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DIY Kid's Workbench

Fall '22 One Room Challenge - Week 4: Kid's DIY Workbench

Before reading all about our DIY Kids Workbench, be sure to check out our ORC Week 3 post for How to Install laminate flooring on concrete!  As well as the other participates!

diy kids workbench

This DIY Kids Workbench was such a fun project for me.  I am totally in love with how it turned out!  My kids have enjoyed playing on it as well.  I always grab the Home Depot Kid’s Workshop kits and the Lowe’s Kid’s Build and Grow kits and we’ve used our new play workbench to build a few of the kits that we have!

For the base of my DIY workbench I used a cabinet that my mom had and was getting rid of but you could us an unfinished, preassembled cabinet from Home Depot.  My cabinet is 30″ x 17″ x 17″, so I would use an upper 30″ x 18″ x 12″ cabinet

There are several different parts that make up this DIY Kids Workbench as a whole so I’ve broken down my post into parts.  Hopefully you can use this post to jump around to the section(s) you need. 

Part One: Refinish/Finish Cabinet

Step 1: Remove Doors & Hardware

Start by removing the doors and hardware from the cabinet.  I was able to easily remove my doors with my drill and then used a drill and screw driver to remove the door knobs.

diy kids workbench

Step 2: Clean the Cabinet

little tikes build

If you purchase a new cabinet you will be able to clean your cabinet by wiping it down with denatured alcohol.  For me, I need to lightly sand my cabinet and then I wiped it down with denatured alcohol

Step 3: Paint the Cabinet

Paint the exterior of cabinet, then paint both the front and backs of the doors.  I painted my cabinet the color Homestead Blue by Fusion Mineral Paint

Optional: Paint the interior of the cabinet.  I painted the interior of my cabinet Sherwin Williams Light French Gray.

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Part Two: Make the Countertop

Step 1: Cut Plywood to size

I cut my plywood to fit perfectly on the top of cabinet.  I had planned to add a trim on the edge of the plywood to finish the edges.  My top is 30″ x 17″.

If you are using the unfinished assembled cabinet from Home Depot you will need to add some 1″ x 6″ to the top of the cabinet to give your top a level place to set and be attached. 

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Step 2: Add Trim Edge

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To cover any space between the top of the cabinet and the plywood I decided to add a trim edging.  I used some trim that my sister had in her rafters, it measures 1″ x 1/4″.  To make a clean corner, I cut the trim at a 45 degree angle.  I attached the trim directly into the edge of the plywood using 1/2″ brad nails.

Step 3: Stain or Paint the Countertop

I decided to use a stain and polyacrylic finish for the top knowing this top would need to be able to take a beating from two little boys! Painting it would show wear and tear much quicker than staining.

I used Varathane Stain in Early American and then Minwax water-based polycrylic finish.   

kids tool bench

Part Three: Build Brace & Frame for the Pegboard

Step 1: Cut the Pegboard

diy kids workbench

I kept my pegboard at the 2 foot height and just cut down the length of the board.  I wanted the pegboard to go the length of my countertop so I cut it down to 30 1/2″.

Step 2: Cut 1 x 2s

Cut 1 x 2’s to create the back brace for the pegboard.  I cut one 1 x 2 at 29″ and then two at 40″.  The shorter 1 x 2 will be used at the top of the pegboard.  The other two will go down the sides and extend below the pegboard.  These will be the support to attach the pegboard to the back of the cabinet. 

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Step 3: Glue 1 x 2's to back of the Pegboard

assembly

To attach the 1 x 2’s to the back of the pegboard I used liquid nails and some clamps to glue the boards into place and then hold them until the glue dried.

Part Four: Put it all Together!

Step 1: Attach Feet to the Cabinet

diy kids workbench

Since my cabinet with the countertop is 22 1/2 inches, I decided to just add some small feet.  I used 2″ x 2″ boards cut at 1 1/2″ placed in each corner.  To attach I used 1 5/8″ screws and drilled from the inside of the cabinet directly into the 2″ x 2″.  This brought the finished height of my cabinet to 24 inches.

If using the 30″ x 18″ cabinet you could add 4″-6″ legs to the bottom to make the cabinet slightly taller for older kids.

Step 2: Attach the Countertop

To attach the countertop, I drilled from inside the cabinet through the top of the cabinet and into the plywood countertop I made.

workbench

Step 3: Attach Pegboard to the Cabinet

Using 1 5/8″ screws, I drilled through the long 1 x 2s and into the back of the cabinet.  I put a screw towards the top of the cabinet and then towards the bottom of the 1 x 2s. 

diy kids workbench

Step 4: Add Trim to Pegboard (Optional)

kids workbench

This is an optional step but I just loved the finishing look this added to the pegboard.  I used 1 1/2″ x 1/4″ trim board and attached with gorilla tape.  This was my first time using gorilla tape but it was very easy to use and created a very strong hold.

Step 5: Reattach Doors & Hardware

diy kids workbench

I used the same hardware that was on my cabinet doors to attach the doors to the cabinet.  I did update the hardware pulls for the cabinet doors so I drilled new holes for the new pulls and attached.  Then the DIY Kids Workbench was ready for tools! 

diy kids workbench

Like the way my playroom looks? Check out our Week 3 ORC Post!

Links for DIY Kid's Workbench

Home Depot: Hampton Assembled 30x18x12 in. Wall Bridge Cabinet in Unfinished Beech
Home Depot: 48 in. H x 24 in. W White Pegboard
Home Depot: Sanded Plywood (Common: 1/2 in. x 2 ft. x 4 ft.; Actual: 0.451 in. x 23.75 in. x 47.75 in.)
lumber
Home Depot: 1 in. x 2 in. x 8 ft. Premium Kiln-Dried Square Edge Whitewood Common Board
Home Depot: Woodgrain Millwork WM 266 1/4 in. x 1-1/2 in. x 96 in. Solid Pine Lattice Moulding
diy kids workbench

DIY Kids Workbench

Prep Time 2 hrs
Build Time 6 hrs
Dry Time 6 hrs

Equipment

  • JigSaw or Circular Saw
  • Miter Saw
  • Drill
  • Paint Brush
  • Paint Roller

materials
  

  • Cabinet 30" x18" x 12"
  • Pegboard 2'x 4'
  • Sanded Plywood 2'x 4'
  • 2 1"x 2" x 8'
  • Denatured Alcohol
  • Paint
  • Wood Stain
  • Polycrylic Finish
  • Furniture Legs 4"-6"
  • Gorilla Tape
  • Pegboard Organizers
  • 1 1/2" x1/4" Trim
  • 1" x1/4" Trim
  • Cabinet Pulls

Instructions
 

Part One: Refinish/Finish Cabinet

  • Remove Doors & Hardware
  • Clean Cabinet
  • Paint Cabinet

Part Two: Make Countertop

  • Cut Sanded Plywood to Size
  • Add Trim Edge
  • Stain or Paint

Part Three: Build Pegboard Brace

  • Cut Pegboard
  • Cut 1 x 2s
  • Glue 1 x 2s to Back of Pegboard

Part Four: Put it All Together!

  • Attach Feet to Cabinet
  • Attach Countertop
  • Attach Pegboard to Cabinet
  • Add Trim to Pegboard (optional)
  • Reattach Doors & Hardware
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