DIY High Back Bench

THIS! This is hands down one of our very favorite builds! If you caught the Davis episode of our show, Open Concept on HGTV, then you remember this piece well!

diy-high-back-dining-bench

We built this piece together for the Davis’ new dining area. They had a beautiful brick wall that we saved and repainted but we thought the space needed something to break up the huge white wall. Mary mentioned that she loved barn doors, so we came up with a high back bench that resembled a barn door but offers seating at their dining table, too!

This is a simple build and it’s super easy to customize it! You can print the FREE printable plans by clicking HERE!ย You can also follow along with us as we show you how we built the piece, below.

Kreg Jig Pocket Holes

We started by making all of the cuts for our frame. Then we used our Kreg Jig K5 to drill 1 1/2″ pocket holes into the short 2×4 pieces. Refer to the plans for pocket hole placement. You can find the Kreg Jig model that we likeย HEREย on Amazon.

ladder-bench

Next, we constructed the front and back of the bench frame. We attached the two long pieces together with the short pieces in between, with 2 1/2″ pocket hole screws and wood glue.

attach-bench-frame

Once the front and back frames were built, we attached them together with short 2×4 pieces. We used 2 1/2″ pocket hole screws and wood glue.

cover-frame-with-plywood

To cover the frame, we used 1/4″ Purebond Plywood sheets. We had these ripped at Home Depot then cross cut them to fit. Make sure you measure before you cut the length on the plywood. We used Purebond Plywood on this project for so many reason. No. 1, it is plywood but it has a veneer over it that allows it to stain beautifully and it’s made in AMERICA! ๐Ÿ™‚ You can find out more about why we use PureBond HERE!

nail-side-trim-pieces

We used our Ryobi 18 gauge Airstrike Stapler and wood glue to attach the plywood to the frame. If it doesn’t look perfect, no worries, we are covering the joints ๐Ÿ™‚

trim-side-of-bench

Now to make it pretty ๐Ÿ™‚ We measured and cut all of our 1×4 trim to fit

front-trim-of-bench

and attached them to the piece with our 18 gauge brad nailer and 1 1/4″ brad nails. Make sure to use wood glue here too ๐Ÿ™‚

side-of-bench-trimmed

Lookin’ good!

screen-molding

Once the trim pieces are on, cut the bench top to size. We used 3/4″ Purebond Plywood for the top. There should be a 1″ overhang on the front and sides of the bench and it should be flush on the back. To cover the rough plywood edges, we used sticks of screen mold.

attach-screen-molding-with-nailer

Measure and cut the screen mold to fit and attach it with brad nails and wood glue.

add-screen-molding-to-top-of-bench

We like to start with the front piece of screen mold. We mitered both ends at 45 degrees then you can miter the side pieces and just cut off of the straight end to make a perfect fit!

outside-frame-of-bench

Now for the high back! Cut the 1×6 boards to size and drill 3/4″ pocket holes according to the plans.

build-the-back-frame-of-bench

Now, create the + design and attach the pieces with 1 1/2″ pocket hole screws.

measure-and-cut-diagonal-pieces

To make the angle cuts easy, put the board under the frame and mark where you should make the cut, line up the miter angle to match the line on the board and make your cut. Do this for ever angle.

cut-diagonal-pieces-to-size

The angle pieces won’t be attached until we have the back of the bench on.

attach-back-of-bench-with-pocket-hole-screws

We attached the frame to the back of the bench with 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws. Attach the backing at least 1/4″ from the back of the bench top to leave space for the 1/4″ plywood backing. This piece will be resting against a wall but if yours doesn’t, reinforce from underneath the bench top into the back with spax screws.

high-back-bench-free-plans

Ready for the backing! This is also where we decided we should have brought it inside to assemble ๐Ÿ™‚

attach-back-boards-to-back-of-bench

Once the back is attached to the bench, attach the 1/4″ plywood to the back of the frame. We made ours a little bit shorter so that it wouldn’t be visible from the side of the bench. We also attached mending plates (refer to plans) to give the bench back added support.

cut-table-with-jigsaw

attach-corbels

We decided to fancy the bench up just a tad more by using scrap 1 x 12 pieces and cutting decorative corbels with our Ryobi Jigsaw. Drill 3/4″ pocket holes in the wide ends of the corbels and attach them to the bench top with 1 1/2″ pocket hole screws and wood glue. You might need to add a few 1 1/4″ brad nails from the back of the bench into the corbels while the glue is drying. You will need to fill the pocket holes with wood filler or Kreg Pocket Hole plugs.

Varathane-Dark-Walnut

diy-high-back-bench-by-shanty2chic

We applied one coat of Dark Walnut stain by Varathane to the entire piece and that was it – time for a pic ๐Ÿ˜‰ You can find the stain we used HERE on Amazon.

high-back-bench-diy

diy-high-back-bench diy-high-back-dining-bench

The best part about this piece is that it can be used it in so many places around your home. Entryway, dining room, mud room…. the list could go on! It’s easy to customize too, so make it yours and show us what you do!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Happy Building!

Ashley

P.S. You can find info on all of the other items in this space below:)

Pillows: HERE

Plates:ย Target

Light:ย HERE

 

 

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  • Mickenzie Czech

    Probably a sill question but I’m wondering if it would be easier to attach the back after its in the house?

  • MaryJean MJ Bassett Taylor

    I love this and may want to do this in my kitchen remodel. wish I could see a few more angles of how it looked in the entire room. any chance you have more pictures you could share?

  • James

    How much do you think I could sell this?

  • TMVA

    Very nice! Thanks for the tutorial, it gives me ideas.

  • Jamie K

    Beautiful Beautiful! Always love the tutorials! thank you!!