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An Early American Love Story

I’m in love, I’m in love and I don’t care who knows it!  One hundred thousand space bucks to the person who can name that movie quote (or that one).  But back to the seriousness, or as serious as I can get.  I just stained up the bench that Colby built and I’m in love!  I may have a new favorite stain color.

Classic American Stained Bench

Excuse the weird light.  We get CRAZY light in the kitchen early afternoon.  But I digress, the latest object of my love and admiration (second obviously to Colby…and I suppose I should through Goose in there too), is the Early American Stain by Minwax.  It was love at first swipe.

Minwax Classic American Stain

Normally I do most of my stain work outside (you know…because of the fumes and all that nastiness) but it’s freezing and snowy and one hot cold mess outside these days.  So I laid down a drop cloth and onto the kitchen table the bench went.

Preparing To Stain The Bench

I started by first staining the underside of the bench, then flipped it and stained the top.  Because the wood was so dry, it soaked up the stain real quick and barely took any wiping off.  It also meant that it was dry enough to the touch so when I flipped it, the stain didn’t smear all over the place.

Stained Vs Non Stained Bench

I cannot express my love for this stain enough.  I want to hug it…and hold it…and squeeze it…and love it.  My favorite part is how it brings out all the imperfections in the wood; all the knots, old lumber yard stamps, dings, etc.  Here’s a stained/non-stained comparison so you can catch my drift.

Stained Vs Non Stained Bench

After I let the stain dry overnight (you know…just so we don’t have another poly peeling incident), I put a couple coats of water based poly on the bench.  And by a couple coats, I really mean four.  I know it was a tad bit excessive but I wanted to make sure this bench lasts “long time”.

Applying Water Based Poly

I also wanted to make sure that all the crazy knots were properly covered and apparently, in my mind, four coats does the trick.

Rustic Bench Top

So, where is this masterpiece we call a bench going?  Why in the empty entry of course.

Empty Entry Pre Bench

Wha-bam!  Thar she blows!  Shiver me timbers!  We’ve got ourselves an entry bench!

Rustic Entry Bench

When Colby was building the bench for the entry, he made sure to make it just the right size for the entry.  Some might say that he went all Goldilocks on the bench…not too big and not too small.  It fits perfectly in the space, and it works height wise too.  It’s the perfect boot-putting-on height (a technical term in the coveted bench building industry).

Rustic Entry Bench

And true to form, it was snowing (again…I guess it snows here in Maine…what?!) while I was taking pics of the bench in the entry.  Hence the white streaks running through the above images.  And sadly, it’s hard to get a decent shot of the small space of an entry without stepping out onto the deck.  So snow shots it is.

As for the next steps for the entry, here’s a little listie mc-listerson for you.  And I’m not gonna lie, I’m already scheming up accessories for space.

Entry Re-Do To-Do:

  • Build, stain and poly a shelf to hang coats and purses (or satchels in Colby’s case…boys don’t carry purses…sheesh)
  • Create a storage area for Goose accessories like his training collar
  • Create a wet boot storage system and figure out an entry mat of some sort
  • Accessorize, accessorize, accessorize (I’m thinking about repurposing the window sash from our wedding reception for an art installation of sorts)
  • Re-paint the front door (but not until it’s warm enough to keep the front door open for extended periods of time…aka…NOT middle of winter)

I’ve still got so much to do to revamp the space.  And of course, I can’t concentrate and I’m wanting to tackle a few projects in the master bedroom, get cracking on that just-barely-sheet-rocked-it guest bedroom we’ve got going on, build a bathroom vanity, AND re-paint the bathroom.  I’ve got a problem…a concentration problem.  Actually, I’ve got precisely 99 problems but our entry bench ain’t one.  Rapper Angie…out.

Pssst…Show of hands, who out there also can’t concentrate on house projects (or projects in general) and wants to jump around from project to project?  I can’t be the only one!  Come on…fess up…you know you want to.  Does it help if I offer candy?!

Pssssssst…And sorry for the no-post last night.  I stupidly quit drinking coffee this past weekend and last night’s caffeine deprivation headache got the best of me.  But my head has since promised to cooperate so we’re back to normal…well…pseudo normal.


  1. Ah i was gonna say Dumb & Dumber when he’s talking about Mary Swanson but when I saw Emily’s guess and I think she’s right.

    I love that bench and that stain. It’s very rustic and natural looking. I have some flimsy ikea chairs that I need to paint or seal or something, maybe I’ll use that hmmm. I’m so lazy during the winter, its so hard to do projects, how do you guys do it?!

    1. Ooooh…Dumb & Dumber is another quality flick! I should quote THAT more often! Oh my gosh…tell me about it! I find winter projects are hard too. I just want to bunker down in my PJs and watch movies all day. I think shear determination and focusing in on the end result is what keeps us going. And usually our projects are MUCH lighter in the winter…aka…no ripping down walls til spring! Thanks for the sweet comment!

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Angie's Roost Campbell Family in front of home in 2021

Hi there! We're the Campbells. We traded in Maine city living for the country life in Vermont. You'll find us here fixing up a circa 1781 historic home, growing our own food, and filling this home with the memories and things that matter. Read more about us...

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