Here is what I started with (bleh):
Did some painting in a semi-gloss white for the base:
Got my first board up and level:
Went to town with the nail gun while R napped:
Caulked the seams, filled my holes, and sanded the crap out of it:
Did a coat of primer and sanded:
Then one last coat of paint and a final sand, and added some hooks I had on hand from a $10 Ikea coat rack I had bought a while back and had taken out of our room:
From start to finish, the project took 2 weeks - if you don't have a 3 month old it should take you 3 days or less. The longest part is waiting for the paint to dry in between coats, and waiting for the caulk to dry before you can paint.
Not too shabby - now to paint the wall above it and get some pictures up there.
Overall I love it and it adds much more character to my little entrance wall than was there before.
The only downside? The lumber cost me about $50, which is a little steep in my opinion, but what's done is done and at least I have a lovely wall to show for it. Once the bench is in place with the pictures and painted wall, we will do one last side by side comparison to see how I did based on my inspiration photo-shopped picture. All in good time though, all in good time.