DIY Farmhouse Benches

Farmhouse benches are sturdy, easy to build and stylish with rustic bracing and notched corners.
Brown and White Wooden Farmhouse Bench and Table

Brown and White Wooden Farmhouse Bench and Table

Farmhouse benches are sturdy, easy to build and stylish with rustic bracing and notched corners.

By: Ana White
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Materials Needed:

  • 8' 1 X 3 pine board
  • 6' 1 X 2 pine board
  • 8' 1 X 4 pine boards (2)
  • 6' 1 X 12 pine board
  • 2" finish nails (32)
  • 2" wood screws (24)
  • 1-1/4" wood screws (10)
  • pilot hole bit to match wood screws and lag screws
  • small tube wood filler
  • 1 quart stain or 2 quarts flat paint
  • spray can exterior clear coat
  • sandpaper in medium and fine grits
  • measuring tape
  • carpenter's square
  • drafting compass
  • drill
  • hammer
  • jigsaw Tip: Many hardware stores will make cuts complimentary with the purchase of lumber.
  • vacuum with soft-bristled brush

Cut List

1 X 3 boards cut at 17-1/4" (side legs, 4 boards)
1 X 3 boards cut at 11-1/2" (ends, 4 boards)
1 X 2 boards cut at 17-1/4" (end legs, 4 boards)
1 X 4 boards cut at 45" (aprons and bottom stretcher, 3 boards)
1 X 4 boards cut at 25-3/4" (cross bracing, 2 boards)
1 X 12 board cut at 54" (top)

Getting Started

Select boards that are straight. Tip: Pretend the board is an arrow on a bow and look down the length of the board to see if it is straight. Tip: For added character, select boards that are rustic in nature with imperfections, cracks and knots. To save time, have hardware store cut boards as directed in cut list. Work on a clean level surface large enough for the project and always wear safety glasses and ensure proper ventilation when painting.

Notch Legs

Mark out 1 X 3 leg boards as shown in diagram. Carefully cut notches out with jigsaw.

Illustration For Cutting Notches in DIY Bench Legs

Illustration For Cutting Notches in DIY Bench Legs

Nail Ends

Apply glue to notches in legs. Mark ends 3/4-inch from outsides and line up mark with outer edge of legs. Nail ends to legs as shown in the diagram with two inch finish nails and glue.

Attaching Ends to DIY Bench Legs

Attaching Ends to DIY Bench Legs

Attach End Legs

Apply glue to 1 X 3 legs and ends, and nail end legs. Use two inch finish nails and glue.

Diagram For Attaching Bench Legs

Diagram For Attaching Bench Legs

Screw in Bottom Stretcher

Mark bottom ends of leg frames 3-7/8-inch from inside of leg corner to find center of bottom stretcher. Apply glue and fasten stretcher to bottom ends with two inch screws.

Attaching Bottom Stretcher to Bench Leg Frame

Attaching Bottom Stretcher to Bench Leg Frame

Attach Side Aprons

Apply glue to inside tops of leg frames. Screw side aprons to leg frames as shown in diagram with 1-1/4-inch screws.

Illustration Showing How to Attach Side Aprons to Bench Leg Frames

Illustration Showing How to Attach Side Aprons to Bench Leg Frames

Cut Cross Supports

Mark cross supports as shown in diagram. Cut with jigsaw.

Measure and Cut Cross Supports

Measure and Cut Cross Supports

Attach Cross Support Assembly

Apply glue to ends of cross supports. Screw on with two inch screws.

Illustration for Attaching Cross Supports to DIY Bench

Illustration for Attaching Cross Supports to DIY Bench

Screw in Bench Top

Mark bench top ends 3-3/4-inch from ends. Line marks up with leg frame ends. Screw bench top to bench frame with two-inch screws and glue.

Illustration of Attaching Bench Seat to DIY Bench

Illustration of Attaching Bench Seat to DIY Bench

Finish the Bench

Fill exposed screw holes with wood filler and let dry. Sand the entire bench with medium sandpaper. Refill holes as needed with wood filler and let dry. Sand with medium grit sandpaper, followed with fine sandpaper. Vacuum bench with soft-bristled brush to remove sanding residue. Wipe clean with damp cloth. Apply wood conditioner, stain and clear coat for a beautiful wood finish. Apply primer, three coats of flat paint followed with clear coat for a durable painted finish. Tip: Sand edges before applying clear coat to create a time-worn distressed finish.

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