Modern Slat Top Outdoor Wood Bench

modern slat top wood outdoor bench
Beginner Projects
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This easy to build bench makes a statement!  We love how it drains water and is very sturdy. This is a beginner friendly project plan suitable for a new builder!

Free plans to build a modern slatted bench for your outdoor space include step by step diagrams and shopping lists.

See Matching Console Table Plans Here

Reader submitted photo by CKAYE is modified in length


Matching Slat Top Console

We loved this project so much, we had to make the matching console table.  Free plans for modern slat top console table are here.

wood slat modern outdoor console table


Free plans for Modern Slat Bench in 72" Length

The modern slat bench plans follow, note the plans are for a 72" length, but this can be altered shorter as done in the main photo.

slat top bench dimensions diagram
dimensions shown above


Shopping List
  • 9 - 2x4 @ of feet long or stud length
  • 3 - 1x4 @ 8 feet long
  • 2" self tapping wood screws or finish nails
  • wood glue
  • Optional 1 1/4" and 2 1/2" pocket hole screws if desired
Cut List
  • 7 - 2x4 @ 72"
  • 14 - 2x4 @ 14 1/2"
  • 12 - 1x4 @ 18"
Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Circular Saw
Brad Nailer
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

TIP: Unless you are spray painting, it may be difficult to paint between slats. You may wish to paint or stain all of your 2x4 @ 72" long first. Leg boards you will not have this issue.

Choose your best looking 2x4 top board and leg boards. Set them best looking side down on the table. We'll be working from the front backwards.

Lay out 1 long 2x4 and 2 short 2x4s. Position the 1x4 on top, apply glue and nail or screw down, to both the top and leg 2x4s.

Step 2

Add a layer of 2x4s on top of the 1x4s.

Step 3

Next, repeat with a layer of 1x4s, nailing or screwing into both the top and leg 2x4s.

Step 4

Continue until you run out of boards :)

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.



Sat, 11/16/2013 - 22:05

Hi Ana,
Thanks for the plan. I built the bench over weekend and enjoyed every minute of it.
One correction to the plan above - except of the 2" screws, you also need 2.5" screws for attaching the 2" leg board to the 1" leg board.
The 2" screws are too short and will not last for the 2" to 1".


Sat, 05/15/2021 - 20:38

The 2" screws are just right for this project. Let me explain.

Remember that standard American 2x4s (the nominal size) are actually 1.5" by 3.5" (the actual size) and 1x4s are actually 0.75" by 3.5" inches. This means that the 2" screws here are holding together 2.25" of materials, which is perfect considering that with electric drills and drivers, we often slightly countersink screws (and this is desirable to make sure that your boards are flush).


Tue, 06/02/2015 - 02:39

Hi Ana,

What are your thought about building the smae way a dinning table of 75X100X200 cm with two sitting benchs of 45X40x180.
My main concern is the top plate strength, I do not want it to bend downwards after some years.