If you have not noticed, our kitchen is not the largest kitchen. Plus, our kitchen table is located in the kitchen, making things a little tight. Lately, we have been in the need of more room around our kitchen table. But because our space is so small, we cannot get a bigger table, so we decided to build a wooden bench to give us the added space. I found this great tutorial on how to DIY a wood bench. But we changed things up to make the bench the size we needed, plus, we used a solid 2″ salvaged board for the bench top.

wooden bench for table

Do you want to build your own bench? Here is how we made our bench. Our bench measures 18″ tall x 12″ wide x 41″ long. But if you would like to make your bench longer/shorter here is how I figured my measurements. Example: My table measures 42 1/2″ from leg to leg (that is the inside of the legs). I then took 1 1/2″ off that measurement to give me the length I needed, which is 41″ for the top board. Then for the sides take another 8 1/2-9″ off the top board measurement to give you the length, you will need this length twice.


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  • 4″ x 4″ x 6′ Board  (legs)
  • 2″ x 4″ x 6′ Board (sides)
  • 2″ x 12″ x 4′  Board (top)
  • 2-1/2″ Screws
  • Wood Conditioner
  • Stain
  • Polycrylic (Varnish)
  • Towels/Brushes (applying the stain/conditioner/varnish)


  • Orbital Sander/Sandpaper
  • Kreg Jig K5 (Optional)
  • drill
  • miter saw

Find the list of tools we use.

First step is cutting all the boards.

4″ x 4″: cut #4 at 16″
2″ x 4″: Cut #2 at 3-1/2″
Cut #2 at 32-1/2″
2″ x 12″: Cut at 41″

We decided to try a new tool for this project and bought a Kreg Jig K5 for $20. And if you plan on doing any wood building projects, I would suggest buying one of these to make your life a little easier. We made pockets on only the 2″ x 4″ pieces of wood, to hold the wood to the legs and top piece. See the picture below for an example.

Make sure you follow the instructions for your jig.

DIY wood bench

After you have to add your pockets you then will sand all the wood.

Sanding wood bench

For this project, we are using all salvaged wood and I wanted to show you the difference after sanding our top piece of wood. (The wood to the left is for our TV stand that we are in the process of building…)

Old wood bench

After all the wood is sanded, you can start to put the bench together. First, you will assemble the legs, taking one of the 4″ x 4″ and the 3 1/2″ piece of 2″ x 4″. Place the 3 1/2″ piece, 1/4″ away from the back edge of the 4″ x 4″ and screw into place (you need to have it close to the edge to be able to put the screw into the wood because the piece is so small). Complete this step by adding all the legs to 3 1/2″ side pieces.

Build a wood bench

After you will then attach the longer side pieces to the legs. TIP: Make sure your pockets are facing the right way to attach the top board. You can place this board closer to the edge of your 4″ x 4″ or more in the middle if you would like. We placed ours 1/4″ away from the front edge of the board.

Build kitchen bench

Add both pieces until you have your bottom frame together.

Build A Wood Bench

Now you will add the top board to the leg frame, using the pockets you drilled into your 2″ x 4″ wood. Place the top of your top board on the ground (we placed ours on top of an old sheet) then place your leg frame on top of the board. Center your frame to your top board, it will be about an inch away from 4 x 4 sides and screw them together.

build wood bench

Now your bench is all assembled.

Build wood bench
DIY kitchen bench

At this point, you can choose how you would like to finish your bench (stain, paint, etc…). We decided to stain our bench in Dark Walnut.

First, we used the wood conditioner and applied according to the directions. Then we applied the stain again according to the directions.

Dark Walnut Stain

Here is our bench after one coat of stain.

DIY old wood bench

And here is the bench after two coats of Dark Walnut stain.

DIY wood bench

To protect the bench you will then need to add a protective finish called Polycrylic.


After adding three coats of Polycrylic finish, our bench is completed.

wooden bench for table

Build Bench

And that was how we DIY a wood kitchen bench. Does anyone else need to add additional seating to their table?

build a wooden bench