Adding a sitting area in your patio or garden can provide a place for people to sit, relax and enjoy the garden. Many benches are readily available in the market, but there also are benches that you can create on your own. One of the ways to build your own bench is by creating one with the use of concrete. Building a concrete garden bench can add rustic beauty to your garden while providing a sitting place that can withstand the outdoor elements better than wooden or iron benches.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
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Things you need
- Table saw
- Melamine-coated particle board
- Hand tamper
- Concrete mixer
- Water hose
- 2-by-4 inch lumber (2 or 3 pieces)
- Rubber mallet
- Concrete paint or stain
- Paint brush
Design your concrete garden bench either by drawing on paper or by using your computer. For a simple do-it-yourself project, start with a box shape to avoid too much intricate details and complicated steps.
Build a bench mould made of melamine-coated particleboard based on your design. Using melamine-coated particleboard can ensure that the finish is smooth. Cut particleboard using a table saw. To create a mould for a rectangular box shaped concrete bench, cut two short sides 28 inches high and 12 inches wide each. Then, cut the two longer sides 28 inches high and 36 inches wide each. Nail the pieces together creating a box without a top and bottom.
Mark the soil where you will install your bench. Dig the soil about 4 inches deep, 38 inches wide on the front and 14 inches wide on the sides. Remove debris, weeds and dead roots using a rake. Then, level and compact the soil using a hand tamper. Check the soil on all sides using a level.
Place the concrete bench mould inside the hole. Check that it is level.
Cut two 2-by-4 inch pieces of lumber to support the mould. Dig several small holes where these cut pieces go in. Use a rubber mallet to insert the lumbers down the holes. Nail the pieces together around the exterior of the melamine-coated particleboard to strengthen the box. This will allow the box to be able to hold the amount of concrete.
Mix the concrete using a shovel or using a rented concrete mixer. You would need approximately five pieces of 20-kg concrete bags.
Pour the concrete inside the mould. Use leftover lumber to even the top. This will allow the concrete to sink faster and will remove extra concrete mixture if you went over.
Use a trowel and float to smooth the top.
Allow the concrete mixture to cure and dry. This may take 2 to 3 days depending on the climate.
Remove the lumber support and the concrete mould. You may need to dig the soil on the side to be able to break through all the way to the bottom part.
Clean the surface by hosing down with water.
Paint the concrete bench with a colour that will give it a nice finish using concrete paint or stain. Let dry. Use your concrete bench after 24 hours.
Tips and warnings
- Add decorative embellishments such as hand-painted tiles on the surrounding bottom and sides to give your concrete bench more character.
- Create several of these concrete benches on different areas of the garden.
- Cover the top of the poured concrete to keep debris from sticking to the drying concrete.