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DIY Wood Stool (Pottery Barn Knock-Off)!

I’m Zoe.
My mission is to teach you to  confidently build magazine-worthy DIYs. I used to be terrified of power tools, which is why I'm a firm believer that ANYONE can DIY.
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Gimme that

I found this cute reclaimed wood stool from Pottery Barn and decided to make something similar using scrap wood we had in the garage.

DIY wood stool text overlay on image of wood bath stool in front of shower

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. 

close up of distressed pine wood showing texture

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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Recommended Tools: 

  • Miter Saw 
  • Drill 
  • Kreg Jig 

What you’ll need (for 1 planter):

Cut List: 

For?Board SizeQuantity Size (inches)
Top2×4421.25
Legs2×2417 (10-degree angle in same direction on both sides)
Front/back of bottom2×2220.25 (10-degree angle on both sides in opposite directions)
Bottom leg supports2×2211
Top leg supports2×2211
Bottom slats1×3611

Final Dimensions: 24 wide (at the bottom) x 18.25 high x 14 deep

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

Pocket holes are the foundation of most DIY furniture. Become a pocket hole pro in less than an hour in Pocket Holes: Explained.

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. 
drilling pocket holes into side of 2x4 using Kreg 720

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. 

making slatted bottom using 2x2s and 1x3s

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. 

assembling stool top with 2.5" outdoor Kreg screws

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

close up of pine 2x4 that has been distressed with a 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. 

measuring 2" from bottom of leg using multi-mark tool

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. 

attaching legs using Kreg screws in pocket holes

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. 

attaching bottom to legs via pocket holes

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. 

attaching top support boards between the legs using pocket holes

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.

screwing through leg support and into top of stool

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. 

wood stool before 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. 

waterproof wood shower stool stained with driftwood stain

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.

make this wood stool photo collage with process picture and completed image of shower stool
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