DIY Dining Bench

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DIY Dining bench finish

I have been wanting to replace our dining chairs since my hubby made a pedestal table out of a wire spool. After making our garbage cabinet {not finished yet} and all the other pieces of remodel all over my kitchen, it seemed like a good time to start the benches. That and I had finally figured out what I wanted, and most of the wood for them was in the barn. Wood from a project we decided not to do.

Here are the plans...

bench plansPretty detailed, huh? The benches are 56 inches long, 11 1/4 inches deep, and 18 inches tall. We used 2"x12"s, 1"x6"s and 1"x10"s. We only had to buy 1 board...sweet is it not? We used 6D finishing nails for the face boards and assorted pocket screws and regular screws for the rest. On your screws make sure you have a size that will go all the way thru and sufficiently into the next board, but not all the way thru both.

Our cuts for the 2 benches: 2 seats - 2x's @56 inches, 4 legs - 2x's @16 1/2 inches, 2 ledges/shelves - 1x10's @44 1/2 inches {longer than actual so they would not wiggle}, 2 braces - 1x10's @11 3/4 inches , and 4 decorative face boards - 1x6's stripped in half @56 inches. With the exception of the bench seat boards, all the 2x's and the 1x10's were stripped down to 9 inches.

Diy Bench 1Then on the legs I had to figure out the shape for the "U" on the bottom of the legs. I just used a can lid from a citronella candle bucket. Then my hubby cut the shapes out with our jigsaw while the clamp and I held it down.

DIY Bench Jig Saw

After cutting out shapes on the legs and the decorative face boards, we put the pieces together with pocket jigs {Kreg Jig brand is awesome, but not a necessity}. We put 4 jigs in each end for the the legs {4 for seat & 4 for shelf/ledge on each side}. We placed the legs 4 1/2 inches from the edge of the bench seat.

DIY Bench Pocket JigI am sorry I do not have pictures of how we put the brace pieces on, I was in the middle of homemade pizza. Basically you drill 2 pocket holes on each side of the end that connects to the bench seat. Put those screws in. Then pre-drill thru the bottom of the ledge/shelf {underside} and then screw into the brace from the bottom of the bench.

Now you are ready for the decorative face boards. We just nailed {6D finishing nails} them in since they were more decorative than anything. The ends of each face board are flush with the ends of the bench seat board.

DIY Bench Face Board

You can tell we had a lot of help with the last part.

I stained the top, but you could paint the top if that is what you want.

DIY Bench stained seat

Here we have stain and you can see I was not very careful about getting the face boards. I had to prime and paint the rest so I was barely being careful. Taping is always an option if you are pickier about the edge. On the varnish I did 3 coats of oil based poly in a semi-gloss. After the last coat had set I remembered something...even if the can says you do not need to sand, sand between coats. Tip: for an uber smooth finish on the last coat of poly thin it down {I used paint thinner}, makes it go on smooth and also smooths out that last coat a lot.Β Between not sanding between coats 2 and 3 and not thinning the poly I had to sand {with 220} and lay one more coat of varnish on the bench.

DIY Bench with primer

After the last coat of poly had set {not the full 24 hours but more than 18} I taped off the top stained & varnished area of the bench. Priming is important. Tip: check your primer and your paint selections. If the primer can be re-coated in an hour, do it. It makes the painting process a lot faster putting on more coats of primer. You will use less paint and the whole project will get done faster. I forgot, bummer.

DIY bench all finishedAfter 1 coat of primer {should have been 2} and 2 coats of Delicate White in Semi-Gloss this diy bench is done!!!