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DIY Built In Entryway Bench

Learn how to build a custom DIY built in bench on a budget!

Welcome back to part 2 of my entryway makeover! Today I’m going to be sharing how to build and install a DIY built in entryway bench!

In case you missed part 1 last week of the entryway built in, I shared how Brandon and I built our DIY built in cabinet and door on a budget. And you can see the final entryway makeover reveal here!

For the bench, I used a mix of leftover plywood, premium wood, and scrap wood that I had on hand already, as well as a premium project panel board for the bench top. Below is a full material list.

diy built in bench and diy built in cabinet in entryway before paint

This is the first built in bench I’ve built, but I have built an easy and cheap DIY bench and an entryway DIY hall tree bench, which use to be in this same spot in our entryway!

Note, this post contains some affiliate links. For more info see my disclosures here.

How to Build a DIY Built in Bench

Note: Material quantities will vary based on your actual built in dimensions!

Materials

  • 4ft x 8ft @ 3/4″ thick plywood*
  • (1) 3/4″ x 24″ x 48″ edge glued panel board or plywood
  • 1×3 @ 8ft
  • 1×2 @ 8ft
  • 1×4 @ 8ft
  • 1/4-in x 3-in x 4-ft (I used this board)
  • 1 1/4″ and 3″ self tapping screws (or wood screws)
  • 1 1/4″ Kreg screws
  • Wood Glue
  • Primer
  • Paint
  • Paintable caulk
  • Spackle
  • 1 1/4″ brad nails

Tools

*I used leftover plywood from our built in cabinet

DIY Built in Bench Video Tutorial:

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1. Determine the built in bench dimensions

Just like the DIY built in cabinet, the first step is to determine the dimensions of your bench based on your space.

Sketchup built ins mock up of built in bench and cabinet

Keep in mind the standard height for a bench is about 18-20″ and the depth can be between 15-20″. Also take into consideration any wall outlets, as well as your basket or bin size for under the bench storage. We had one outlet that we had to work our build around.

2. Remove the baseboard

The next step is to remove the baseboard, which we did already for the DIY built in cabinet in part 1.

3. Build the frame of the built in entryway bench

For the frame of the bench, I used 3/4″ thick plywood ripped to size for the sides, middle, and top frame and 1x3s for the back frame. I added pocket holes using my Kreg Jig to the top frame boards and 1x3s.

lumber for built in bench with pocket holes

For a higher end look, I used wood glue and 1 1/4″ brad nails to attach two 3/4″ plywood boards together for the two sides and middle frame of the bench.

Using two boards together will create a 1 1/2″ thick frame to attach a 1×2 trim board to it, so the final inside view of the bench trim and frame will all be flush and there won’t be a gap between the two boards. You’ll see what I mean at the end!

wood glue on plywood to create thicker bench side panel board
nailing two plywood boards together

Also, the middle frame boards were 3/4″ shorter than the sides to account for the top frame boards.

bench side panels and middle panel board

You can see all of this in action in the DIY built in bench how to video!

Next, I attached the bench frame sides to the middle frame with the 1×3 boards with pocket holes and 1 1/4″ Kreg screws to form the back frame of the bench.

These 1×3 back frame boards will also be used to attach the bench to the wall.

Because we had to work around our wall outlet, we place the boards along the bottom of the bench, but I would have preferred to place them along the top if I wasn’t working around our outlet. Although they do work as floor molding and cover the edge of our flooring!

attaching bench side board and middle board together with 1x3 and Kreg screws
attaching bench side board and middle board together with 1x3 and Kreg screws

We finished off the bench frame with the top plywood boards along the front of the bench and the back of the bench. I installed them with 1 1/4″ Kreg screws into the sides and 1 1/4″ self tapping screws into the middle board.

attaching top frame boards to bench frame with clamp and Kreg screws and pocket holes

I did leave a small gap along the top back board to leave space for the very top of our outlet.

attaching top frame boards to DIY built in bench frame with screws into middle board
DIY built in entryway bench frame assembeld next to wall

4. Attach the built in bench to the wall

Next, I used a stud finder to find our studs and used 3″ screws through the back 1x3s to attach the built in entryway bench frame to the wall studs. We also added one through the side into the cabinet.

attaching bench frame to the wall studs

We also added some 1/4″ thick trim to the front of the 1x3s to cover up the pocket holes. I’m going to be painting under the bench all the same color as the built ins so it will be one cohesive look.

adding trim over pocket holes on bench top frame with brad nailer

5. Build the bench top

Ideally, for the DIY built in bench bench top I would have used premium 1 1/2″ thick wood for the top. But because I wanted to build it on a budget, I had to create the look of a thick wood top for a low cost. I ended up using the same method as my DIY work bench top.

Using wood glue and 1 1/4″ Kreg screws, I attached premium 1x2s to the sides of the project panel board which was cut to size. The 1×2 corner was cut with a 45 degree angle.

lumber for the bench top cut to size
adding 1x2 trim to bench top with wood glue and pocket holes and clamps
corner of bench top with angled 1x2 trim boards

Then, I framed out the bottom of the bench top, inside of the 1x2s, with 1x4s attached with wood glue and 1 1/4″ wood screws countersunk beneath the wood surface. These boards will allow the bench top to sit at the correct height on the bench frame.

The small gap in the 1x4s below is for our wall outlet.

underneath side of bench top with 1x4 boards

Here is the top view. We will sand down the top edges too where the 1×2 meets the panel board!

top view of the assembled bench top

NOTE: I didn’t attach the bench top yet to the bench frame because I want to paint the built ins first and stain the bench top!

bench top on top of bench frame before trim

6. Trim out the frame of the DIY built in bench

I trimmed the bench out with 1x2s cut to size and 1 1/4″ brad nails and wood glue. This finishing touch is always my favorite part of any built in project!

trim added to DIY built in bench with brad nailer and wood glue

To connect the trim between the built in entryway bench, cabinet, and wall, I attached a 1×4 along the bottom of the floor with a 45 degree mitered corner.

1x4 trim wrapped around DIY built in cabinet and DIY built in bench

7. Caulk, fill holes, prime, and paint and stain the built in bench

Time for the paint prep work, including caulking, filling nail holes with spackle, wood filler touch ups, and some sanding.

Once all of the paint prep is complete, the entryway built ins can be painted and the bench top can be stained. I will be revealing the final finish soon in part 3 of our entryway makeover!

8. Attach the bench top to the bench frame

The very last step, after all of the staining and painting is finished, is to attach the bench top to the frame. Use 1 1/4″ screws from under the top bench frame into the 1x4s on the underneath side of the bench top.

diy built in entryway bench and cabinet before paint

This built in cabinet and bench have definitely challenged Brandon and I but we love how it’s turning out! I am super excited to pick a paint color for it and finish the rest of the entryway makeover.

What color should I paint it? I want to do a fun, more bold color…. Let me know in the comments below! I’m going to be narrowing down paint color options soon and sharing the test samples on Instagram stories, so make sure to follow along there @angelamariemade!

diy built in bench unfinished
DIY entryway built in before paint

Update: Don’t forget to check out the full entryway makeover reveal (with these built ins in completed) and see the full cost breakdown of this project!

Follow along on Instagram and YouTube!

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DIY built in cabinet with door before paint and woman woodworker
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How to Build a Custom DIY Built In Cabinet
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DIY Entryway Makeover on a Budget!