Need clever, good-looking storage? We'll show you how to make a freestanding storage bench for your organizational needs.
DIY painted entryway storage bench

For busy families, a bench with hidden storage is more than convenient. It is a necessity. Plus, making your own is a lot easier than you might think. Follow our tutorial below to see how you can make a storage bench for your kitchen, mudroom, playroom, or anywhere else that needs a little organizational love.

  • Working time 6 hrs
  • Start to finish 1 day
  • Difficulty Kind of Hard
  • Involves Painting, Carpentry Skills, Drilling, Nailing

What you need


How to do it

Part 1

Step 1

Make Cuts

Using a table saw, make your cuts to the sheet of MDF. Be sure to wear a mask to protect from particles. Sand edges if necessary and wipe clean with a tack cloth. 

attaching glued MDF pieces
Step 2

Assemble First Two Sides

Lay out the bottom, one side, and back board for the bench. Run a bead of wood glue along two edges of the bottom piece as well as where the side and back will meet. Stand the back board perpendicular to the bottom piece and butt the side board against it to create a 90-degree angle. Clamp in place with a corner clamp.

pre-drilling holes for storage bench
attaching MDF board for freestanding storage bench
glued edges of MDF sheets
Step 3

Drill and Repeat

Working quickly, drill pilot holes six inches apart along your glue joints, while pressing the boards firmly together. Once the holes are drilled, screw in 1-1/4-inch wood screws. Repeat the gluing and drilling process with the other side piece, followed by the front panel. You should now have a box without a top.

Editor's Tip
Keep Clean

Have a paper towel on hand while working with wood glue. Clean up any glue that seeps out of the joints as you clamp pieces together. 

applying glue to MDF side piece
securing trim pieces with nail gun
Step 4

Add Trim

Once the box is assembled, measure and cut trim pieces to size. Place wood glue on the back of the trim pieces. Press onto the front of the box, adding a vertical trim piece to each side as well as the center. Place remaining trim pieces horizontally between the vertical trim pieces to line the front edges. Secure each piece in place with a nail gun and 1/2-inch brad nails.

How to Use a Nail Gun
Play Video
How to Use a Nail Gun

Master the basics of DIY work with our tips for using a nail gun. 

applying wood putty to nail hole
Step 5

Fill Holes

Use wood putty to fill any holes from the nails or gaps in your seams. A putty knife will make the application process a breeze. Once the putty has dried, sand it smooth, and gently wipe clean with a tack cloth. 

applying paint with roller to storage bench
Step 6

Paint Box

Once the surface is smooth, apply the first coat of paint. We used a miniature roller brush then touched up with a brush. Apply at least two coats of paint, allowing it to dry between coats as needed. Finish with a clear spray sealer. Don't forget to paint the lid, too! The lid is the 3/4 x 18-1/2 x 47-inch board; it will be attached in later steps. 

attach caster plate to bench
Step 7

Install Feet

Once the paint has dried, turn the box over and mark location of feet mounting brackets per manufacturer instructions. Attach the brackets, then install the feet and turn over to test for level.

adding lid hinge for bench
Step 8

Install Hinge and Supports

Lastly, you will install the lid. Center the piano hinge on the long side of the lid. Install per manufacturer instructions, with half on the box edge and the other on the lid. Next, install lid supports on either end of the lid per manufacturer instructions. Finish by topping the bench with a cushion or pillows, if desired. 


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