DIY: Patio Chair Before & After


When we moved into our house, I unearthed these white patio chairs in our shed, they were rusted, covered in cobwebs and generally icky. I figured that you see chairs like these EVERYWHERE and I should be able to save us some money by giving them some redesign love. I tried about three different ideas for what the seat bases would be, from fabric to rubber cording, and ended up going with some wood slats. All the pictures are below as well as instructions on how to do this DIY lawn chair project yourself!



  1. Old lawn chairs
  2. Six 8ft lengths of 1x3 pine
  3. 48 2 inch machine screws and bolts
  4. Spray paint
  5. Outdoor deck stain
  6. New plastic end caps for the feet


  1. Electric screw driver
  2. Drill bit that can go through metal
  3. Saw (hand or electric, there aren't TOO many cuts that you could do it by hand)
  4. Foam paint brush


  1. Cut off all the existing strapping and pull of old icky end caps
  2. Wipe off cobwebs and grime with soap and water
  3. Spray paint chairs with color of choice I used Rust-Oleum Champagne Mist. Allow to dry while you work on the wood.
  4. Cut pine to length, I cut mine about an inch longer than the outside width of the bars, I used a chop saw, an invaluable tool for home improvements! 
  5. Lightly sand the wood
  6. Stain pine with outdoor deck stain so that they are resistant to the weather- allow to dry
  7. Use masking tape to hold the wood slats where you want them to go. 
  8. Flip over chair so you are screwing through the aluminum chair base first. Screw holes through the wood and aluminum chair frame simultaneously to insure that they will line up when you put in the machine screws. Make sure your drill bit is a bit larger than your machine screws. When drilling through metal, remember to let the drill do the work, go slowly with only minimal pressure so the bit will not break. 
  9. Thread screws through the holes and tighten bolts. 
  10. Note: I only used four slats on the seat base because I intended to top them with a cushion (the ones in the photo I got at Home Goods for $15 each!), if you don't want to use cushions, I would recommend spacing them a bit closer together and adding a fifth slat. 
  11. You're done! Now go get a drink and enjoy the sunshine!