When trying to make the most of your outdoor space, seating is a must on that list. Most outdoor seating options can be costly, or difficult to find exactly what you are looking for. I am going to show you a way to make a bench using wood pallets.
The first step is to take apart the wood pallet. This was a pallet with some really strong and sturdy pieces of wood.
Using a saw zall (a electric, power saw), and severing any pieces of the pallet that can come apart. Most of this can be torn apart but just sawing where the screws are. If you do not have a saw zall, using a tool t pull apart the pallets is useful too. Anything to get the job done of pulling it all apart.
Taking on of the longer pieces of pallet wood and cut it in half, down the middle.
This will become the frame for the seat itself on the bench. Cutting two long, and two smaller. This created the front, back and sides to the bench. My bench is measuring 77 inches long, 21 inches wide and 18 inches tall for the legs. I chose this size bench mainly because it was the length of the longer wood from the pallet. There was no guessing with sizes. I also had a large place I was going to put it, so this could be a little over sized and fit nicely.
Once the 4 pieces were cut, set them in a rectangle shape. With ends touching and creating the corners.
Using long screws and a automatic drill and screwing two into each corner. The longer ones were needed to get through the wood.
With the frame made, it is time to put in the pallets for the seat itself. I had another pallet, which I took apart. Lining up the pallet planks to the length of the bench frame.
Set the bench frame on the pallet planks. To see how things line up.
Using a marker and tracing around the frame onto the pallet planks. This will show where the cut needs to happen for each pallet plank to fit on the bench.
Once all were marked properly. Cut, using a table saw along the line on each of end of the pallet planks. Going one plank at a time.
Line them all up to confirm that no additional cuts need to be made.
If all fits and it the right length, nail into place.
Here is where using pallets can be a little daunting. Because they are pallets, the surface of them are rough. There is a lot of prep that needs to go into making them not be painful and too rough when sitting on them. The first step for us was softening the edge of the top with a router.
Using a rounded bit for the top of the router. Running it along the side edge of the bench top. This will give the feeling and appearance of a rounded edge.
This can be done with just sanding it as well if you do not have a router tool. Once all 4 sides have been routered, it is time to sand the top. I should note that the routered edge appears uneven in places. Because I used pallet wood for this, not all widths, thickness of wood, and heights was the same. Having a somewhat imperfect edge works really well for this and does not need to be stressed too much.
Sanding the top of the bench is needed as well. This will allow people to sit on it with shorts or a sun dress without getting cuts from the wood.
I used a automatic sander for this, to move the job along. This can be done with a regular piece of sand paper and just scrubbing away as well.
I just sanded off enough to give the surface a smooth finish when running my hand along it.
There are a few options for finishing off the look of this bench. I am choosing to make this be super bright and cheery with a lot of different paints. Setting the bench top down. I purchased a number of bright paints. I just purchased sample sizes, since I would not need a lot of paint of each color.
Set them on each plank. There was going to have to be a few repeats in color’s for some planks. I was very mindful of making sure there was color spread out. For example, no green right next to another green. Making the whole bench of different colors on it.
Using a paint brush and painting along the wood grain. In this case it was painting in a up and down motion on each plank.
I did not use any painted tape. If there was a mess up, using a paper towel or wash cloth quickly and wiping off the wet paint did the trick.
For most color’s I only needed to do one coat, the sanded seemed to do the trick of letting the paint adhere to the wood nicely. I also selected all outside paints for this project. This will allow the paints to last longer. The location I am putting my bench gets a lot of direct sunlight and rain. If you are putting yours in a covered area, or inside, using interior paint would be fine. Once the paint was dry, it was time to move on with this project.
I am using a 4×4 for the legs. This will have a bulky look to the bench, and give the bench the needed support.
Marking the decided height I wanted. Cutting with the table saw along the marked line. I cut 4 of these to make the bench legs.
Set the legs under the bench top to confirm that all are even.
If all lengths seem to be correct, screw into place. With the 4×4 being very thick, be sure to check the size of screw needed. The screw needs to be able to go through the complete 4×4. Otherwise it will not be help together correctly.
The bench is now ready to be stained! I selected a outdoor, walnut finish for the staining of the legs and bench frame. Because this stain has both exterior elements as well as the clear protective coat in it, the stain is very thick. Dip the cloth into the stain.
Wipe the stain and cloth on the wood, going along the grain. With the thick consistency of this, using a little less and then smoothing the stain into the wood is best. A little goes a long way with this. I did not even have to re-dip the cloth very often. Just simply wiping and re-wiping the already stained area was enough to spread the stain out on the whole of the wood.
Only one coat was needed for this stain to be good to go.
This bench is done! It is bright, colorful, and screams all things summer to me.
When planning a outdoor space, think of it as a retreat, a extension of your home. In making this feel as cozy as possible, dress it up. Add some fun and outdoor friendly pillows.
Don’t forget to add some flowers, shrubs or other greenery. This can make the space feel well thought out and fully complete.
In doing this you are encouraging yourself as well as your gusts to lounge, relax, visit, enjoy, and get together. You have a designated and comfy seating area.
When decorating for a outdoor space, using lots of fun colors and having them pop is a great idea. These colors could be a bit much inside a home, but outside where it is streaming with color and life this DIY wood pallet bench fits right in!