A wood bench is a perfect way to add more seating to your home, both indoors and outdoors. You can customize a wood bench to fit seamlessly into your space by painting it for a modern look or staining it for a more rustic vibe. Either way, these plans for a DIY wood bench are sure to help you make a bench that wins over the hearts of your family and guests. And, if time is a concern, don’t worry. You can complete this simple project in a day, no woodworking expertise necessary.
Making Your Own Wooden Bench
Building a wood bench seat for the home is an excellent project for beginners. It may look complicated, but all this project takes is some screws, nails, wood, wood glue, a drill, some clamps, and some paint or stain, if you prefer a colored wood. If you are using your bench outdoors, you’ll need to add some weatherproof paint, stain, or sealant to the list.
Wooden benches have become a staple in many homes because they’re very versatile in design. You can use them outdoors or in the house, either as a functional seating piece or a decorative statement piece.
Wood benches can be expensive if you purchase them from a furniture store or a private seller. Using these plans, though, you’ll get a gorgeous bench of your own without the hefty price tag. In fact, you’ll spend less than $50 for the materials to make your own using our instructions.
How to Use Your Wood Bench in the Home
When you think of a wood bench, also known as a woodworking bench, you likely think of placing it outdoors automatically. After all, you typically see these benches in parks or backyards. However, they’re becoming commonplace in the home, since they work well with a variety of styles.
Wooden benches are perfect pieces for an entryway or mudroom. In the home, you’ll usually see them painted in a contrasting color to the walls, like a bright white against gray walls or a pop of yellow with blue walls. This type of bench can act as both a functional seating spot and a unique décor item in these spaces.
You can also use a wood bench for dining room seating. If you plan to create seating to go with your dining table, you can just adjust the leg length of these plans to give you the right height for your table.
How to Use Your Wood Bench Outdoors
If you’re going to build a wood bench for your porch or yard, you’ll need to weatherproof it. Fortunately, this is simple to do with some weatherproof paint, stain, or sealant, if you want to keep the original wood look. Weatherproofing ensures that your wood doesn’t warp or become brittle from the heat, cold, and precipitation.
Wood benches are the perfect match to surround a fire pit, create a comfy seating area near a birdbath or fountain, or gain some extra seating on the front porch. Add some cushions meant for outdoor use and you’ll have a simple, cozy, functional outdoor seating space that you made yourself.
Instructions for a Do-It-Yourself Wood Bench
Now it’s time to build a woodworkers bench! The beauty of this project is that it won’t take you longer than a couple of hours to complete once you have your materials gathered.
You can customize these plans relatively easily if you want to add height to the bench or make it longer. Be sure to measure your space and the furniture you’d like to pair it with to find the right height and length for your home’s needs. To simplify the process, have your local lumber yard pre-cut your wood for you according to your measurements.
Our bench plans will help you build a wood bench that sits almost 19-inches high and is a little over four feet in length. This particular bench does not have a back but instead creates a more modern look for a wood bench.
- Several 2 ½-inch screws
- 2-inch brad nails
- Wood glue
- Wood filler (optional)
- Wood paint or stain (optional; be sure to use weatherproof if you’re making your bench for outdoor use, or use weatherproof sealant)
- 1 x 4 pieces of wood, cut into the following:
- Three 50-inch pieces (These will make the seat length of your bench, so cut them to your desired length)
- Five 10-inch pieces
- Two 48-inch pieces (Cut these pieces two inches shorter than your seating pieces to adjust the length of your bench)
- 2 x 3 pieces of wood, cut into four 18-inch pieces (These will be the leg posts so that you can adjust their length according to your height requirements)
How to Make It:
- To build a wood bench according to our plans, you’re first going to build the frame for the seat of the bench. To do this, take two of the 48-inch pieces and place them parallel to each other, with the 1-inch sides touching the ground. Then, place two of the 10-inch pieces at the ends of the longer pieces, on the inner faces, to form a rectangle. Place the other three 10-inch pieces on the inside of the rectangle, evenly spaced apart, to form a solid frame.
- Glue the pieces together with wood glue, and then hammer a nail into each corner and middle section. Use wood clamps to clamp the corners together, allowing to dry for at least an hour. Once dry, you can drill two screws into each corner of the frame.
- If you plan to paint or stain the bench, now is the time to do it with the frame and remaining boards that you’ll use for the rest of the bench. However, if you just want to put a weatherproof seal on your bench, you can wait until you’ve finished the assembly to coat it. Allow your paint or stain to dry fully before continuing. It’s a good idea to sand your pieces first so that the paint or stain can deeply penetrate each piece of wood.
- Now, you’ll make the seating area for the bench. Place one of the 50-inch pieces in the middle of the frame. Then, align the other two on either side, leaving about an inch or so of space between them. The front and back boards should overhang the front and back slightly. Alternatively, you can set the back board flush against the back so that it sits snugly against a wall. Just remember to space the other boards accordingly.
- Drill two holes from the top of each board into the frame. If the sight of the screws bothers you, use some wood filler and stain or paint over each spot once they set.
- Flip the bench over so that the seating area is on a covered, flat surface. Place your leg pieces in each corner and drill two screws into each leg, starting on the side of the frame. Again, use wood filler and touch-up color, if desired.
Once you’ve completed the assembly of your bench, flip it back over and test it out. Place it on a level surface and press down on the middle and ends of the bench. If you notice any wiggling, double check your screws. You might need to add a few screws to the legs or frame to create more sturdiness.
If your bench rocks, you may have uneven legs. Flip the bench back over and ensure that each leg piece is cut to the same length. Sometimes, a quick sanding job on the legs can be an easy fix for slight differences in height.
Over time, mainly if you use the bench outdoors, you may notice color fading or your wood becoming brittle. You should plan to refinish your bench every year or two, depending on how drastic your weather patterns are.
When you refinish your bench, use a spray stripper and a scraper to remove the old finish. Then, sand the bench with a medium-grit sandpaper until the wood feels smooth, finishing it with a fine-grit sandpaper. Remove all residue, and then stain or repaint your bench, finishing off with a weatherproof sealant.
Conclusion: DIY Wooden Bench
We hope that our plans help you learn how to build a wood bench that looks perfect in your yard or your home. This design is relatively adaptable so that you can create a bench that fits your design and space. You can just seal it with weatherproof sealant to leave its natural wood look, or stain or paint it to make it fit more seamlessly with the rest of your décor. It’s so simple to make that you might want to make a few more for your porch, or even as gifts when you have some spare time.