Modern outdoor chairs! These sturdy and heavy-duty chairs are great for a patio or deck!
What building project, do those of you who follow my blog, tackle most often? This one! Right here! Modern outdoor chairs! And who can blame you? This is the easiest, most functional project plans I’ve drawn up. What do people say they like most about them? They’re solid! Not going anywhere–no matter how bad the weather gets.
I built my first pair last summer and am happy to say they have held up great! To withstand northern Indiana winter weather speaks volumes to their durability. Which brings me to the other most asked question, in reference to this project….What wood and paint do I use? I might get some frowns from you “true” woodworkers out there, but I use Pine wood for all of my outdoor furniture builds. Why? 1.) I’m not patient! I can’t wait the recommended time to hold off on paint or stain. I want it done NOW! 2.) It’s cheaper than treated wood. So, how do I ensure it will hold up to the outdoor elements? Poly! Poly! Poly! I use a good quality poly (3-4 coats) and have had great success in durability. My favorite polyurethane is General Finishes High Performance Topcoat. (I was only able to find the link for this in the gallon size, but I know you can get this at Menard’s or Home Depot in a quart size). It is a bit on the spendy side. So, therefore, my go-to is Varathane Satin Exterior Poly. And if you want the best of both worlds: Apply 2-3 coats of Varathane first and make your last coat General Finishes. That will set your mind at ease and hold up great outdoors. As for paint….totally up to you! If you have a good poly, you can choose whatever paint you like. 🙂 (Amazon Affiliate Links)
I chose Rustoleum Linen White Chalk Paint for my modern outdoor chairs…(Amazon Affiliate Links)
So, out to my shop (a.k.a. garage) I went to build a couple modern outdoor chairs….
HOW TO BUILD TWO MODERN OUTDOOR CHAIRS
These chairs fit 22×24 cushions. My cushions are no longer available, however, here is another similar option…
Seat of chair sits at 11.5″ tall WITHOUT the 6.5″ cushion added.
Materials Needed (to build two chairs):
4 – 2x4x10
2 – 2x4x8
6 – 2x6x8
1 – 2x2x8
Drill (Amazon Affiliate Link)
Wood Glue (Amazon Affiliate Link)
2 1/2″ Screws (Amazon Affiliate Link)
Important Note: Plans are based on TWO chairs being built
First, I made my cuts…
8 – 2×4’s @ 22 1/4″ (Legs)
12 – 2×6’s @ 25 1/2″ (Side Slats)
4 – 2×4’s @ 28 1/2″ (Arm Rests)
8 – 2×6’s @ 22″ (Front and Back Slats)
2 – 2×4’s @ 22″ (Top of Back)
4 – 2×2’s @ 22 1/2″ (Inside Cleats)
10 – 2×4’s @ 22″ (Seat Slats)
Step Two: Build legs
Using your drill and 2 1/2″ screws, attach 3 side slats into each leg (as shown below). I used a 3/4″ board in between each slat to keep them separated….
Side slats will be flush with back of 2×4 legs…
Repeat this 4 times for 2 chairs…
Step Three: Add armrest
Drill 2×4 armrest onto each leg….
Step Four: Build back of chair
Using a board to balance, attach each of your 2×6 back slats (3 of them) to each chair…
These should be flush to the end of the side slat boards (as shown below)….
Use a clamp to keep your boards tight. My clamps belonged to my grandfather back in the day, therefore, I was unable to link the exact same ones. However, here’s one very similar. And here’s one a little less expensive, but will still get the job done. (Amazon Affiliate Links)
Step Five: Add front slat
Flip chair over and use board to balance: attach front slat, flush with bottom side slat…
Your chair should now look like this…
Step Six: Add Supports
Attach 2×2’s (inside cleats) at the top of the bottom side slat 2×6 (as shown in the two pictures below). The easiest way to do this is to turn the chair over on its side and attach 2×2. Then flip to other side and attach other 2×2. This provides a support for your seat slats to sit on….
Step Seven: Add Seat Slats
Attach five 2×4 seat slats (evenly separate each one). AND add 2×4 (top of back). (See “Cuts Needed” list above for reference)….
There you have it! Two modern outdoor chairs…
Ready for paint and cushions….
Perfect for entertaining or that coveted quiet morning time…
And the best part–so affordable. Pottery Barn carries chairs very similar to these. The difference: mine were less than $60 for two; Pottery Barn on sale for $224 EACH (originally $562 EACH)!! I would say that’s a pretty good deal! Well worth the savings!
Before we wrap up, here’s one more quick question I get asked a lot…How do we store our modern outdoor chairs over the winter months? (And yes, we get snow!!) We actually cover ours with a tarp on the deck. Just one more defense from the brutal winters we can get up here.
Until next time,
Happy Building, Friend!!
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