Bunnings logo with a piece of holly.
Icon - Website - Mobile - Add to project list.svgIcon - Website - Mobile - Cart.svg

Sign in to your account

Project list

Sign in to your account

DIY Step Image - Learn how to build an outdoor garden bench . Blob storage upload.

Overview

An outdoor bench makes every garden look complete and you can make one yourself. We’ll take you through the tools and simple steps required to build a solid and attractive outdoor bench without using nails or screws. 

Steps

1Get your timber pre-cut

After you have chosen the timber, you can get the timber pre-cut at selected Bunnings stores. You can always customise the bench to suit any size space. In this case our finished bench is 500mm high x 1890 long x 405mm wide. That means we need 10 x 1800mm lengths for the bench and 10 x 500mm and 10 x 410mm lengths for the legs.

 TIP: Straight timber makes for a straight bench. When choosing your timber, look down the length for any cupping (side-to-side curve) or crowning (up-down curve). If you spot either of these, put those pieces back.

DIY Step Image - Learn how to build an outdoor garden bench . Blob storage upload.

2Make a box joint

Line up 5 pieces of both the long and short timber you cut for the legs next to each other. Make sure you alternate the lengths between the long 500mm and short 410mm pieces. Before you start gluing, organise the pieces so you can see how they will fit together.

3Create a template for the rods

To make drilling holes for the rods easier, make a template with a 90mm x 45mm piece of timber. This is to make sure your holes are in exactly the same location at either end. When creating your template, use a 35mm spade bit to the depth of the cap, then continue through with a 22mm spade bit. Then repeat this process for the second rod.

DIY Step Image - Learn how to build an outdoor garden bench . Blob storage upload.

4Drill the holes in the legs

Clamp one of the 500mm pieces of timber for the legs onto the saw horse. Put the template in place and drill two holes into the timber. Make sure you keep the drill straight as you do this, it will make it easier to insert the rod. Repeat this step for all of the 500mm pieces of timber for your legs.

DIY Step Image - Learn how to build an outdoor garden bench . Blob storage upload.

5Glue and clamp the legs

Put glue on the sides of the timber. Then place them next to each other making sure they are flush. Use the clamp to secure them. Insert the rod through the holes and leave to dry overnight. 

DIY Step Image - Learn how to build an outdoor garden bench . Blob storage upload.

6Scrape off excess glue

After the glue has dried, scrape off any excess between the joints with a chisel. This will make it easier when it comes to sanding your outdoor bench.

DIY Step Image - Learn how to build an outdoor garden bench . Blob storage upload.

7Build the top of the bench

Repeat the above steps to build the top of the bench. 

DIY Step Image - Learn how to build an outdoor garden bench . Blob storage upload.

8Assemble the bench

Once the glue for the legs and the bench top have dried, it's time to assemble the pieces. Lay the top of the bench on the saw horses and insert the legs into the box joint. Use a rubber mallet to tap the legs into place so that they're flush. Insert the rods into the holes, using the mallet to push them through if you need. Put the caps on the ends of the rods. Use a socket wrench to tighten the caps.

DIY Step Image - Learn how to build an outdoor garden bench . Blob storage upload.

9Sand the bench

To give your outdoor bench a professional look, use the hand sander to smooth over the surface and get rid of any splinters or excess glue. After you have sanded it back, wipe the bench down with a damp cloth to get rid of any dust.

DIY Step Image - Learn how to build an outdoor garden bench . Blob storage upload.

10Stain the bench

Depending on the look you want, you can either paint or stain it. Make sure you place a drop sheet below to stop any paint or stain from dripping onto the ground. A fibreglass resin will give your bench a glossy finish. Following the instructions on the tin, apply it with a paint brush and make sure your strokes go with the grain. 
DIY Step Image - Learn how to build an outdoor garden bench . Blob storage upload.

Suggested products

More D.I.Y. Advice

Health & Safety

Asbestos, lead-based paints and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber are health hazards you need to look out for when renovating older homes. These substances can easily be disturbed when renovating and exposure to them can cause a range of life-threatening diseases and conditions including cancer. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page.

When following our advice in our D.I.Y. videos, make sure you use all equipment, including PPE, safely by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Check that the equipment is suitable for the task and that PPE fits properly. If you are unsure, hire an expert to do the job or talk to a Bunnings Team Member.