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How to Make Unique Scaffolding Board Furniture

Scaffolding board furniture is a cheap and affordable way to build strong sturdy furniture for the home or even the garden. In fact, scaffold boards are great for DIY garden furniture as they are well designed to be used outside.

The scaffolding boards are strong, structural timber, used as walkways on external building scaffolding. The standard size for scaffolding boards is a thickness of 38mm, a width of 225mm, and lengths going up to 3.9m (13ft). The boards also have a protective metal brace over the short edge.

They are a chunky bit of timber that gives them a wonderfully rustic and industrial vibe when making furniture. I have used the boards for shelving and making a world map desk as this DIY bench.

As well as being good solid sturdy timber, scaffolding boards are very cheap. Especially old scaffolding boards, which can often be bought very cheaply and sometimes are even given away free by builders. Personally, I prefer to reclaim old boards for my scaffolding board furniture DIYs, as this only adds to their rustic aesthetic.

Tutorial For A Scaffolding Board Furniture Bench

I knew I’d scored when I saw this scaffolding board sticking out of the skip I couldn’t resist it. I loved the weathered look of the wood and thought it would look great once sanded and polished.

It wasn’t until I added a broken old chair to my scrap hoard did I come up with an idea for my scaffolding board furniture. I decided to merge them both into a lovely reclaimed wood DIY bench.

Originally, the bench was going to be for just a bit of extra seating in the garden. As I like it so much I fancy having it in the house now. It’s a handy little bench to sit on when you put your shoes on or take them off.

I might compromise and have the bench outside in the summer for extra seating or even just for pots and then bring it inside for the winter. I just love how good the reclaimed wood on the scaffolding board furniture looks now that it’s been polished up. It still has a lot of character.

Scaffolding board and old chair for upcycled bench.

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What I used to make my scaffolding board furniture

How to Make A Scaffolding Board Bench

Preparing the scaffolding board

Step1: The first thing to do is to cut the scaffolding board to the length you would like the bench to be. Standard boards are 13ft long so you will probably want to saw the board in half (you can get two benches out of one standard scaffold board).

Once the scaffold board has been cut to size, sand it all over. The boards can be a bit rough, but if you use an electric sander they will be lovely and smooth in no time.

sanding scaffolding board s

Step 2: Next, stain and varnish the scaffold board. I used dark furniture wax to stain the board and then an outdoor varnish for the topcoat. If you are just going to use the bench indoors, then there is no need for a weather protective varnish.

Varnishing scaffolding boards

Making the scaffolding board bench

Step 3: Adding the legs to the bench. I sawed the legs off the old chair I was upcycling and made sure they were all the same length. If you are using hairpin legs, skip this stage.

Dismantled chair for scaffolding bench

Step 4: Clamp each leg one at a time in a straight upright position and drill a small hole down the centre. You will want to make sure your legs are perfectly straight for this, otherwise, you will end up with a crooked bench.

Drilling holes in bench leg

Step 5: Then, drill four holes through the top of the bench, one in each corner. Then with the very long screw the scaffolding board to the legs of the upcycled chair.

Top tip: If you want to tidy up the scaffolding board furniture you can use screw caps to hide the screw heads.

If you are using hairpin legs these can then be simply attached to the underside of the bench. Hairpin legs come with their own mounting plate so are easy to fix (see this DIY footstool for an example).

Attaching legs to scaffolding board bench
Scaffolding board furniture legs
Scaffolding board furniture DIY garden bench using an old chair and board from a dumpster.

I told you it was easy. I liked the chippy green paint on my chair legs so kept them as they were. The fact that you can tell the legs are from an old chair also appeals to me it gives the bench a unique look. I also love the look of reclaimed wood.

Easy DIY scaffolding board furniture.  Combine the legs of an old dining chair with a scaffolding board for a unique upcycled wooden bench.
Easy DIY scaffolding board furniture.  Combine the legs of an old dining chair with a scaffolding board for a lovely reclaimed wood bench.

Other Uses For Scaffolding Boards

These tough builders timber can be used for other projects besides DIY scaffolding board furniture. I like to use them for shelving in my home.

Because the boards are really strong and sturdy they make great shelves especially for storage as they can take a great weight. That is as long as they are fixed properly. I have some shelves in an alcove above my desk and I use wooden battens in the wall to hold them up.

One scaffold board on its own can be used to make a rather cool and unique chair.

Scaffolding boards can be used in the garden for several projects, from making raised flower beds, pergolas and decking.

Scaffolding board shelves and desk

If you like making things with reclaimed wood and old pallets you should check out these upcycles.
Colourful tin can planter & pallet holder
How to Make an Upcycled Window herb planter
DIY nightstand from an old wine box

DIY scaffolding board furniture featured in the A to Z of clever upcycling ideas.

DIY scaffolding board furniture


Sunday 5th of April 2020

Hi to achieve this colour finish can I ask what colour / brand stain you used and did you precondition the wood beforehand as pine has a tendency to blotch


Claire Armstrong

Monday 6th of April 2020

The wood was a scaffolding board so it had already been pretreated for outdoor use. I just used dark wood wax on it.


Tuesday 15th of May 2018

Love the look of the board. I'm in the process of making an outdoor table with the top being used scaffold boards and I want a similar color to yours. I was thinking of using wood stain followed by varnish but I'd love to get the same effect that you've got. I wouldn't have thought that varnish on top of wax would last... is it still going strong?

Claire Armstrong

Tuesday 15th of May 2018

Yes, the scaffolding plank is still going strong. They were designed for outdoor use so I would expect it to last. I'm sure wood stain and varnish would work well.

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Monday 26th of February 2018

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Rosie (@greenrosielife)

Sunday 3rd of September 2017

I love this and may point hubby in the direction of this post. He is the practical one and I have the ideas for him!!! And you have reminded me how much I miss skips - you rarely see them herein France. #GoingGreenLinky

Claire Armstrong

Sunday 3rd of September 2017

Thanks, Rosie. There always seems to be a skip in my road somewhere, and I can't help looking in as I walk past.

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