This old, rustic wooden bench was made from a door; here's how to complete this project

Remember the time that a friend gave your mother a door?

Not just any door.

A beautiful, chippy, multi-painted layered door with an amazing patina and a story to tell.

And then my brother transformed the door into a bench for my mother’s front porch…..

….in one hour.


Sixty minutes.

Thirty six hundred seconds.

Exactly the time it takes me to curl my hair. 

This bench is made from an old door and is detailed with rustic, chipped paint that gives it so much character

And after he finished it and I saw it….I asked him if I could put it on the blog.

And could he please write the directions down for me so I could share it with all of you in case you have a door that needs desperately to transform itself into a bench.

He wrote down the following directions for me and then explained the process in great detail.  And then he finished with,

“I know you’re going to re-write these with your funny voice.”

My funny voice?

“What?” I asked.

“You know”  he said patiently, “when you write those posts and you say it from your point of view and you use funny words.”

You have to love a brother who transforms a door in an hour…..

….and gets your humor, too. 🙂

 how to build a bench from old door

How to Build a Bench from a Door

(as explained by my brother without any of my funny words)

Note:  The most ideal door will be weathered and worn. 

From an architectural standpoint a door with 4 panels where 2 of the panels are longer then the other 2 is the most ideal.

Step 1:  Cut the door in half horizontally so you are left with the two long panels intact and the two short panels intact.  (If you have a proper door the cut will not be far from the “halfway point”…..but instead where the panels are divided.)

Step 2:  Cut the long panels in half vertically.  I made the cut slightly off center, so the “longer” half would be used as the back and give it a little more height.  The other piece I will call the “seat panel”

Step 3:  Assemble a base using 2 x4’s.  I cut two long pieces the length of the “seat panel.”  And then made several “ribs” the width of the seat panel minus the 2×4 boards I cut for the width. The end result should be a rectangle with support pieces in the middle.  Note:  I made my box width smaller by 2 inches to allow the seat panel to overhang for a more comfortable seat.

A rustic farmhouse bench made from an old door

Step 4:  Attach the 2×4 base to the seat panel using nails or screws.  In my application I cut a piece of plywood to go underneath (between the door and the 2×4 box) It provides stability as well as keeping the panel from caving in.

Step 5:  Attach the back at to the base.  On the placement, I tried to give as much height to the back as possible and still give myself enough room to put two rows of screws.

Step 6:  Time to make the sides.  Cut the bottom door panels in half exactly.

Chipped paint and weather-worn wood makes this DIY bench a gorgeous project and addition to your home

Step 7:  Attached the cut bottom/side panels to the already constructed bench in line with the back.  These can face either way you prefer, but make sure they match.  I placed them so the thicker part of the panel faced back.  Note: to get a good arm height you may need to cut some off of the bottom panels.

Step 7b:  For the arm rests I added pew tops from another project.

Step 8:  I added a small 2×4 leg for extra support.  Other than that paint it and you are good.

(total aside:  and that rock stars is how a true diy’er writes a tutorial).

KariAnne and her brother pose with the new bench made from an old door

And now I’m adding a step 9.

Step 9:  Curl your hair while your brother builds a bench.

Then take a picture with a the cutest pair of twinkling brown eyes to celebrate. 🙂

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  1. Image for Robin Stephens Robin Stephens

    Nice transformation!! I think I love the old brick wall as much as the bench. Sometimes I go to our neighboring Old Town and walk the civil war building-lined, cobblestone streets and all its shops just to "feel"... Such splendor... Beautiful bench....and even more beautiful photos!

  2. Image for Pam Pam

    WOW! Wonderful, awesome, beautiful! Your brother is so talented. One question; what did he do about the hole where the door knob was? Inquiring minds and all that.

  3. Image for Stephanie Brown Stephanie Brown

    Love this as well as brick Too!:) Your brother is soooo talented and yes funny too. What a neat way to save some precious memories if your heart is breaking like when a tornado destroyed my Granny's house or when family farmhouse of over 100 years had to be torn down. Wonderful idea! Great job!

  4. Image for Marisa Franca @ All Our Way Marisa Franca @ All Our Way

    I love your funny voice and all and what I noticed -- had I not mentioned before is that you draw arrows really well now. I know that was part of a learning curve problem you were having. Have you been practicing?? And the bench your brother built looks fantastic . In fact that bench looks like it was swiped from a monastery in some far off land - it wasn't was it?? You look as cute as a button with your twinkling brown eyes. That is IS a compliment for anyone who isn't living in the Midwest.

  5. Image for Sheila Sheila

    Your brother rocked it! Sheesh - I have 5 brothers and not one of them has volunteered to make something out of the old wood door from our grandma's farmhouse for me! You are a lucky sister :)

  6. Image for Beverly Beverly

    Talent oozes through your family. You and Mister Twinkly are so cute. Sometime you need to share a group photo of you and your talented siblings. Tell your brother great job! I need to be adopted by you talented siblings. Maybe some of it would rub off on me. And, even more, I could use a sibling or two or five.♥

  7. Image for Barbara Moore Barbara Moore

    Fabulous bench, beautiful brick, sweet, sweet twinkling eyes……but the best part? YOU! You look stinkin' AMAZING. Even better since Becoming - which I didn't think possible. So proud of you. Barb

  8. Image for virginia virginia

    Really love the bench, things like this spark creativity when your left with a bunch of crap you don't know what to do with. Good job. Is your brother married?

  9. Image for jennifer farnes jennifer farnes

    holy stinkin' cow. this is thee coolest thing i have ever seen. yeah....your brother is a complete genius. really. i do think i would have understood how to build this beautiful thing much better in your voice. i do not think these hands are destined to build a thing of beauty like that bench, unfortunately, because i have no girl-tool skills. i would, however, use these untooled hands to incorporate that bench into a room or a porch and totally rock it that way. man. i do love that bench.

  10. Image for Donna Otteson Donna Otteson

    That old door never looked so good. I would never of thought to cut it up and make a bench out of it but that's why I gave it to your mom and she enlisted the help of her very creative children!!! Great job Mark.

  11. Image for Angela Angela

    I challenge you to make one too! Mostly because I am a "learner by step-by-step picture" person. Your brother had very detailed instructions that would be very helpful to most, just not me. I will wait for your version before I build. Now.....if only there was "an ol'chippy door store" ;). Thanks for the post! Time to scout out an old door

  12. Image for cheri cheri

    hi karianne! love. this. especially since my sweet friend who is restoring an old house just gave me two doors!! i have this little problem visualizing each step though ~ wish each one had a pic to go along with it~like to do these projects myself to avoid the discussion with my husband like "why are there old doors on the front porch?" ha!!

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