How To Make Bench Chair – I repurposed 2 old chairs that were going in the trash and 1 extra piece of wood into a beautiful bench made from backyard bicycles!
This beautiful reclining bench is brought to you in collaboration with Sherwin Williams. The opinions in this post are my own based on my personal experience. Also, this post contains affiliate links, but nothing I wholeheartedly recommend! Read my full post here.
How To Make Bench Chair
Have you ever found trash waiting to be turned into a treasure?! I’m scoring this vintage chair for FREE (yes…that’s….zero!) in a local Facebook group!!
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I know exactly what I want to do with this old chair. I wanted to give them new life with a new coat of colorful paint and turn them into a beautiful outdoor bench.
Although the seats were a little battered, it’s not good. I mean after… look at the meadow!
All it needs is a good cleaning and a fresh coat of paint. I’m glad we were able to give this old chair a new lease of life and turn it into a bike bench with a beautiful back.
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Are you ready to see how you can turn two old chairs and pallets into beautiful outdoor benches for your yard?
To start, you want to give the seat a good cleaning. Especially if you’re using an old chair that’s headed for the trash like me!
After I got it for free from someone on Facebook, it sat in the garage for a few months until I had time to tackle this DIY bench.
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This will remove any residue and/or finish from the seat and give the exterior paint a chance to follow.
You can use a slightly damp cloth or tack cloth. I like sticky cloths because they are less sticky and pick up sanding dust faster.
Now, the folding bench seat will be outside in the back, so I decided to use a high quality outdoor paint to extend the life of the wooden outdoor furniture.
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Sherwin Williams was kind enough to send me their Durable Exterior Acrylic Latex Paint to try out. The Durability Line offers exceptional moisture resistance, which I need because we live in both cold and hot climates.
I used a paint brush to apply the paint, but you can also use a paint brush if you have one for a quick DIY bench project.
As I mentioned in the video below, when painting outdoor furniture, you want to think about wrapping the furniture, not just covering the exposed wood.
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Exterior paint acts as a sealer for wood furniture, so it’s important to get it into all areas.
Also, don’t forget about painting the bottom of the seat and even the bottom of the legs where the seat touches the floor!
Note: if you think your outdoor bench might be in a pool of water, you can also install footrests to keep it off the ground.
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I ended up doing two coats of exterior paint. If I put it on thicker, I probably wouldn’t be able to do one….but I usually apply a light coat even if it takes me longer. It ended up being neat.
After putting 2 coats of paint on the outside and waiting for it to dry, I like the color (that is, by refinishing it with Sherwin Williams). But I don’t like the way this bench seat turned out.
My writing style is mostly muted and farmhouse. I know I can’t press the chair like I do when I paint chairs. The exterior paint is supposed to be moisture proof on this outdoor bench, so I can’t wipe it off. I finished dry cleaning the chair with white acrylic paint.
Outdoor Wooden Benches
Dry brushing is a very simple technique that can be used to add a little character to furniture. Dry brushing also helps to add interest to the design of the furniture. It’s easy to do, too!
All you do is take an old paint brush and put a little paint on it and apply the paint several times on paper or fabric.
Next, run the paintbrush over the furniture without touching it. Always open the paint brush with the grain of the wood.
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You can go back and add white letters with a dry brush, so start small and reduce the brush.
If you take too much white in some areas, you can go back with the color of the exterior paint and use it using the dry method of white tones.
After the paint dries, you can start working with the pallet wood. We always keep a few sheets of paper at home because we use them all the time for DIY woodworking projects (mostly bed sheets and wood!)
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Once you have a wooden board, you can measure the bench seat and, if necessary, cut the pieces to size to fit the bench seat.
We finished the distance from our chairs a little to match the width of the pallet pieces so there was less cutting.
I used a nail gun to finish attaching the wood to the bench seat. I added 2 nails to each pallet post that meets the seat pieces.
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Make sure to leave small gaps between the pallet boards so that water can pass through and not get into the seat.
I also used a lot of white paint and some dry paint to add a similar look to the pallet wood!
I painted extra wood the same color as the chair and glued it to the bottom of the chair as a support.
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Once the seat is open and the paint has dried, you will want to seal the seat cushion before removing it.
The exterior paint alone may not need to be sealed, but the pallet wood should be sealed. I used acrylic paint. Don’t forget to do the edges and the bottom too!
I can imagine this raised chair would make a great backyard party under the stars. We have plenty of summer to enjoy with this bench before winter sets in.
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You can create a bench seat for your yard with the color of the exterior paint. If you want to jazz up this outdoor bench, and more, you can paint some decorations.
A raised bench seat for the backyard is easy to make. This is a great DIY project to start with because it doesn’t require money. I bet you can find tons of vintage furniture at your local thrift store or Facebook Marketplace, CraigsList. You can get it for free like I did!
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We’ve found that many couples don’t know how to start a home renovation, so our passion is to teach others how to create the home they love – one DIY at a time. This bench is actually a spin on the Leopold Bench (plan here) named after conservationist Aldo Leopold which was built for bird watching and nature photography. I liked the simplicity of the Leopold Bench but I wanted to change the design a bit with different angles to make it better and have a proper seat and back. So this is the design I want. If you are interested in the 2×8 version of this bench click here. I also have a modern Adirondack design that compliments this bench, check it out here.
If you love this stuff as much as I do, you might want to consider following us on Instagram, where we post previews and behind the scenes stories. Also, did you know that you can find tons of project plans online if you follow us on Facebook and Pinterest!
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These plans will walk you through how to build an outdoor bench with a back using only four 2x6s and a small power tool in just 30 minutes for $30 in wood.
I hope this program helps you
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