Benches are such a useful piece of furniture around the house. It can be used in an entryway, hallway, at the end of your bed, as your dining room seating, and more! Honestly, they can be put just about anywhere to add a little style and functionality to your home. But who wants to spend hundreds of dollars on a bench that may not be your exact style or size you want? Not me! Hence, this super easy DIY hairpin bench project (for around $25!).

This project really couldn’t be any simpler. It only takes 2 days to complete (mainly due to the drying of both the stain and polyurethane) and is so simple that anyone can do it in no time at all. How about the power tools needed? Would you believe me if I said the project can be done with just a sander and drill? Yep! That’s it! This post will show you how to make a bench that you can customize to your specific style with minimal cost and tools.

Materials:

  • 2″x12″x4′ Pine Boards
  • Hairpin Legs
  • Rags
  • Tack Cloth
  • Marker (I use a sharpie)
  • Minwax One Step Polyurethane
  • Minwax Coffee Gel Stain

Tools:

  • Drill
  • Drill Bits
  • Sander
  • Sand Paper
  • Ruler
  • Painter’s Pyramids
  • Applicable Safety Equipment

Let’s Get Building!

So for this project you are going to need buy a 12″ x 2″ x 4′ Board. If your hardware store only sells in 8′, they can cut it down for you if you don’t have a saw (and now you can make 2 benches!). The first step to completing your bench is to sand down the wood until it’s smooth to the touch. I did this with my rotary hand sander, starting with 60 grit sand paper, then 150 grit, then 220 grit. I normally don’t go all the way up to 220 grit sand paper but I wanted this to be extra smooth since people are sitting on it. Now, this is going to be the most time consuming and boring part of the project so just be patient with it (listening to music helps make this a little more fun). For the edges I rounded them over with a sander instead of a round over router bit to give it a more hand made look.

Once the sanding is done, wipe down the board with a tack cloth to get all the sawdust off. This is the point where you get to be creative and make the bench in your style. You can leave the wood plain, stain it, or paint it to get the look you want. I used Minwax Coffee Gel Stain for my bench because I love the deep brown color and it matches the industrial feel of the rest of my furniture. Whatever method you use, just make sure to follow the product’s instructions.

Once your finish of choice has fully dried, it’s time to put a protective coat on it so it can withstand heavy use. I recommend using polyurethane (Minwax One Coat Polyurethane is my absolute favorite) for this because it will provide protection to the wood better than other sealants. Polyurethane will dry clear but still provide a hard protective coat over the wood.

Once that dries, it’s time to install the legs. All you will need for this is a ruler, drill, drill bits, tape, and a sharpie marker. Start by determining where you would like the legs to be placed. I picked 3/4″ from the corner. Using the sharpie, mark where all the screws will be. Now, wrap a small piece of tape around your drill bit a little shorter than the length of the screws. This will help you drill to the appropriate length without going too deep. Now simply install the screws.

That’s it! Can you believe it? I know, it’s so simple but so many people just go to the store and spend big money for the same thing! Stay tuned for our next woodworking post DIY Upholstered Hairpin Bench where we follow the same instructions but install a custom cushion to the bench.

Disclaimer: Please make sure with all your projects that you have read your equipment’s safety manual and are following the recommended safety precautions. We are not responsible for the results of your DIY projects as results can vary based on your skill level, quality of materials, and age of your equipment.

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