Stained Bench project, before and after
Kim Six portrait

Stained Bench

A rustic outdoor bench with built in crate storage

Kim Six

The Kim Six Fix

A simple rustic bench, built of 2x4's and stock lumber also provides built in storage with the addition of two pull out wooden crates.

Behr Color Palette

swatch cordovan brown This color is Cordovan Brown

Cordovan Brown


Sanding the bench
Painting the bins

I recently made over my home's back patio in order to take it from an unwelcome and unused space to an outdoor living area where our family and guests would actually want to hang out.

I brightened up the pergola, added a screen around the A/C unit and created a small dining area which made the space inviting and functional. I also knew I had to add seating, but I needed a flexible option that would also provide storage for the kids' toys and gardening tools that are currently being stored on the patio.

When I couldn't find the perfect bench commercially, I decided to build my own. A pair of wooden crates at a thrift store was my inspiration and became the focal point of the whole project.

A gallon can of BEHR PREMIUM Transparent Weatherproofing

Get the look you want

Give wood the ultimate in protection with BEHR PREMIUM® Transparent Weatherproofing All-In-One Wood Finish. It's available in 3 pre-mixed colors as well as 6 custom colors so you can get the look you want while preserving your valuable investment.

By building a simple rustic bench out of 2x4's and stock lumber, I was able to provide pull-out storage using crates without any complicated drawers or doors.

The finished bench features decorative x-style sides and a solid shelf that could be left empty or filled with standard-sized wooden crates, as I did. I sanded down the entire bench to prepare for staining.

To finish the bench, I needed a product that was not only decorative, but also provided weather resistance.

I chose Behr Transparent Weatherproofing All-In-One Wood finish in Cordovan Brown. I loved the dark color and the fact that it provided water resistance made it the perfect selection for a piece of outdoor wooden furniture.

I applied two coats of the weatherproofing finish, which should be plenty to protect the bench from the elements.

I decided to NOT stain the crates, but instead just sealed them with clear polyurethane. I thought the contrast between the dark bench and the light crates would be pretty.

Visualize It

Shelving unit

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Finished bench

The Big Reveal

I love how it turned out! A beautiful custom bench, that wasn't very expensive, that should stand up to the elements and that accommodates my storage needs.

It was a perfect addition to my newly updated outdoor space. I added a few throw pillows make it even more inviting. It's the perfect mix of functional and beautiful!

Kim Six portrait

Kim Six

Kim is a DIY and home improvement blogger living in the San Francisco Bay Area. As a former biomedical scientist turned stay at home mom of three young kids, she likes to focus on projects that are budget friendly and easily doable. She believes that a home doesn’t have to be perfect or expensive to be beautiful.