How to Build and Paint a Farmhouse Bench
If you saw my recent post about how I styled my gorgeous farmhouse bench, you might have wondered where I bought it! Here’s the thing: I didn’t buy it, I built it! And do you know what’s even better? I built it in a weekend for less than $30 in lumber! Seriously. The bench was so easy to build, and I’m excited to show you step by step how I did it. And if you’re wondering how I distressed it to give it that rustic, weathered vibe? That was easy too! Want to make one of these for yourself? Well, keep on reading to learn how to build and paint a rustic farmhouse style bench.
Building Your Bench
For this farmhouse bench, I downloaded the free plans from Shanty 2 Chic, available here. We bought all of our wood at Home Depot. Because the bench is made with 2 by 4 pieces of wood, it’s super inexpensive! To cut the wood, I used the cut list provided in the plans, measuring and cutting with our Ryobi miter saw. Once I cut all the pieces, I assembled the top, using my Kreg Jig and Makita drill to drill pocket holes into the wood, then drive in Kreg screws.
Once the I completed the top of the bench, I build the frame, flipping the bench upside down to screw the legs into the top. This part went quickly! My husband helped since the bench got pretty heavy! I attached the legs with pocket holes, using my DeWalt clamps to keep the joints tight when I drove in my screws.
After the bench is fully assembled, you’ll want to sand away all the rough edges. I used both my Ryobi Corner Cat and my DeWalt orbital sander. I started with 120 grit sandpaper and moved to 220 grit paper to really give the bench a smooth finish. Easy! Here I am, late at night, after the bench has been sanded smooth.
Staining the Bench
Once the bench is assembled, it’s time to bring it to life! To paint my bench, I decided to use a combo of finished, including Minwax Provincial stain and Miss Mustard Seed Flow Blue milk paint. I love the Minwax provincial stain and applied a coat to my bench with a staining pad. You can see that I laid down a plastic drop cloth on our workbench to keep the stain from going everywhere. I actually have reused that same dropcloth a number of times. It’s been a good investment!
Painting and Distressing Your Bench
To paint the bench, I used Miss Mustard Seed milk paint in the color flow blue. Milk paint is easy to use, fun to distress, and comes in gorgeous colors. And flow blue is no exception. Milk paint comes in a powder, and you mix in the amount of water you want, usually in equal proportions. I used an old mason jar and danced around the kitchen to mix it up.
Before painting the farmhouse bench, I used Vaseline on the corners to act as a resister to the paint. This makes it so much easier to distress later on. I covered the bench in two coats of flow blue, painting right over the stain and the Vaseline!
Distressing and Waxing Your Farmhouse Bench
Once the paint dried, it was time for the fun part: distressing! To do this, I used my Ryobi Corner Cat to sand away where the bench would naturally wear. I sanded the corners and edges. Because I’d put Vaseline on these spots, the paint came off so easily. I’ve learned not to be scared of distressing and really go for it. I think it looks alot better to really show the paint pulled back and reveal some of the stain underneath. What do you think?
To finish the bench, I used both clear and brown finishing wax. To apply the wax, I used my Chalkology wax brush, which was about $14 on Amazon. Such a good find! I first put on the clear wax, working quickly to buff the wax into the piece with my brush. When the clear wax dried, I put a thin coat of brown wax, concentrating on the distressing. The brown wax sinks into all the nooks and crannies, bringing out the distressing for a rustic, aged effect. I love it!
To say I’m crazy about this farmhouse bench is SUCH an understatement. I LOVE it! We put it in our hallway, then styled it up with a gorgeous rug, storage bins, and pillows, and it transforms the space. Our hallway nook is one of my absolute favorite spots. Perfect for putting on shoes by the door. Plus the baby loves to cling onto the bench as he’s learning to walk. Do you think you’d make a farmhouse bench now that you’ve seen how easy it is?
Thanks so much for all your love! As always, lots of love from my house to yours!!