This DIY bench is easy to make and costs just a fraction of what you would pay for a similar bench from a store. Plus, it has a unique rustic look that will add personality to your hallway. So, if you’re looking for an easy and affordable way to add some character to your home, this simple bench is the perfect piece of furniture!
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Benches can be a great way to add some extra seating and storage to your hallway, but they can also be quite expensive. I was eyeing this skinny rustic bench from Pottery Barn, but I refused to pay $600 for a simple wooden bench.
Call me frugal, but If you’re looking for a more affordable option, why not try making your own? So I headed to Home Depot, bought a $10 piece of lumber and decided to build my own bench.
And I think it turned out pretty amazing, don’t you?!
This was such a fun and easy woodworking project, that doesn’t require a ton of DIY skills to complete. Check out the full tutorial below.
Tools and Material Lists
- wood glue
- wood screws / pocket hole screws / kreg screws
- wooden boards (I used this 8ft board here) The more knots and imperfections, the better!
- pocket hole jig / kreg jig
- miter saw
- table saw
- manual sawzall
- power drill and wire brush attachment
These are the measurements I used, but I would encourage you to check out the bottom if this posts for details on sizing it for your own space.
- (1) bench seat trimmed straight to 48″ in length
- (4) square legs ripped to 1.5″ in width and trimmed to 19.5″ in length using a double bevel
DIY Hallway Bench Tutorial
Step 1 – Create bench legs and supports
Create your cuts using a miter saw to trim down the length of your bench seat to 48 inches.
Next use a table saw to rip your board down to 1.5″ wide for the legs and support braces.
This will leave you with a piece that is approximately 96″ x 1.5″.
Then you’ll create the bench legs and support braces using the long 1.5″ wide piece of wood. Each leg will need to be cut on the miter saw to 19.5″ at a beveled angle on both ends.
Set your miter saw to 10 degrees and cut each leg to 19.5″ long so that your angled ends are parallel to each other.
Then you’ll create your two 4 inch support braces by cutting them at a 10 degree angle so that the ends create an “A” frame.
Step 2 – Drill pocket holes
Next, you’ll use a kreg jig to create your pocket holes for assembly. I prefer this one because it’s extremely beginner friendly, and even clamps the wood in place for you to drill.
Drill 2 holes in one end of each leg, and one hole in both ends of each support brace.
Step 3 – Assemble the bench
Now you’re ready to assemble your bench!
Start by placing one set of legs about 5 inches in from the end of your bench seat to create an “A” frame with them. You’ll attach them directly into the center of the bench top using pocket screws.
Applying a little wood glue before attaching might give you some extra support, but I chose not to, and mine has held up great.
Next, you’ll attach the support braces with pocket screws between the “A” framed legs about 5 1/2 inches up from the bottom of the legs.
Step 4 – Distress the bench
This is where the magic happens! There’s no rhyme or reason to this step. I would just encourage you to try out different techniques and see what looks good to you.
Here’s a breakdown of how I approached it.
I used a hammer to add multiple dents to the top, sides and legs of the bench. Because I choose pine wood, it was fairly soft and easy to dent, but a harder wood may simply crack.
Next, I took a manual sawzall and went to town cutting into all of the front edges of the bench seat as well as the legs and support braces.
Then, I used a wire brush attachment on my power drill to roughen up the surface to create a worn-in, scratched look to the edges and surface.
And finally, I took a small chisel and dug into the bench to create various grooves and crevices that mimicked aged, cracked wood.
Step 5 – Sand
You’ll definitely want to sand down your entire bench with a 220 grit sandpaper and power sander, because all of that distressing will leave you with a lot of splintered wood.
This doesn’t have to be perfect, but you do want a clean, smoother surface so that it’s ready to accept stain.
Step 6 – Stain
Lastly, you’re ready to stain!
Pine can be extremely fickle, so I’ll save you a little headache and tell you what to avoid here.
Pre-stain or wood conditioner isn’t necessary, because you’re not going for a perfectly even, stained look on this piece. Plus I found that with pine, it actually made oil based stain look worse than had I gone overtop of bare wood.
I used a clean rag and applied a coat of weathered oak, which turned out a tad too dark orange for me.
So a quick light sanding overtop of this after it dried worked perfectly to even out the blotchiness and tone down the orange a bit.
Feel free to play around with different stain combinations. I simply used what I already had on hand.
I also chose not to seal the bench because I really like the raw wood texture, but you can certainly go over the surface with a matte sealant.
I love how it turned out, and this little hallway wall is the perfect spot for it!
Can you put a bench in a hallway?
Yes, you absolutely can put a bench in a hallway! In fact, benches are a great way to add extra seating and storage in a small space.
If you have a long, narrow hallway, consider placing a bench along one side. This will create a visual anchor for the space and help to define the traffic flow. You can also use a bench as an impromptu entryway table by adding a few decorative items on top.
So go ahead and add a bench to your hallway – your home will thank you!
How deep should a hallway bench be?
When it comes to benches in the hallway, there is no one-size-fits-all answer.
The depth of the bench depends on a number of factors, including the type of bench you choose and the size of your hallway.
If you’re looking for a bench that can be used for storage, a deeper bench may be a better choice if you have enough room. However, if you’re simply looking for a place to sit and take off your shoes, a shallower bench may be all you need.
Ultimately, the best way to determine the ideal depth for your bench is to measure your hallway and experiment with different options until you find the perfect fit.
My go-to technique is to tape off the bench dimensions onto the floor using painter’s tape. This gives you the opportunity to experiment with the traffic flow in your home and decide if the size is right for you.
There you have it! Hallway benches are a great way to add extra seating and storage to your home. With a few supplies from the hardware store and some basic woodworking skills, you can build your own bench in just a few hours.
Check out the rest of this hallway makeover here for more inspiration, including how to style your new bench with pillows and throws.