Farmhouse style is all the rage right now, and huge farmhouse dining tables with bench seating are everywhere you look. But these big, chunky tables take up a lot of space! Our dining room is tiny, and our current table is about the size of a large office desk. Perfect for our family of three, not so perfect if we want to have guests over for dinner. A farmhouse bench would give us the additional seating we need, and the farmhouse style I want, without taking up a lot of space!
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This farmhouse bench is super easy and inexpensive to build yourself. I modified the plans for the Providence Bench, shortening it to 36″ and removing the diagonal cross braces. I was able to utilize most of the 2×4 scraps leftover from my outdoor sofa build, so this project only cost me about $10!
Materials for Farmhouse Bench
4 – 2×4 @ 8 feet
4 – 2×4 @ 36″
2 – 2×4 @ 14″
4 – 2×4 @ 15 1/2″ bevel cut 10 degrees on each end (ends should be parallel)
2 – 2×4 @ 12 1/2″ miter cut 10 degrees on each end in opposite directions
1 – 2×4 @ 16″
1 – 2×4 @ 20″
Instructions for Building a Farmhouse Bench
Almost all my cuts were made of scrap wood, matching up the longest pieces with the longest measurements required and working down the list. It felt great to whittle down my scrap pile to a manageable level!
If you use scrap and plan to stain your finished piece, be sure to use the same kind of wood throughout the project. Different wood species take stain differently, resulting in a patchwork of colors if you mix them up. (Although using one type of wood for the seat and another for the legs and then staining it all the same color would be beautiful!) I’m painting my farmhouse bench classic white, so the mix of pine and cedar doesn’t matter.
I suggest doing a rough fit of the legs to make sure all the angles are correct before starting assembly. There’s nothing worse than going back to the store for a 6 foot long board when you need to recut a 15 inch piece! Mark where your pocket holes will be drilled and work on one leg at a time to avoid confusing yourself. In the end, you should have two legs that look like this.
With a bench this short, there’s no need for the diagonal cross braces under the seat. Tie both legs together with the 16″ and 20″ stretchers. The shorter piece runs horizontally across the top and the longer piece is placed vertically at the bottom. (The bench is upside down in this photo.)
I decided to plank the seat pieces together first, then attach them to the legs. This will give the seat some extra stability. I placed the smoothest edges at the front and back of the bench seat. No one wants little legs to get scratched by a wood knot at dinner!
I know farmhouse style is all about rustic elements, but the bench was feeling just a little too…rough when it was all put together. I used my random orbit sander to round off the edges of the bench seat, and caulked all the seams to give it a more finished look.
This project was the perfect opportunity for me to test out my newest toys, the HomeRight Finish Max paint sprayer and the HomeRight spray shelter. HomeRight was generous enough to send me these awesome tools to try out, and they’re a total game changer for me!
The spray shelter was fairly simple to set up after a bit of trial and error. Next time it will be a snap! It protected my bench from all the falling leaves, bugs and walnut pods that attempt to bombard my projects in the backyard. After spraying on the paint, I closed up the shelter and let it dry.
I will admit that I had to go back over some of the tighter spots of the bench with a regular paintbrush in order to get even coverage. I think the sprayer is better suited to projects with less angles and crevices than my farmhouse bench. It will be perfect for one of my upcoming projects!
Soon I’ll be giving the dining table and chairs a new look to go along with my new farmhouse bench. You’ll have to wait until I’m done to see the entire dining room, so for now you just get pictures of the bench in our backyard. 🙂
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