Large Porch Bench - Alaska Lake Cabin

Submitted by Ana White on Wed, 07/22/2015 - 15:30
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How to build a large outdoor bench with 2x4s and 2x6s with X back.  Easy DIY tutorial from

Hello!  Ana here today, I finally made it home a couple of hours ago.

Of the four of us, I can tell you with more than a little bit of embarrassment that I fared by far the worst on this trip.  The baby didn't even realize I was gone, big sister said I could have been gone another week.  The hubs was glad to get some help with the kids ... but me ... man, I need to figure something out, because I'm lost without my family.  

Especially when they are having this much fun while I'm gone!

I've got suitcases to unpack, laundry to do, and piles to work to catch up on after being gone, but I did promise you that I would get you plans for this bench that we made for our cabin front porch.

It's a pretty easy project to do - but I need to warn you, it is HUGE!!!  And sturdy.  The kind of furniture that one would find at a remote Alaska cabin.

Definitely the most difficult part was adding the Xs.  And painting.  You are smarter than me and would paint all the pieces first though.

The paint I used was Rustoleum Chalked in Aged Gray.

I love that Rustoleum has a line of chalk style paint and has hand picked "in" colors, so you don't have to spend all day at the paint counter trying to decide between seventeen grays with different bases and undertones. And then have it mixed. 

We used quite a bit of the Chalked paints in the off the shelf colors in the cabin, so be on the lookout for other colors too.

There is also a nice variety of colors that you can tint.  I'd love to try out the Raspberry and the Deep Navy.  Who are we kidding here ... I'd love to try out every single one of these colors!!!

Just remember when you use the chalked paint, you do need to add a clear top coat as well.

Well, I could stay and chat all day, but as any mom who left for a week knows, there are literally piles of work for me to do.  

I think I'll tackle the laundry first.

Thanks so much for your patience with me while I was gone.  Happy to be home and back to blogging!  Missed you!

Plans follow (if this is the homepage click READ MORE below).


XO Ana



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

Common Materials
2 1/2 inch screws
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)

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