Are you looking for the perfect DIY summer afternoon project? This simple, DIY outdoor bench came together fast and was very inexpensive to make. It’s the perfect simple bench for an entryway, a porch, or your summer garden.
Lately, I’ve really wanted to decorate my outdoor space. Summer’s finally here and no one wants to be cooped up in the house, right? This cute DIY stencil bench was so bright and summery, it’s just perfect for any yard spot. This bench was the first step in my outdoor space and porch makeover. Now I’m ready to tackle more outdoor projects!
I was going for an outdoor bench with a little mid-century flair and the hairpin legs were the perfect touch. I partnered with The Hairpin Leg Co. on the legs for my DIY outdoor bench, and honestly, I couldn’t be happier with them. The Hairpin Leg Co. has fantastic accessories for furniture DIY projects. If you saw my Modern Bookshelf Makeover, I used their copper hairpin legs on that project and it looks stunning.
For this DIY outdoor bench, I wanted legs that were more industrial to fit with the indoor/outdoor bench look. I selected these gorgeous square-shaped hairpin legs in steel with a clear coat finish for this bench, and I really love how it turned out. The industrial look is sturdy and feels appropriate for outdoor use (but will still look fabulous indoors as well). The legs are the perfect height for sitting outside, enjoying the garden.
If you’re wondering how to build an outdoor bench or looking for a great DIY outdoor furniture project, try this simple painted DIY outdoor bench with hairpin legs. I’ve broken down the step-by-step, simple-to-build bench plans here. I promise you’ll love how this patio bench looks in your yard—it’s the perfect summer DIY project for beginners!
MATERIALS NEEDED FOR THE DIY OUTDOOR BENCH
Wood Piece (3/4 inch thickness and 2” by 4”)
Piece of Cloth (to wipe off the stain)
HOW TO BUILD AN OUTDOOR BENCH WITH STENCILED PINEAPPLE MOTIF
When I began the project, I simply gathered all the materials I would need to assemble the bench: the legs, the wood, and a drill. The Hairpin Leg Co. legs I used on the project were the “Square Industrial Legs” in the clear coat finish. These particular legs are also available in raw steel and a powder coated black. They’re also available in a matching table leg height (if you decide to make a whole picnic table ensemble).
These hairpin legs come ready to use out of the box, and they’re extremely sturdy. I felt like they would be perfect bench legs in my outdoor space, but they’re certainly stylish enough to use on an indoor furniture makeover as well.
The great thing about this DIY outdoor bench is that you can literally use any piece of wood as the bench seat. I bought this wood piece from Home Depot, but you could easily make this project with any nice piece of wood you come across.
The color of the wood didn’t matter to me, as I was planning to paint over it. However, I had to get it cut to 19 x 42 inches, so it was the proper dimensions for my bench. You could certainly go a little longer if you like, but you would need sturdy wood. Keep in mind that you’ll need to place the bench legs no more than three feet apart, if you want the bench to be sturdy (and not crack when someone sits in the middle).
Before painting the bench, I had to attach the legs using my good ol’ power drill. This was the most “heavy duty” part of the DIY outdoor bench project (which wasn’t difficult at all). I used ¾ inch screws since that was the thickness of my board. If you’re working with a thicker piece of wood for your outdoor bench, simply find screws to match the thickness.
You may want to use a level to ensure the bench legs are exactly centered when you attach them. Mark the wood with a pencil, and then drill in the screws. Centered legs will make your bench nice and sturdy for outdoor seating.
Once the legs are attached, you’re ready to flip the bench over and paint it!
Once the legs were on, it was time to stain the top of my bench. I decided that I was only going to worry about the top and sides (since you can’t see the underneath anyway). The board I bought was already sanded so I didn’t need to go over it. If your board is rough, you may want to give it a light sanding before you start to stain.
For my bench, I chose a really gorgeous blue stain. It seemed very summery and beachy, which was what I was going for with the DIY outdoor bench. This DecoArt Color Stain is self-sealing, which makes it really nice to work with on indoor/outdoor projects. I’ve used this stain on my Color Stained Wood Coasters, as well. If you enjoy this project, you should check out the coasters, because they’re so simple and they’d look great on the patio with your DIY outdoor bench. The results are stunning—the perfect compliment for a summery outdoor beverage!
When you’re ready to stain your bench, simply apply the stain to the wood. I like to pour a little of the stain out right onto the wood, and then, use a brush or cloth to move it around. Be sure to completely cover the top and sides/edges of your bench.
When the top of your DIY outdoor bench is covered with stain, go in with a piece of cloth and gently wipe off/buff off the stain, so you can still see the natural grain of the wood peek through. This really highlights the outdoor-feel of the bench and gives it a casual vibe. The stain protects the wood from moisture and will keep your bench looking nice all summer long (and beyond).
After the bench was stained, I let it dry for a bit. The stain becomes dry to the touch very quickly, so you don’t need to wait long at all.
I was looking for a motif that would fit with the fun beachy, tropical vibe of the garden bench. I decided that to give it a real summery feel, I should use a simple pineapple stencil. I found this modern pineapple stencil that’s just so cute. This bench would also be darling with a cactus stencil, dots, or another design. You can play around with the stencils and really customize it.
I love gold and thought it would add a richness to the finished project. I used liquid gold gilding (which is very simple to work with—similar to paint), and using a stencil brush, I stenciled the golden pineapples over the entire top part of the bench. I did it freehand but kept them evenly spaced. You could certainly go different directions with your stencils too. Play with your design and make the DIY project your own!
Here’s how my DIY outdoor bench looked after I finished the gold pineapple stencils—cute, right?! I really liked how it was coming along.
After adding the liquid gold gilding, I wanted to give it a coat of sealant to protect it and keep the gold in place. Once the pineapples were dry, I used a regular wood sealant as a topcoat to keep the bench looking bright and cheery even outdoors.
And there you have it—the perfect DIY garden bench, all finished and ready for summer! I added a few throw pillows in purple and complimented the gold with some potted plants. I’m so happy with the way this DIY outdoor bench turned out. It was so easy to make, and I know it will be the perfect addition to my summer outdoor space!
Let it dry and then seal it with some wood sealant.
And there you have it.
What do you guys think? Are you ready to make your own DIY outdoor bench?
I love how the Pineapples make it into such a fun Summery bench.