If you’ve ever wanted a DIY built-in bench in your home, this the perfect tutorial for you.
Hey guys! Today I am sharing the tutorial for the DIY Built-In Dining Room Bench with Storage that my husband and I completed over a year ago. I’m embarrassed to have been sitting on this content for so long, but better late than never. I’ve shared it so many times on Instagram, but the moment to share with a full tutorial is finally here. It’s been my dream to add a bench somewhere in our home, and the one thing that I thought I was missing was the perfect nook. Well, one day while walking through this room, it hit me that the back wall would be the perfect space to add a DIY Built-In Dining room bench with storage, mainly because there was a wall to wall nook.
In the beginning, my dining room had picture molding around the entire room as you can see below:
I first found a more oval style oak table that fit the space much better at my local Goodwill. I re-stained the oak table using my trusted “refinishing an oak table” method. Adding this table provided a bit more space for seating, so I knew that the DIY Built-In Dining Bench would be the perfect addition.
And I absolutely love the character that it adds to an otherwise more standard builder grade room, but in the process of determining that I wanted to add the bench, I knew that in order to get a really finished look in the space, we would have to begin by removing the molding from the area that we wanted to add the bench. That way once the bench is built, we could add molding back that mimics the rest of the room.
We removed the molding by slicing away at the caulk around the molding using a hooked caulk scraper to cut the molding and and a hammer and chisel to pop the molding off. Overall it was much simpler than I thought it would be and the molding pried right off.
Once we removed the molding, the space looked like this…
Once we removed the molding from that wall, we began the framing.
How to Build a Built-In Bench Frame
To determine our bench frame size, we measured the entire length of the wall, the width of the wall, and the height. The height of the frame we determined from a standard chair height, which is 18 to 20 inches.
So we went to our local Home Depot and purchased 4- 10ft long and 2-8ft long 2×4’s. Since we went with the measurments that we needed, we simply had them cut the 2×4’s based on our measurements.
Our cut list:
4- 119.5 inch long pieces cut from the 10 ft pieces
2-8ft pieces, we brought home to cut the remaining wood pieces ourselves using our mitre saw
Using our stud finder, husband plotted out the areas in which he wanted to place the 2×4. It’s best to use wood screws, locate the studs, and screw directly into the stud for maximum support.
We then measured the sides, and attached the wood into the studs for the smaller side pieces as well. Our sides measured 22 inches long.
To secure the side pieces to the front and back long pieces, we purchased L brackets. They made the attachments even more secure.
Across the front, we used the same 119.5 inch pieces that we used along the back. By the end, we had a perfect box.
To reinforce this box, we added several wood pieces cut the length of the top and bottom brackets. You can see what I’m talking about in the pic below. .
To attach the back pieces, we drilled straight into the studs. To attach the front pieces, we used straight brackets.
How to Repair Damaged Drywall from Molding Removal
To repair the area where we removed the molding, we used drywall repair mud and a spackle. I really recommend completing this repair portion before building the
To apply, I simply smoothed the drywall mud over the wall where the molding had been removed.
I let it dry overnight…
After drying overnight, the areas were sanded using a drywall hand sander.
While sanding, I made sure that I wore a protective mask across my face.
These steps should be repeated until the damaged areas are smooth and barely visible. Smooth to the touch is more important than the visibility. This process in known as skim coating. It took me repeating this process around 4 times in order to have a nice finished wall ready to be primed.
Next, we focused on building the external structure of bench using plywood cut to our desired measurements. We decided to split the bench and make it two sides so that would not be one long top. Having it in two made more sense.
We did this by adding an additional 2×4 in between to provide support for the bench seating before we added the plywood.
How to Build Bench Seating with Storage
To complete the bench seating, we used flat plywood, that was already sanded and primed which was $35 a sheet. You can opt for cheaper wood, however, you will spend more time sanding the wood to make it smooth enough to paint.
We had Home Depot cut it down to our desired measurements. We bought two.
To attach the plywood to the front, we used wood nails to screw into the 2×4’s that were in place as the bench frame.
To attach the bench tops, we used four metal brackets so that the bench could open and close.
On the front, we added decorative molding to mimic the wall in the rest of the room.
Once the molding was added, I used my HomeRight paint sprayer to paint everything with a nice smoothe coat of white paint.
To make the bench cushion, I used foam and a gray linen that I purchased from Hobby Lobby.
I just hot glued the fabric to the foam and used velcro to attach it to the top of the bench.
If you are curious, inside, I store paint supplies, and other things as needed. Its so lovely having a place to store miscellaneous items.
So that’s it. The bench is now complete. We’ve been living with this bench OVER a year now and it is literally one of the most favorite areas of my home and contributed to a makeover of this space, which will be revealed next week.
So what do you think? Do you have a space in your home that could use a built-in bench somewhere? Make sure you pin this image to save it for future reference.
Thanks so much for stopping by. Until next time!