How to Make a Wood Garden Bench

Updated February 21, 2017

A simple wood bench gives you a spot to rest during garden work and to sit and enjoy your efforts. If you place it so that it is visible from other parts of the house and property, it beckons guests out into the garden. You can skip staining and sealing this bench if you'd rather it acquired a weathered look over time.

Place two of the leg boards side by side, lengthwise, with a one-inch gap between them. Use the electric screwdriver to attach one support board across the top and one across the bottom with wood screws. Thus, you have two leg boards per leg, for a total of two legs for this bench.

Insert the screws down through the supports and into the sides of the leg boards. The support boards should sit flush with the ends of the top and bottom of the leg boards with no overhang. The ends of the support boards should be flush with the sides of the leg boards. Flip the leg board over, and do the same thing with the other side. This is one complete leg.

Repeat this treatment with the other leg. You should now have two bench legs with supports firmly attached. Set them upright, with the supports running perpendicular along the top and bottom. Set them 4 feet apart on centre, exactly parallel to one another.

Set two of the seat boards across the two legs. Center them on the legs with a 1/4-inch gap. Center them between the legs so that there is a 5-inch overhang on each end. Have a friend help you brace one leg while you screw the seat board down into the other leg. Do the same on the other side.

Repeat this process for two more of the seat boards. Leave a 2-inch overhang on the front and back of the bench, so that there is about a 1/4-inch gap between all boards. Use at least two wood screws for each seat board end, and screw them down so that the surrounding wood is slightly higher. This prevents snagging of clothes or skin on the tops of the screws.

Turn the bench upside down. Fit a seat board flush with the overhang on the front side of the bench so that the 4-inch side rests against the legs. Screw this side into the legs. Repeat this process on the back side of the bench. Set the bench upright. Screw the overhanging seat board down into the seat board you just attached on the front and on the back.

Sand the entire surface of the bench to remove any splinters. Sand the top corners as well to round them out and make your bench more comfortable. Thoroughly clean all the sanding dust off the bench before proceeding.

Paint wood stain on all visible surfaces of your bench with a paintbrush so it complements your garden if desired. Use long strokes and paint with the grain of the wood. Add another coat for a deeper colour. Let it dry completely.

Apply a coat of wood sealant to increase the longevity of your bench. Unlike the stain, the sealant should be applied to all surfaces, including the ones out of view. Allow the stain to set completely before putting your bench out in the garden.

Things You'll Need

  • 4 pressure-treated boards, 2 inches by 6 inches by 15 inches (leg boards, two are used per leg)
  • 8 pressure-treated boards, 2 inches by 2 inches by 13 inches (support boards)
  • 6 pressure-treated boards, 2 inches by 4 inches by 5 inches (seat boards)
  • Power screwdriver
  • Stainless steel wood screws, 3 inches long
  • Sandpaper
  • Wood stain
  • Paintbrush
  • Wood sealant
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About the Author

Samantha Belyeu has been writing professionally since 2003. She began as a writer and publisher for the Natural Toxins Research Center and has spent her time since as a landscape designer and part-time writer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Texas A&M University in Kingsville.