DIY Outdoor Wood Bench

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Picture of DIY Outdoor Wood Bench
With summer underway, I set out to transform my small 5 ft x 9 ft balcony into an intimate al fresco dining area able to seat 4 to 5 people. Having that many chairs on such a small balcony would have been cumbersome, so instead I decided to build simple wood benches to make a corner booth. I didn't want anything too complicated to build so I came up with a very simple design that only takes a couple of hours to make using basic tools and materials.

I'll walk you through how to make one of them and then you'll be able to customize the design to work with your outdoor space.

Bench dimensions: 56" long x 16 1/4" wide x 17 3/4" high

Materials needed: 6 x 1" x 4" x 6 ft pine boards (~ $4.50 each), 1 x 2"x 3"x 6 ft stud (~$2.00), weather proofing stain or paint, decking screws (1 1/4", 2")
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Step 1:

Picture of
Cut the pine boards and stud to size (I had mine cut at the hardware store):

Cut list:

Frame (1"x4"): 2 x 55", 3 x 13 3/4"

Top (1"x4"): 4 x 56"

Legs (2"x3"): 4 x 17"

Step 2: Paint or stain the wood

Picture of Paint or stain the wood
I stained the wood using a semi-transparent weather proofing stain from BEHR (coffee color) and applied 2 coats. For a small project like this, an 8 oz sample is more than enough.

Step 3: Build frame

Picture of Build frame
Use corner clamps to hold the pieces together (adding wood glue before doing this will make the joints stronger but skipping the glue will allow you to easily disassemble the bench later). Drill two pilot holes and put in screws (use 1 1/4" screws). After the four sides are put together, add the middle piece for extra support.

Step 4: Attach top

Picture of Attach top
Place one of the top 1" x 4" on top of the frame so that it extends 1/2" past the edge of the frame at the ends and on the sides. Drill pilot holes and screw in place.

Screw in place the remaining pine boards, using a scrap piece of 1" x 4" as a spacer.
seftonypony2 months ago
I can't wait to build these! Once it warms up a bit, that is. :p Question: what kind of drill do you have? I'm wondering how much drill I'll need for some fun basic projects, and if cordless would be powerful enough, too. This will be my first project! Very excited to use the table saw I got in the fall, too.
EYSpace (author)  seftonypony2 months ago
I use a Dewalt cordless drill (DCD710) and I love it! It's light weight and has more than enough power for all the projects that I do. And the Lithium ion battery lasts a long time. Have fun with the project and I hope you'll share pics when it's done!
gorgeous! i need this for my balcony! btw, what do u think the weight limit on this would be? I come from a family of rather "heavy" gals... i don't want us all to fall over when I have girls night! haha :)
EYSpace (author)  I_love_cookiez3 months ago
Thanks! I'm not sure what the exact weight limit is but I've had 2 average sized adults sit on the benches without any problems. You could always add some more cross-bracing to the top of then bench and more screws to the legs to make the bench extra sturdy!
zaaid3 months ago
Lovely benches !
EYSpace (author)  zaaid3 months ago
nmoses15 months ago
That is amazingly simple and beautiful. In fact I am going to get supplies for it now.
EYSpace (author)  nmoses15 months ago
Thank you! Hope you'll share pics of your benches!
good job
drizzydraw6 months ago
how many screws did you use in the bench?
EYSpace (author)  drizzydraw6 months ago
I used 8 x 2" screws and 36 x 1 1/4" screws
poofrabbit7 months ago
Hey congratulations on being a finalist in the weekend projects contest!
EYSpace (author)  poofrabbit7 months ago
Thank you!!
foobear8 months ago
Its not clear how those cushions are attached to the walls. But wow, the finished product is so great.
EYSpace (author)  foobear8 months ago
I hand sewed 4 velcro straps to the back of the cushion and I simply wrapped the straps around the horizontal metal railing of the balcony to hang the cushion (there is no wood behind the cushion). Easy to put on and take off!
foobear EYSpace8 months ago
serical8 months ago
My first build on instructables. very easy build. My wife loves it and we cant decide on if its a table or bench. Oh well must make another one. Thanks
EYSpace (author)  serical8 months ago
That's great to hear! Hope you'll share some pics of your bench/table - I would love to see it!!
dwillson8 months ago
I now know what I'm going to do with my left over pallets! Thanks for sharing!!
EYSpace (author)  dwillson8 months ago
You're welcome! Hope you'll share a picture of your benches - would love to see them!
lesizz8 months ago
I didn't know there was such a thing as weatherproofing stain. Does that work as well for weatherproofing as a weatherproofing clear coating? I have a park bench on a patio that gets full exposure to the sun all day, and I need good weatherproofing.
totszwai lesizz8 months ago
How about spraying it with those NeverWet product from Rust-o-lium? I just saw their youtube video about it. There are other similar product out there, just that I think Rustolium made it a little more cheap and more available to public.
totszwai totszwai8 months ago
Never mind that thing is not UV proof. :(
EYSpace (author)  lesizz8 months ago
It's my first time using this product so I can't say yet how well it protects the wood....My balcony faces South and gets plenty of sun all day as well so it will be a good test.
ripperman28 months ago
I appreciate the use of screws too. I use stainless to reduce staining from galvinized, although I hear there are others that work. I'm going to try one of these with some scraps left over from a deck project.
EYSpace (author)  ripperman28 months ago
I really like the "deck mate" screws I used - time will tell how they hold up!
thealflores8 months ago
can I use 2"x4" studs in place of the 2"x3"?
EYSpace (author)  thealflores8 months ago
Yes, of course, that would work too!
kjlpdx8 months ago
I used to basketweave the corners on the benches I built. more work, but gives a very high quality custom look.
shazni9 months ago
Looks real easy to do...and so nice too! Thanks for posting :-)
EYSpace (author)  shazni9 months ago
You're welcome :)
Macflame9 months ago
Nice job. It looks great!
EYSpace (author)  Macflame9 months ago
Thank you!

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