Large Outdoor Bench with X Backs

front porch bench rustic x design easy to build
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How to build a large outdoor bench with 2x4s and 2x6s with X back with free step by step plans from




Why I Built this Outdoor Bench

We love this beautiful, oversized porch bench with X detailing.  It accents our front porch at our cabin, and adds a comfortable and sturdy seating space.  You can add cushions - but none are required!


This bench is very large in size with a deep seat.

How this Bench has Held Up, Seven Years Later!

We have been using this bench for over seven years and it is still as strong and sturdy as ever.  Ours is under a covered porch, so we just used framing lumber to build.  But if your bench is exposed to the elements, consider exterior appropriate wood.


Video of Outdoor Bench with X Backs


Tips for Building this Outdoor Bench 

The hardest part of building this bench is the X detailing in the back - it was a little tedious and did take some time.  I think the X detailing was totally worth it! Alternatively, you could use vertical slats. 


Other Bench Plans that You Might Like

If the X detailing is more than you want to take on right now, consider these options:



modern park bench free plans

1. Modern Park Bench with 1x6 tops - this one is super quick and easy to build! Free plans here.


Modern outdoor loveseat with blue cushions

2. 2x6 Loveseat with Cushions - this one is heavy and stylish!  It's also a pretty easy build.  Free plans here.


easy to build 2x4 hall tree

3. Outdoor Hall Tree Bench - great for storage and suitable for outdoor use!  Free plans here.



Free Plans to Build Your Own Outdoor X Back Bench

dimensions diagram for large x bench
Dimensions shown above - this bench is very LARGE


Shopping List
  • 7 - 2x4 @ 8 feet long
  • 2 - 2x6 @ 12 feet long
  • 2 - 2x2 @ 8 feet long
  • About 50 - 2-1/2" self tapping star bit outdoor wood screws (deck screws or Spax or similar)
  • About 30 - 2-1/2" pocket hole screws (outdoor)
Common Materials
2 1/2 inch screws
3/4 inch finish nails
120 grit sandpaper
Cut List
  • 2 - 2x4 @ 43-1/2" (back legs)
  • 2 - 2x4 @ 57-3/8" (back horizontal boards)
  • 2 - 2x4 @ 61-3/8" (seat framing front and back)
  • 2 - 2x4 @ 23-1/2" (seat framing ends)
  • 2 - 2x4 @ 20-1/2" (seat framing under supports)
  • 2 - 2x4 @ 23-1/2" (front legs)
  • 4 - 2x6 @ 64-3/8" (seat slats)
  • 2 - 2x4 26" (arms)

We recommend cutting the back pieces to fit.  You can "scribe" them by simply placing a long piece of wood in place and tracing the cuts with a pencil, then cutting the wood on the pencil lines.

  • 2 - 2x2 @ 16" (decorative back vertical pieces)
  • 3 - 2x2 @ 22-5/8" - both ends cut at 45 degrees, ends are parallel, long point to long point measurement (long X pieces)
  • 6 - 2x2 @ 11-3/8" - one end cut at 45 degrees, longest point measurement (short X pieces)
Tape Measure
Speed Square
Kreg Jig
Miter Saw
Power Sander
Drill Bit Set
General Instructions

Please read through the entire plan and all comments before beginning this project. It is also advisable to review the Getting Started Section. Take all necessary precautions to build safely and smartly. Work on a clean level surface, free of imperfections or debris. Always use straight boards. Check for square after each step. Always predrill holes before attaching with screws. Use glue with finish nails for a stronger hold. Wipe excess glue off bare wood for stained projects, as dried glue will not take stain. Be safe, have fun, and ask for help if you need it. Good luck!


Step 1

Build the back with 1-1/2" pocket holes and 2-1/2" pocket hole screws.  If you prefer you can also add the decorative pieces now (may be easier to work on a bench top instead of at the back of the bench later on).

Step 2

Build the seat framing either with pocket holes or 2-1/2" self tapping exterior screws. 

Step 3

Attach seat framing to back with 2-1/2" exterior screws.  

Step 4

Attach front legs to front of seat framing with 2-1/2" screws.  

Step 5

Step 6

Add the arms.  I used 2-1/2" screws from top and back to attach.

Step 7

First, add the 2x2s that are 16" long, centering so there is 18-1/8" spaces between the 2x2s and 2x4 back legs.

Then cut out all the pieces for the Xs on the back and fit in the openings.  Once they are all fit, mark the pocket holes that need to be drilled on the back side and also the joint (What I do is put an A and A on the two pieces at the joint, then a B and B on the next two pieces at next joint and so on).  The reason for this is you want to avoid a situation where your pocket holes are on the front of the bench.

On the 45 degree sides, you can drill a pocket hole, there won't be much material removed, but it will work just fine.  Trust me on this one.

Then attach with 2-1/2" pocket hole screws and glue from back side.

Finishing Instructions
Preparation Instructions
Fill all holes with wood filler and let dry. Apply additional coats of wood filler as needed. When wood filler is completely dry, sand the project in the direction of the wood grain with 120 grit sandpaper. Vacuum sanded project to remove sanding residue. Remove all sanding residue on work surfaces as well. Wipe project clean with damp cloth.

It is always recommended to apply a test coat on a hidden area or scrap piece to ensure color evenness and adhesion. Use primer or wood conditioner as needed.



Wed, 07/22/2015 - 22:36

I am so excited to build this bench! Thank you so much for posting :) 

Ana White

Fri, 07/24/2015 - 10:54

Hi Misslizzy, chalk paint is designed for use on furniture. It doesn't need a primer and is easy to distress. It's also a very matte finish so you can sand for either distressing or creating an ultra smooth and even coat. Then add a clear coat on top. I feel like there's just more control when you use a chalk paint over a wall paint. Hope this helps! Ana


Sat, 08/06/2016 - 11:39

Have you ever used this paint for outdoor furniture? I saw that it's labeled for indoor use.  I have a porch that is covered but wind does blow rain onto it at times. Think it will be a problem? Thanks!


Sun, 08/09/2015 - 19:04

I love this and I am starting it tomorrow!!! My first build!!! I knew I had to build it as soon as I saw it! ❤️ Thanks for posting the plan!!! 


Thu, 10/01/2015 - 14:36

Are there any good tutorials on getting the x's in? I'm stumped! Mine have gaps and are not lining up just right.

Tsu Dho Nimh

Sat, 10/03/2015 - 09:28

Do NOT cut the diagonals according to any tape measure.  Use the finished back to measure the diagonals.

Make the back with the uprights, checking for square and clamping to keep things square. 

Then lay the back over the lumber for the diagonal, lining up the first diagonal. Mark it and cut it just outside the lines (you have to allow for the saw "kerf" - the amount the blade removes) so it will barely slide in. You might have to slice off a teensy bit.

Do the longer duiagonals, then repeat for the short ones.


Fri, 10/09/2015 - 09:01

thanks so much! It turned out perfect! Loving this bench! Love the size and everything about it!


Fri, 10/09/2015 - 09:01

thanks so much! It turned out perfect! Loving this bench! Love the size and everything about it!


Sun, 05/31/2020 - 21:21

I’m starting to build this bench. I’ve already built a few of the Farm house tables. I will post pictures when I’m done. 😊


Sat, 07/02/2022 - 15:20

Just built one. Thank you for the plan. I now have 3 of my neighbours asking me to make them one.