This bench gives me all the heart eyes! It’s huge, sturdy, and I love the farmhouse style and the extra storage it provides. Plus (most importantly) the bench looks amazing on my front porch. This bench was super easy & inexpensive to make. It only takes a few 2x4s, a box a wood screws, and a couple of hours on a Saturday afternoon to put together. And did you notice that not one screw is visible? I love that part of the design! Wood screws aren’t pretty. This bench is definitely a beginner’s project that anyone can tackle. If I can make this bench, you can, too. Let’s get started!
Things you’ll need for this project:
- (11) 8 foot 2×4 boards
- (1) box 2 ½ inch exterior wood screws
- tape measurer
- table saw
- circular saw
- hand sander & sandpaper
- wood stain/polyurethane combo in Classic Oak
- plastic gloves
- drop cloth
- painters tape
- white & green outdoor paint
- roller paint brush
- foam paint brushes
- white spray paint
- 3 wooden crates (optional)
*Remember to use caution, eye protection, and extreme care when using power tools.
Step 1: Cut your brace pieces.
Before you begin, pick out the 4 best boards. These will be the seat of your bench. Choose the straightest, smoothest and prettiest boards to set aside.
Next, you will cut one of the remaining 2x4s in half with the table saw. Then cut those into 14 inch pieces. You will need 10 of these for brace pieces. You’ll have a little extra wood left over that you won’t be using. Save that for another project.
Step 2: Lay out your bench seat.
Lay your four 2x4s that you picked out earlier for your bench seat on the ground. Space four of the 14-inch brace pieces you just cut evenly along the underside of the bench seat.
Step 3: Attach four brace pieces to the bench seat.
Screw the brace pieces into place using a drill & the wood screws.
Step 4: Cut your bench legs.
Next, it’s time to cut the legs for our bench. These will measure 17 inches long with a 12° angle cut on each end with a circular saw. You will need 8 of these.
Step 5: Attach the bench legs.
Using a square to make sure everything is lined up, screw in each pair of legs using the wood screws and a drill.
When you are finished, it will look like this:
Step 6: Attach the bottom brace pieces.
Next, we screwed in the bottom braces using some of the 14-inch pieces we cut earlier and used the square again to line everything up.
This is how it looked when we were done. These braces will also hold the bottom shelf up. I wanted extra room to hold some wooden crates underneath my bench for storage, so I measured to see where I should put my braces to leave room for the crates. You could make the shelf higher or lower depending on your needs. That’s why the middle two leg sets have a brace on each side since these will hold the shelves up in just a bit.
Step 7: Cut the bench shelf pieces.
Next, we cut the rest of the 2x4s for the bottom shelves. You will need (8) 29 ½ pieces & (4) 30 ½ pieces cut. The middle section is slightly wider than the 2 end sections, but you won’t be able to tell at all when you are finished.
Step 8: Attach your bottom shelves.
Remember, we don’t want any wood screws showing. Flip the bench on its side, and screw the 2×4 shelf pieces from underneath. Have someone hold the 2x4s in place as you screw them in. That helps a lot!
Flip it over! The hard part is done!
Step 9: Sand, paint & then distress your bench.
Next, I sanded the top of my bench and the top of the shelves really well with a hand sander. You don’t want any splinters when you sit on your bench! I also sanded down the edges and ends of my wood until they were nice and smooth.
Then, I stained the top with a stain/polyurethane combo. I love this stuff! It makes staining so easy. And if you ever need to touch it up, just reapply another coat. It’s amazing! Be sure to use rubber gloves to protect your hands while staining, and use an old rag to really get the stain into all the cracks & crevices. I did three coats to get this nice dark color.
Alright, to give it that real farmhouse look after I stained the top, I painted the bottom white. To do this, I used a combo of regular exterior paint & spray paint.
I gave it one good coat of white paint with a roll on brush. I let it dry, and then I went back over it with the spray paint to get in all the nooks and crannies between the boards and around the legs. Then, after that dried, I gave it one more coat of white paint with the brush. Then let dry.
I slightly distressed my bench with a sander after everything had dried completely. This is a totally optional step. I kind of liked it both ways! What do you think about distressing? Are you a fan?
Step 10: Stain, paint & distress wood crates. (optional)
To add some extra storage, I added some wooden crates along the bottom. I’m sure you’ve seen these crates all over the place. They are pretty easy to find at craft stores. Don’t forget to use a coupon!
I stained these, let them dry, then gave them a light coating of chalky finish paint. Afterwards, I distressed them. These will be great to hold garden tools or some of the kiddos’ outdoor toys!
Now the only thing left is to enjoy our new bench. Let me know if you have any questions. I hope you try this project for your home! I’d love to hear how it goes.