standard 30" length, 2 in 36" and 1 42" bench on request.
Suggestion for building: Make jigs so that the legs and side boards are the same size. It doesn't exactly matter if the measurements are a little off from the plan, as long as they are consistent in each bench.
We chose to paint the bottoms off-white and stain the tops for an elegant rustic look. However, we fully stained a couple of the benches as well because we thought they would look best for a few of our family members.
It was hard to tell exactly how long each bench took because we worked on all eight at once when we had free time, but one bench shouldn't take more than an afternoon if you are new.
I also added a picture of the one bench we chose to distress.
Martha Stewart "Glass of Milk" paint
Helmsman spray spar urethane