Let me show you how to make this super simple DIY hairpin bench using these foolproof steps. I promise you can’t mess this up!
When one of my besties told me I could buy hairpin legs off of Amazon, I knew exactly where I wanted to use them! They were the perfect legs for my DIY bench in our entryway. Since we chose to be resourceful and use the wood we had laying around, this simple DIY hairpin bench only costs us $20 to make and looks amazing against our board and batten entry wall. If I was to order this same bench online, I would be paying more than 5 times more. So, this DIY is worth the time and super easy to customize for your needs!
This bench works great in an entry, as extra seating for your kitchen table, on your front porch, or at the end of your bed. There are so many options! There are minimal steps and it’s practically foolproof to make. So, grab your materials and make your own version of my simple DIY hairpin bench.
Pin this Simple DIY Hairpin Bench for Later
Materials used for this Simple DIY Hairpin Bench
- Hairpin legs
- Wood – We used stair tread
- Measuring Tape
- Circular Saw
- Gel Stain
- Cordless Drill
Instructions for this Simple Hairpin Bench
When deciding the length of your bench, consider the size of the wall or table you are creating the bench for. You will want to also consider the strength of your legs. The hairpin legs I ordered from Amazon will hold up to 350 lbs. As mentioned before, we created this bench for our board and batten entry wall. Considering our entry wall is 6′ wide and I wanted space on both sides, we made our bench 4′ long. We used a piece of wood we had on hand, but to achieve the same look you will want to start with a 2″ x 12″ stair-tread (bullnose) board. As you may have assumed, stair-tread/bullnose boards are used for staircases normally. I liked the idea of using this type of board for two reasons: it was free and the smooth rounded edge helps prevent splinters.
It’s times like these that make me thankful for Alex’s tool collection. Sanding isn’t nearly as tedious when you get to use your husband’s orbital sander. To avoid splinters, thoroughly sand the tops and edges of your board(s). I sanded the bottom but wasn’t as particular. Your main goal is to start with a low grit and work your way to a higher grit to achieve the necessary smoothness. I used what we had on hand and started with 80 grit sandpaper, worked my way to 120 grit, then 320 grit to finish it off. When sanding, be sure to stand in direction of the grain.
Once it’s as smooth as you want it to be, dust the sawdust off with a dry cloth, then wipe the board with a damp cloth and let it dry before staining.
Thanks to https://www.designsponge.com/ for this helpful infographic.
I wanted a strong contrast between my white wall and the bench, so I decided to add a few coats of stain. However, I think leaving it natural would look just as cool. To stain or not to stain is totally up to you and your preference. If you leave it natural, you’ll want to slap a clear coat on it.
I prefer using a gel stain when staining wood since it is more forgiving.
Wipe your board down with a lint-free rag one last time to assure all sawdust has been removed. Once your stain has been thoroughly stirred (do not shake), start applying the stain in the same direction as the grain of the wood. You can use a brush or an old t-shirt to stain the board. I recommend starting on the bottom of the board to test your color and application technique first. Continue wiping the board until the stain has been absorbed. If needed, apply more stain until the entire side is covered. Occasionally check edges for drips or runs and wipe as needed.
To get into any small cuts of the wood (as shown above), dab the area with a liberal amount of stain to assure it gets in there. Once the area is covered, wipe away the excess stain.
Let the stain dry to the touch before moving to the next side. Repeat this method for the second coat on all sides and edges. If you desire a darker color, add another coat. I did 2 coats for this project. You should probably let the stain dry overnight, but you can usually get away with installing the hairpin legs just a few hours later. I never claimed to be a professional, so I can give you my honest opinion. I hate waiting for things to dry!
Once your board is dry, you are ready to add the hairpin legs. If you use the same hairpin legs I used from Amazon, all the necessary screws come with the legs. I placed the legs about 1/4” into the board as you can see in the photo above. To make it easier, pre-drill your holes before inserting the screw. Repeat until all legs have been screwed in. If you are using the same legs as I am, don’t forget to add the stoppers before use.
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