I found this cute reclaimed wood stool from Pottery Barn and decided to make something similar using scrap wood we had in the garage.
Rather than just a simple stain finish, we tried out a new finishing technique that makes new wood look old. It’s hard to see the texture in photos, but in person, it’s pretty dang cool.
Not only is it a quick and fun build, it’s also pretty cheap to make. Yes, we used scrap wood, but if we hadn’t, it would’ve required about $21 worth of wood. Prices might vary based on your location.
Alright, let’s start DIYing make you a super cool DIY wood stool!
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- Miter Saw
- Kreg Jig
What you’ll need (for 1 planter):
- (1) – 2x4x8
- (2) – 2x2x8s (we used furring strips)
- (1) – 1x3x8 (we used common board)
- 1.25” Blue-Kote Kreg Screws (if it doesn’t need to be waterproof, you can use the zinc-plated screws)
- 2.5” Blue-Kote Kreg screws
- 2.25” wood screws
- Wood glue
|For?||Board Size||Quantity||Size (inches)|
|Legs||2×2||4||17 (10-degree angle in same direction on both sides)|
|Front/back of bottom||2×2||2||20.25 (10-degree angle on both sides in opposite directions)|
|Bottom leg supports||2×2||2||11|
|Top leg supports||2×2||2||11|
Final Dimensions: 24 wide (at the bottom) x 18.25 high x 14 deep
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How to Make a Waterproof Shower Stool
If you’re hoping that your stool will sit inside of your shower, you’ll want to make it as waterproof as possible. To waterproof your stool, you’ll want to:
- Use a waterproof glue like Titebond 2
- Use exterior-grade screws
- Use a water-resistant finish
- Add adjustable feet to the bottom of the legs so that the wood isn’t sitting directly in water
We’ll talk more about what water-resistant finish we recommend during the last step of this tutorial.
STEP 1: MAKE YOUR CUTS
Make your cuts according to the cut list above.
STEP 2: DRILL POCKET HOLES
Using the ¾” settings, drill two pocket holes on either end of each of the bottom slats.
Using the 1.5” settings, drill pocket holes in the following boards:
- 2 pocket holes on either end of the LONG side of the 20.25” front/back of bottom boards
- 2 pocket holes on either end of the bottom leg supports
- 2 pocket holes on either end of the top leg supports
- 4 pocket holes along one of the 21.25” sides of (3) of the top 2x4s.
STEP 3: ASSEMBLE THE BOTTOM
Before you assemble the bottom, lightly sand the sides of the 1×3 boards and 2x2s to make sure they are smooth. It’ll be difficult to get in the cracks to sand later, so it’s best to knock it out now. Just be careful not to sand too much. We don’t want to make our boards less wide.
Next, mock up your spacing. We grabbed a spare 1×2 to use as a ¾” spacer between the slats. When placing the first and last slat, they should be approximately ¾” in from the long side of the 2×2.
To assemble, use glue and 1.25” Kreg screws. The top of the slats will be flush with the short side of the 2×2.
Once you attach the slats to the 1st 2×2, you can attach them to the second 2×2.
Tip: clamp your 2×2 down to your workbench. When it’s not tightly clamped down to a surface, the Kreg screws have a tendency to lift the 2×2 slightly up off the surface and then crack through the front of it.
STEP 4: ASSEMBLE THE TOP
To make the top, you can just rely on wood glue if you prefer. I like to use Kreg screws because I think it’s easier to prevent the boards from slipping out of place while the glue dries.
Use glue and 2.5” Kreg screws to attach the 2x4s together, making sure the sides are flush as you assemble.
Tip: once the glue dries, you can remove the Kreg screws and reuse them on another project. If you applied your glue properly, that is what is really holding the top together.
OPTIONAL STEP 5: DISTRESS YOUR WOOD
If you like the added texture that our stool has, follow these instructions on how to make wood look distressed.
It’s not a very difficult process, but it sure does create a LOT of dust. Make sure you have a mask on when using that wire brush.
STEP 6: ASSEMBLE THE LEGS
The bottom slats are going to be approximately 3.5” from the bottom of the legs.
To mark this measurement consistently, we set our multi-mark tool to 2” and pressed it up against the bottom of each leg.
Then we placed a thick piece of tape on top of the multi-mark tool. The bottom leg supports and the bottom will line up with the top of the tape. You can also mark with a pencil, but we try to avoid pencil marks once we’ve already sanded.
Grab two legs and a bottom leg support. Line the bottom of the leg support up with the top of the tape and attach using glue and 2.5” Kreg scews. The leg support should be flush with either side of the legs.
Note: since we did not cut the leg supports at an angle, when you stand the legs up, the leg supports will be slanted. This was an intentional design element.
Repeat this with the other two legs and bottom leg support.
STEP 7: INSTALL THE BOTTOM
Now attach the bottom (the thing with all the slats) to the legs using glue and 2.5” Kreg screws. Again, make sure that the bottom is lined up with the top of the tape.
STEP 8: INSTALL THE TOP
We’ll install the top through the top leg support boards.
To install the top leg supports, use glue and 2.5” Kreg screws. The leg support board should be flush with either side of the leg.
Now flip the bottom of your stool onto the bottomside of the top. Center up the bottom on the top.
It should be flush with the front and back and there should be an overhang of approximately 1 ⅜” on either side. These measurements might vary for you depending on the actual dimensions of the wood used.
Screw through the top leg supports and into the top. We used 2 screws on each side.
We used the PowerPro brand screws because they are strong and don’t require any pre-drilling.
STEP 9: PAINT OR STAIN
Now that your bathroom stool is finished, it’s time to finish it to your liking. We stained ours with Minwax Semi-Transparent stain in Driftwood – note: we used the blue water-based stain rather than the yellow-can oil-based stain.
STEP 10: WATERPROOF YOUR SHOWER STOOL
If you want your shower tool to be waterproof (or at least significantly more resistant to water), you need to seal it. I highly recommend spar urethane in any sheen. We used satin on this project.
Typically I like to use the brush-on version because it adds a really nice coat of protection that you can feel.
Because we had textured the wood on this one, I opted for the spray version so that I could get into all of the nooks and crannies without the sealer pooling in the cracks.
There you have it! Now you know how to make a DIY wood stool that’s perfect for your shower or bathroom.
I know you’re wondering…is it really waterproof? No wood or finish is 100% waterproof, which is why there is fine print on pretty much every wood shower stool that says you shouldn’t put it in the shower.
But we made this using scrap wood and leftover stain and sealer. We’re willing to risk it and put it to the test to see how long it lasts. We’ll keep you updated. Please don’t message me and ask “how long will this last?” Idk, I can’t predict the future. What I can do is let you know when/if it starts to show signs of decay.
If you’re really concerned about it lasting a long time or just want to prolong the life of your wood stool, I’d recommend swapping out the pine for a naturally decay-resistant wood as well.
Ultimately, as with everything in life, it’s your decision on whether you want to use it in the shower or not. As for me, I’m going to risk it to get the biscuit.