Thank you for reading this post. All opinions are mine. There are affiliate links in this post which means if you click on them and order something through them I will get a small commission at no extra cost to you. For more information, see my Disclosures page. The post first appeared on The House of Wood in 2018.
EASY OUTDOOR DIY BENCH
OVERVIEW OF PLAN:
Here is the overview of the full plan. This project is quite simple so I created this diagram which should make it easy to build and follow. You have the ability to customize this to your space and make it longer or shorter by adjusting the top board measurements. Mine is 48 inches wide, if you opt to make a longer bench, you may want to consider building a third leg section (just one more 2×4).
First, cut two pieces of your 2×4 to 18 inches in length. These will be the top of your two leg sections. Then cut two pieces of 2×4 to 16 inches in length. These will be the bottom boards of your two leg sections.
Next, create the V-shape in each of the leg sections by cutting four pieces of 2×4. Each of these pieces will have 15º angles on both ends going the same direction. From one end to the other measures 16.5 inches.
After your four angled leg boards are cut, sand all eight boards completely. I always use an 80-grit sandpaper first, then 180-, then 220-grit. It is a lot of sanding, but when you are working with these inexpensive stud boards and don’t have a planer or want to trim them down on the table saw, it makes all the difference! Be sure to wear a protective mask and safety glasses. They will look like brand new beautiful boards after you’re done sanding. I recommend turning on some great music on your headphones.
Time to assemble the leg sections. I marked the center of the 16-inch boards then glued and screwed in the angled boards in the shape of a V meeting at that line. You can attach these any way you want, say with pocket holes, but I wanted to keep this simple for those that don’t have a Kreg Jig so I just attached them this way. Make sure to countersink the screws into the wood so they aren’t sticking out at the bottom where it could cause leveling issues or scratch floors.
Next, attach the top 18-inch boards, again using glue and two screws from the top down into each of the sides of the V.
Build the second leg section by following the same steps. (Full disclosure: my husband helped me with a few steps this day because I was not feeling well. Hence his hand in the following picture. He’s such a trooper and is always willing to support me.)
Okay, now make the top seat of the bench. Cut the 2x10x8 board in half to create an 18-inch deep and 48-inch long seat made of two boards. If you don’t have a 12-inch miter saw that will cut such a wide board you could use a circular saw for this step.
With your leg sections assembled, you’ll want to paint them with your exterior paint before attaching to the top. My paint is a royal blue color and has a satin finish. I just love it.
Stain the top seat boards with whatever stain color you prefer. Apply while wearing vinyl gloves and just use a rag to wipe on and off.
One of my favorite things is comparing the difference in the boards after staining. It creates so much dimension in the wood!
When the stain is dry, coat with outdoor polyurethane. Let the poly dry (according to the instructions on your product), then lightly sand with 220-grit sandpaper. Add second coat of poly, let dry and sand again, then finish with a third coat. Let cure for 24 hours.
To attach the leg sections, turn other your seat boards face down and mark where you want the leg sections to be attached. Add wood glue, then screw the leg sections into the underside of the top boards.
Use two screws on each end, then two in between the side boards of the V. You may want to pre-drill, this will ensure that your boards don’t split. I like to live dangerously and did not do that this time. Luckily it worked out.
Wasn’t it easy?
Add a flower pot on each side and you have a gorgeous, peaceful sitting space on your front porch!
The depth of grain and color on the stained seat boards is one of my favorite things.
What do you think? Do you like this bench plan? I’d love to hear your comments! Feel free to share this on social media as well using the buttons floating on the left or pinning the image below!
Thanks again for reading, my friends. Get out there and build something!