If you’re a mom or grandma in need of more sitting space around the table, here’s your chance to learn how to build a dining room bench seat. This quick and easy DIY will allow you to replace two dining room chairs with a functional bench and (if we’re talking about fitting little ones) this bench can potentially double your sitting space!
Four years ago, my daughter and her husband moved to Columbus, Ohio for dental school. They left with a 6 month old baby, and returned 4 years later, with two more kids (apparently dental school doesn’t keep you all that busy?). Now a family of 5, they’re starting a new chapter while furnishing a small rental home.
To help, I happily agreed to build them a table and bench for their dine-in kitchen. After all, my love of benches is real! There are several bench tutorials on this blog to prove it. The table though, is still in the works (a.k.a. I had to take a couple of days off because it was causing me grief). It’s the first table I’ve ever built and the learning curve is steep, my friends. Luckily, my daughter isn’t picky.
So, here I am, taking a break from the table and showing you how to build a dining room bench. Let’s get started!
How to Build a Dining Room Bench Seat
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As you have probably figured, this bench is not just for the dining room. The possibilities are endless. Entryway, bedroom, or anywhere extra seating is needed.
|(1) 2″ x 12″ Pine wood board cut to desired length. If you are making the matching table, cut the length to 51″ if you want the bench to nest under the table.
Miter Saw (of have your wood cut at the store)
Step 1: Cut Board to Size
The seat is made from a 2 x 12 board cut to desired length. Keep these tips in mind as you build your seat.
- Select a straight board
- Pay attention to the knots. If you want a cleaner, less rustic look, select a board with fewer knots or choose a different kind of wood.
- When you’re ready to cut, trim the end of the board first, so you can measure from a square edge.
- Cut the board the same length as your table to maximize seating space, or cut it 6″ shorter if you want the option to nest the bench under the table.
This bench will (hopefully) sit alongside a matching 3′ x 5′ table. After talking to my daughter we decided to go with a shorter length to have the nesting option, since the table will be against the wall with the bench underneath, when not in use.
Step 2: Sand the Board
Using a sander smooth out the rough spots. I started with 120 grit and followed with 320 until it was nice and smooth.
I love this sander because as you can see, there are no cords or compressors. It’s small, light weight, and powerful, even though it’s battery operated.
Step 3: Apply the Finish
At this point, you can apply the stain/paint color of your choice. This is the stain color I used. I also applied three coats of this top coat. If you want details on how to create a smooth finish with the top coat, be sure to read this post.
Step 4: Attach Hairpin Legs
Once the board is all dry you get to add the jewels of the project. These hairpin legs are a beauty and can be easily attached with a drill and wood screws, included with the legs. I was surprised at how sturdy they are.
It was also super cool that they came with floor protectors
And there you have it. You have a simple, cute, and functional bench you can use anywhere in your home. Are you ready to tackle this simple project? Where in your home will you put it? Let me know in the comments.
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other building projects you will LOVE
Novice woodworker and serial Popcorn eater, Janice Thomas writes detailed tutorials that motivate others to “dare to try”. Originally from Puerto Rico, Janice is fluent in Spanish and dreams of owning a beach house on the island someday! Janice currently lives in Utah with her husband and children, where she works as a university professor.