DIY Network

Blog Cabin

How to Build a Window Bench Seat (page 2 of 3)

Utilize the often unused space underneath a window to create a DIY bench for additional seating.

More in Blog Cabin

  • Time


  • Price Range

    $50 - $100

  • Difficulty

    Easy to Moderate


Step 4: Measure, Cut and Attach the Plywood Sides

The window bench sides are made of 3/4" sanded plywood. Note: If the bench sides are being painted, birch face plywood presents a smooth finish. The desired bench height is created by the dimensions of the bench sides. Screw the sides into the 2x4 framing. With all four sides attached to the inside framing, the rectangular box is taking shape. Fill the screw holes with wood putty and sand smooth if the sides are to be painted.

Safety Tip: Provide a safe support for plywood. When cutting plywood or any other sheet product, always support it on each side of the cut line. This will prevent it from binding on the saw blade.

Step 5: Measure and Cut the Plywood Top

The top seat of the window bench will overhang both sides and the front by 2 inches. Measure and cut the sanded plywood to accommodate this overhang. The top will not hang over the back of the window bench. Screw the top into place. Fill the top screw holes with wood putty and sand smooth if the top is to be painted.

Step 6: Finish With Trim

Dry fit the window bench in place (Image 1). Create a plan to "trim out" the bench. The Blog Cabin 2011 window bench was finished with beadboard, corner trim, a baseboard and edge trim.

Pull out the bench and lay it on its back. To cover the two sides and the front of the bench with 1/4" x 4" t&g beadboard, cut each piece to fit vertically from the base of the bench to underneath the top seat overhang. Glue beadboard in place before nailing (Image 2).

Builder's Tip: If accessible, use a brad nail gun to minimize end splitting and to reduce the nail hole size. Attach the beadboard with at least two brad nails at the top and two at the bottom (18 ga. x 1 1/4").

Measure and cut baseboard to length, taking care to bevel cut the corners for a corner tight joint. It is better to cut long and dry fit, trimming as needed.

Builder's Tip: With the bench on its back, use a speed square to align the bottom of the baseboard and corners (Image 3). If accessible, use a finish nail gun or brad nail gun to secure the baseboard in place (Image 4).

Measure two vertical corner trim pieces and cut to cover the front corners where the beadboard panels meet. Set pieces on top of the baseboard and snug them up under the seat overhang (Image 5). If accessible, use a brad nail gun or micro pin nail gun to secure the corner trim in place.

To cover veneer cross bands on the bench seat, cut a 3/4" edge trim to fit and micro pin nail in place. Note: Measure and cut the corner bevel for a tight joint. Glue the edge trim before nailing (Image 6).