We’ve done a decent amount concrete work over the past few years, like our huge DIY patio a few years ago, and since then a couple more small sections of patio at our current house that you’v e never seen… And our amazing contributors have made some really cool projects like this concrete frame, modular mini planters, this HUGE planter big enough for a tree and finally a side table. So, today we thought it would be fun to create an actual piece of furniture using concrete. It was our first try and for the most part we REALLY love the bench. It is modern and beautiful and we learned a few things making it, which makes us excited for our next concrete project.
We made this bench in partnership with Quikrete and wanted to share a tutorial of how you can build this concrete bench for yourself. My husband and brother in law worked on building it. Be sure to check out my Brother in law’s shop, Curtis Frank Design he makes really cool custom furniture pieces. We’ve created full plans and instructions of how to build your own.
Check out the video here first to get a good idea of the process that we took to build the modern concrete and redwood bench. Click here to see the video then come back for all the dimensions.
DIY Modern Concrete and Redwood Bench Building Plans
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- (2) Bags of Quikrete 50 lb. Fast-Setting Concrete Mix (We used the fast setting mix in the red bag. If you are new to concrete don’t use the fast setting it’s too fast for a beginner.)
- (1) Bucket of Water
- (1) 10 oz. Bottle of Quikrete Liquid Cement Color – Charcoal (if you want to change the color a little darker)
- (2) 2×6 x 96″ – Redwood Boards (these will be cut down to width)
- (12) 1/4″ x 1-1/4″ Hex-Washer-Head Concrete Anchors
- (1) Box 1 1/4″ Wood Screws
- (6) 3″ 12-Gauge Angle Brackets
- (1) 8″ 12-Gauge Heavy Strap Tie
- (1/2) Sheet Smooth plywood (for the forms)
- (1) Can of Gray Spray Paint
- (1) Can of Polyurethane
- (1) Can of WD-40
- 5 gallon bucket
- Magnesium Float
- Steel Finishing Trowel
- Tape Measure
- Orbital Sander
- Spray Bottle with Water
- Miter Saw
- Table Saw (optional for ripping)
- Hammer Drill
- 3/16″ Concrete Drill Bit
- Brad Nail Gun
- 1″ Brad Nails
- 150 grit sandpaper
All pieces are 2″ wide and 3/4″ thick. Double check the thickness with the type of material you use. The measurements could change based on the thickness of the plywood you use.
- (2) 16 1/2″
- (1) 13 1/2″
- (1) 5 1/2″
- (2) 4 3/4″
- (2) 3/4″
- (2) 16 1/2″
- (1) 13 1/2″
- (2) 4 3/4″
- (1) 2 1/2″
- (2) 2 1/4″
- (3) 1 1/2″ x 4″ x 46 ” – Redwood Boards
Concrete Bench Building Instructions:
- Cut out and assemble the forms. Remember inside dimensions are critical and be sure to use smooth plywood and screws. Only use the screws on the outside of the form. Always pre-drill the holes for the screws. Only pin nail on the inside of the form in small areas. If the hole are too big they will fill in with concrete and be harder to remove.
- Lay the forms on a smooth flat surface (we used Sheet metal on top of a table, melamine also works well). This will allow the concrete on the opposite side to be nice and flat.
- Mix the water and dye together in a bucket then add it to the bag of concrete and mix with a shovel and a mix with a drill if possible. You want to get a nice even mix. See the package of concrete for the proper amount of water for the mix.
- Use melamine for the sides to void having the forms stick to the dried concrete.
- Pour concrete into forms with shovel. Drop the mix in the middle of the form and work it toward the edges. Make sure you work fast and fill in all the gaps.
- Tamp concrete into every crack and corner with wood or a magnesium float. A steel finishing trowel will bring too much cream to the top.
- Scrape off excess mud with a straight board from edge to edge.
- Re-tamp and smooth with trowel.
- After 20 minutes or so gently hit sides of form with a hammer. This will help raise the air bubbles to the top. You will have to do this 10 min. sooner if working with the fast-setting mix.
- Vibrate the forms with a electric sander. This will also help bring the air bubbles to the top.
- Smooth concrete occasionally with a finishing trowel. As the concrete sets, it can be helpful to spray it with a water bottle to keep it workable.
- Remove the forms and smooth the edges.
- Allow concrete to set overnight.
- Cut the boards to length by cutting off all factory edges first. All 3 boards will be the same length.
- Rip the boards to width with the table saw to cut off the rounded factory edges. This will require two passes through the saw. Do each board with one pass then cut them all to width with the second pass.
- Gently sand the sharp edges just enough to remove splinters, with 150 grit sandpaper.
- Sand all surfaces with a palm sander.
- Remove dust with compressed air or a damp cloth.
- Seal wood with a protective coating. Brush or spray it on.
- Allow to dry, sand and repeat for three coats.
- Paint the brackets and screws with a flat gray paint to match the concrete.
- After the hardware is dry, attach the brackets on each end of boards.
- Fit the boards to the concrete legs and mark the holes for the concrete screws.
- Pre-drill the holes for the concrete screws with the 3/8″ drill bit. As you drill widen the hole slightly so the screw is not too hard to drill in.
- Apply construction adhesive to all areas where wood will be in contact with the concrete.
- Set each board in place and screw in the concrete screws.
- Add a bracket across the middle to support all three bench slats
- make sure the legs are square to the bench seat as the glue dries.
Thanks for visiting our blog. I hope you found it helpful so you can build your own or one similar! Be sure to check out Curtis Frank Design on Instagram too!
Thank you to Quikrete for partnering with us to create building plans for our readers! We appreciate the support for keeping our website going!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Quikrete. The opinions and text are all mine.