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Easy DIY Rustic Outdoor Bench from 2×4’s

Build an easy DIY rustic outdoor bench with just your saw and drill. No special tools required! This is a cheap beginner project using 2×4’s.

Easy DIY Rustic Outdoor Bench

Today, I have an easy to build DIY Rustic 2×4 Outdoor Bench to share with you all. And it’s super affordable, winning!

In fact, you can buy the lumber you’ll need for this build for less than $50. BUT you could also reuse old lumber, like I did.

I upcycled old fence boards my husband was going to burn to make our 2×4 bench. So when I built this bench it was 100% free. More winning!

Whether you’re using old or new lumber, the build steps for this easy outdoor bench are the same.

Image of a painted outdoor bench in a backyard with text that says "Easy Beginner DIY Using 2x4s - Rustic Outdoor Bench".
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You Can Even Use Pressure Treated Lumber To Build A Bench

You can also use pressure treated or non-pressure treated lumber, depending on your preference. The old fence boards I used are pressure treated.

Which is probably why I was able to save so many of those 20-year old boards.

If you don’t use pressure treated lumber, you’ll definitely need to protect the wood from the elements with paint, stain, and/or outdoor polyurethane or spar urethane. Especially where the legs meet the ground.

For this bench, I used a Zinnser 123 Primer and a couple coats of an Exterior Latex Paint to finish the bench.

I have also had great results with staining pressure treated lumber and getting a beautiful finish. You can see how beautiful Minwax Jacobean Stain looks on my DIY Outdoor Corner Bench Build.

More Outdoor DIY’s Using Pressure Treated Lumber

How to Build a Simple 2×4 Outdoor Bench

Materials Needed

  • Circular Saw OR Miter Saw
  • A trusty Drill, like mine.
  • Paint or Stain
  • 1 – 4x4x10′ board
  • 8 – 2x4x10′ boards
  • 2 1/2″ self-tapping deck screws (screws with a special tip that let you build without pre-drilling)
  • 1 – 2x2x6′ furring strip
A grey rustic, scrap wood 2x4 bench. Build this DIY Rustic Farmhouse Outdoor Bench with just a drill and a saw. This is a great 2x4 bench project. #AbbottsAtHome #DIYBench #DIYFurniture #2x4bench
How about that sunset!

Important Build Notes

I built this Outdoor Bench to fit an extra long space in our backyard. Ours is probably about 8′ long. A 5′ long bench is probably a more common size.

So, I’ll use that as my tutorial length for this build. Just remember, you can change this length to fit your space.

I attached the back for this bench to our pergola posts. BUT the tutorial below and printable plans will tell you how to build yours with an attached back. It’ll be similar to how I attached the back to my L-shaped backyard bench.

My wood dimensions look a bit different than the plans. Like I mentioned earlier, I was using old fence, or corral boards that I resawed for this build. I recommend using 2×4’s for a new build.

OK, let’s get to those steps.

Build Steps

Step 1

Cut 2 – 18″ long 4×4’s for the front legs and 2 – 40″ long 4×4’s for the back legs. Cut 2 – 57″ long 2×4’s and 2 – 23″ long 2×4’s for the bench frame.

Give everything a good sanding before assembling. When painting, I sand with 120 or 150-grit sandpaper to smooth the boards and round off sharp edges, a bit.

Start by screwing the frame together. Build this DIY Rustic Farmhouse Outdoor Bench with just a drill and a saw. This is a great 2x4 bench project. #AbbottsAtHome #DIYBench #DIYFurniture #2x4bench
Attaching the 60″ long framing boards to the legs of the DIY Rustic Outdoor Bench. Your build should have 2 – 18″ legs and 2 – 40″ legs.

Step 2

Connect the 2 short legs with 1 of the 57″ long 2×4’s. Make sure to line up the top edge of the 2×4 with the top edge of the legs.

Use 2 of the self-tapping deck screws in opposite corners in each leg (see picture above). Self-tapping screws do not need to be pre-drilled.

Step 3

Mark the 40″ long back legs, 18″ up from the bottom. Connect those legs with the 2nd 57″ long 2×4. Line up the top of the 2×4 with the lines you marked on the back legs.

Build this DIY Rustic Farmhouse Outdoor Bench with just a drill and a saw. This is a great 2x4 bench project. #AbbottsAtHome #DIYBench #DIYFurniture #2x4bench
Here’s a look at my assembled frame. Remember, this tutorial includes an attached back. So, your frame will have 2 short legs (like these) and 2 long legs.

Step 4

Stand up your front and back legs, with the framing 2×4’s facing out. You might need a partner to help you hold things for this step. Connect the front and back legs on each side with a 24″ long 2×4 on each side.

Use 2 screws on each corner again. Be sure to screw into the 4×4, not the end of the 57″ long 2×4. You’ll now have a finished base for your bench.

Build this DIY Rustic Farmhouse Outdoor Bench with just a drill and a saw. This is a great 2x4 bench project. #AbbottsAtHome #DIYBench #DIYFurniture #2x4bench
You can see here how closely I set the boards. Use a penny to make the gap.

Step 5

Now you’ll need to cut 17 – 23 1/4″ long 2×4’s for the seat of this DIY Rustic Outdoor Bench. Sand these before attaching. Before attaching, mark the center of the seat frame.

Center the first seat board on that mark. You can even clamp it in the front and the back to keep it in place.

You’ll leave a 1/4″ overhang on the front of the bench. Carefully lay out the rest of the boards, about a penny’s width or 1/8″ apart.

This will give room for slight swelling during weather changes. You should have about 1/2″ overhang on each side too.

Step 6

You’ll need to notch out 2 of the boards on each end for the back leg/bench back. I generally use my jigsaw for notching. Once everything looks evenly spaced and has been notched out, attach the seats.

Use your 2 1/2″ self-tapping deck screws again. If you don’t use self-tapping screws, you will need to pre-drill the holes for your screws. Screws that don’t have the special self-tapping tip, will split the end of your boards.

Build this DIY Rustic Farmhouse Outdoor Bench with just a drill and a saw. This is a great 2x4 bench project. #AbbottsAtHome #DIYBench #DIYFurniture #2x4bench
A look at what I mean by notching out a board.

Step 7

Now that the seat is complete, you can finish the back. Cut and screw on a 16″ long 2×2 furring strip along the length of each back posts.

This will support the boards for the bench back. Attach the furring strip 1 1/2″ back from the front of the back leg.

This will make sure that the back supports are even with the back leg, for a nice smooth look and feel.

AND make sure the top of the furring strip is 1 1/4″ below the top of the back leg. You don’t want that furring strip showing from the front of the bench.

Build this DIY Rustic Farmhouse Outdoor Bench with just a drill and a saw. This is a great 2x4 bench project. #AbbottsAtHome #DIYBench #DIYFurniture #2x4bench
You can see the board I attached to the back 4×4 leg. I set it back 1 1/2″ so that the bench back will sit even with the back legs.

Step 8

Cut, sand, and attach 5 – 50″ long back boards to the furring strips with your screws. Start with the top board, make sure each end is perfectly even with the top of the back legs.

Space each board a penny’s width apart again. You’ll be left with about a 2 1/2″ gap between the bench back and the bench seat.

If you prefer printable woodworking plans, I have a PDF version of this build plan with 3D drawings for the steps available in my Gumroad shop. Click the link below to see more details.


These plans are for personal use only. They cannot be shared or sold without my permission. Please let me know if you have any questions and enjoy your build! 🙂


That’s it! Now that your DIY Rustic Farmhouse Outdoor Bench is built, you’re ready to finish it off.

Image of a wood outdoor bench made with pressure treated lumber. With a small 3D woodworking plan diagram image of the bench next to it.

Finishing Steps

You can finish your outdoor bench with paint or stain in any style you like. Check out this list of 25 Step by Step Beginner Furniture Painting Tutorials to get some design ideas.

If you are using new pressure treated lumber, you’ll need to let the boards dry out before painting or staining that lumber.

I went for a grey paint (Behr’s Squirrel Exterior Latex) that is already close to the grey color of the aged wood. I also distressed all the edges with sandpaper. This bench is in a gravel play area.

So, I knew it would take some abuse from my boys. When they bang and chip little bits of that paint, you really can’t tell.

The matching paint color makes any dings less obvious. In fact, I built this bench in early 2017 and it’s held up amazingly well.

Using a print out to transfer an image with a chalk and pencil. Build this DIY Rustic Farmhouse Outdoor Bench with just a drill and a saw. This is a great 2x4 bench project. #AbbottsAtHome #DIYBench #DIYFurniture #2x4bench
I rubbed white chalk all over the back of this paper. Then taped it in place and traced the outline of the truck and text with a normal pencil. That left a white chalk outline on the bench that I could trace over with my paint markers.

I gave this bench a fun Old Truck and Farmer’s Market design on the seat back. I’m horrible at drawing, so I found this great printable on the Nina Hendrick Blog to use for the design.

Then I used my DIY to resize and edit images to add the ‘Farmers Market’ text and adjust the size of the truck to this large scale.

Build this DIY Rustic Farmhouse Outdoor Bench with just a drill and a saw. This is a great 2x4 bench project. #AbbottsAtHome #DIYBench #DIYFurniture #2x4bench
Our donkeys are just a little bit curious. 😉

Some DIY Outdoor Projects From Other Bloggers

Hanging solar light using glass chandelier bowls and dollar store items!
Repurposed Old Vintage Plate Garden Idea
How To Make DIY Wine Bottle Torches And Solar Lights
How to Make a Cute Garden Scarecrow

More DIY Projects From This Blog

Looking for an big outdoor bench with more style? Check out my L-Shaped Backyard Bench tutorial.

How I built my L-shaped DIY Outdoor Bench for $130, awarded 2nd place in the IG Builders Challenge, season 3

I love this DIY Outdoor Sofa from 2×4 Pine and Cedar.

Here's the easy to follow build steps, printable plans, and how-to video for this beautiful DIY Outdoor Sofa from 2x4 Pine Lumber with Cedar. Wood outdoor sofa or bench with a back woodworking plans.

Looking for another great build. Check out this easy DIY Coffee Table with Turned Legs.

I LOVE the beautiful details on this easy and budget-friendly DIY Coffee Table Build Plan. Built with $10 Turned Legs, Molding & Plywood. Printable Woodworking Plans, easy enough build for beginner woodworkers. Easy woodworking project.

Your cat will love this DIY Cat Tree Wood House Build Plan too.

Here's a quick and easy woodworking project for cat lovers. I love how this DIY Cat Tree Wood House - Cat Tower turned out. And, it's a lot cheaper and prettier than those store bought Cat Tree's! Cat Tree or Cat Tower Printable Build Plans.

Or this beautiful DIY Chunky Leg Farmhouse Bench for inside your house.

Farmhouse Style DIY Upholstered Bench Plan with Tongue & Groove shelf. Makes a great end of bed bench, dining table bench, living room coffee table or entry bench.

Feeling inspired? Get out there and make your own Easy DIY Rustic Outdoor Bench. Have fun and let me know if you have questions.

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Sherry Cole

Tuesday 19th of June 2018

This is great! I choose your bench as my feature today at Totally Terrific Tuesday! Thank your for linking up with us.

Stephanie

Tuesday 19th of June 2018

Thanks so much, Sherry! You've made my day. :)

acraftymix

Friday 15th of June 2018

Awwww I remember this beautiful bench from you previous post. So glad you shared the the tut on how you did it, it's so perfect for that space

Stephanie

Saturday 16th of June 2018

Thanks so much!

Chas

Thursday 14th of June 2018

What a great bench! I would love one of these at my home as it would remind me of my grandparent's farm. Thanks for sharing on To Grandma's House We Go!

Stephanie

Friday 15th of June 2018

Thanks so much, Chas!

tarahlynn

Saturday 2nd of June 2018

Love this and the stain you chose! That truck is just darling :)

Stephanie

Saturday 2nd of June 2018

Thanks so much, Tarah!

Denise Bryant

Saturday 2nd of June 2018

OMG...I am not handy with tools at all but this seems easy enough for me to do. Love it and the truck is absolutely adorable.

Stephanie

Saturday 2nd of June 2018

You're so crafty, I bet you would be awesome with tools after a couple weeks of practice. Thanks so much, Denise!

Comments are closed.