How To: Build a Bench


When building my bench, I first decided on my material which ended up being 3/4″ MDF board that was 4ft. by 8ft. This size board gave me enough material to work with and was cost effective. Next, I measured the space where the bench would be and I measured chairs that I already to help decide how tall, wide, and deep the bench would be. Then I sketched out the bench and the cuts that would need to be made on the MDF board keeping in mind the 3/4″ width of the board when sketching. You’ll see that I am able to fit the entire bench on one sheet of this MDF. By measuring everything out and sketching it, you’ll avoid mistakes.

Measurements: Back: 38″ x 40″, Seat: 18″ x 40″, Shelf: 18″ x 38.5″, Legs 18″ x 18″ each


I ended up going to the Home Depot near me to get the MDF and have them cut it for me. I also picked up a can of Behr paint in the color  Swiss Coffee.  I chose a semi-gloss paint to make it easier to clean since the bench will be used often. You’ll also need wood glue, nails, wood filler, sandpaper, painting supplies, and a tarp. I already have these items at home, but you will need all of these to complete the project.



To build the bench, I started out with the bench legs and the seat. I glued and nailed the seat onto the legs. Next, I glued and nailed the shelf underneath the seat about halfway down. This will give the bench stability when attaching to the back. Finally, I glued the assembled pieces to the back of the bench by laying the assembled pieces on top of the bench back and letting it dry. After the glue dried, I flipped over the entire bench and nailed in the backing to the bench seat, legs, and shelf being careful not nail through just the back of the bench. Next, I went over all of the edges with a mixture of 1/2 wood glue and 1/2 water to seal them. Lastly, I filled the holes with wood filler, sanded everything smooth, and put on a fresh coat of paint.



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