How to Turn Two Chairs Into an Outdoor Bench

Transform two worn-out chairs into an outdoor bench by adding wooden slats and a protective finish.

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Courtesy of Rust-Oleum®

Materials Needed:

  • 2 chairs
  • paint stripper
  • metal scraper
  • drill
  • 1/4" drill bit
  • sponge brushes
  • rags
  • tack cloth (optional)
  • mineral spirits
  • Rust-Oleum Universal paint and primer in one (Gloss White)
  • Rust-Oleum NeverWet Liquid Repelling Treatment Kit
  • tape measure
  • pencil
  • speed square
  • palm sander
  • 220-grit sandpaper
  • miter saw
  • 1x4 lumber
  • (20) 3-1/16" carriage bolts
  • (20) 3/16" nuts
  • Rust-Oleum Ultimate Wood Stain (American Walnut)
  • Rust-Oleum Ultra Cover 2X Clear Spray (matte)
  • wrench
  • floor/surface protection
  • rubber gloves
  • eye protection

Disassemble and Strip the Chairs

Find two chairs with frames similar to these (Image 1). Metal frames work great, but wooden chairs could be used too. Remove the chair seats and backs. To prepare the chair frames for their new finish, apply a paint stripper to loosen the existing one. Once activated, remove all paint or old finish with a metal scraper (Image 2). Once all paint is removed, wipe the frame with mineral spirits to remove any additional residue.

Apply the New Finish

First, paint the frames in the desired color to bring them back to life. The white used gives them a clean, modern look. Once dry, apply Rust-Oleum NeverWet Liquid Repelling Treatment. Apply Step 1 and 2, each according to the manufacturer's instructions. This protects the painted finish from the elements.

Cut the New Back and Seat Slats

Measure, mark and cut five 1" x 4" slats at 54". To find the slat locations for the new screws, measure the distance between the holes in the support braces on the chair frames (Image 1). Measure 3" in from the end of one slat and draw a line across the board using a speed square. From that line, transfer the hole distance just measured by marking and measuring the same amount (6-1/2" in this case). Draw a second line across the board at that mark. Find and mark the center of each line (Image 2). Drill a hole at each center mark. Repeat this process for each hole in the chairs.

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