DIY Modern Outdoor Chair (2024)

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Turning inexpensive lumber into a beautiful Modern outdoor chair.

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Materials Used
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(5)4X4 Douglas fir
(14) 11/16 5 in Lag Screw
(1) 7/8 wood dowel
Wood glue
Glue applicator

Lumber Dimension
Arm & Seat: 9 Pieces cut to (26.5in ) (673.1mm)
Front and Back: 3 Pieces (24in) (609.6mm)
Corner of Leg: 4 Piece cut to (22in) (558.8mm)
Seat Support: 2 Piece cut to (21inx 1.5in X 1.5in)(533.4mmX38.1mmX38.1mm)

Stain Brush

Tools Used
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Dust Mask
7/8 Forstner Bit
Drill/ Driver
Flush Cut Saw
Miter Saw -
Cutech Jointer-
Measuring tape -
Table Saw
Bessey Clamps
Jaw Horse
2 in 1 Jig Saw
Multitool Oscillation tool

Woodworking Plans (Big Bundle)

Camera and recording equipment I use
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Camera - Nikon D5500 -
Mic to record to computer -
Mic to Record to the Camera
SD Card
Camera Slider

Adobe Premiere (Video Edit)
Adobe Photoshop (Photoshop)
Sketchup (3D Modeling software)

You can see my complete kit list here


In this video, I'm gonna make a modern outdoor chair made from 4x4 douglas fir.

This video is sponsored by dollar shave club.

Now recently I went to my local home center and I couldn't believe it.

I saw four by fours there that was not pressure treated.

The thing is my local home center carry limited supplies and I don't have a lumber yard near me, so I was surprised to see these in a store for the first time now, with the lumber being so bulky, it's much easier to use a miter saw, and if you don't have one you can more than likely rent one or you can just use a circular saw now.

These are all the pieces for the structure of the chair, nine pieces for the seat and the arm of the chair.

We have additional three pieces for the width of the chair four pieces for the legs and two pieces to support the seat.

Recently, I added a new tool to my shop, which is a 8 inch joiner from cut tech.

Now I've been wanting to join it for a very long time and I don't want to discourage you.

You do not need this for this project, I'm mainly trying to speed up my workflow now the main advantage I'm seeking from this is being able to take off some of the layers.

So I don't have to spend a ton of time sanding and you can see here one side versus this side.

That's a little more smoother.

I was actually in the market looking for a different brand of a joiner and I was reading the reviews and they were mentioning this one, which I was unaware with the brand, but if you guys want to check that out I'll link this down in the video description.

Now, since I know the direction I'm going, I'm going to do all my prep work.

First before I start the assembly, I'm going to take three pieces of the lumber for the chair seat and I'm going to cut a rabbet on both ends and while I have the table, saw set up, I'm going to cut all the pieces at one time now, after making the first pass.

I'm going to set my table saw up again to make the second pass.

Now you can run test cuts on scrap pieces of wood just to make sure you get this right, it's an outdoor chair, so it doesn't have to be perfect.

Now, there's many ways to do this.

You don't have to use a table saw so I'm also going to show you another method to accomplish the same thing, I'm using this thinner piece of wood as a guide, because this is what the 4x4s would rest on now after tracing out that piece of lumber onto the 4x4, I'm then gonna take a reciprocating, saw and then cut this section out now you have a total of three lumbers to cut this way, so a total of six of these one on each side, you can also use a circular saw or a handsaw and right now we're still prepping the seat, so we have two more pieces to address and these are going to be the outside of the seat later on in the video you'll see where I'm going it with this, but for right now we need to cut this out.

I also want to make sure to mark these two pieces together, so I don't run into any mistakes now.

This will also be duplicated on both ends.

Now you can use a handsaw and a chisel to cut this out, but I'm going to cheat a little bit by using a multi-tool and with all four pieces being cut out, I can now test the pieces and make sure everything looks good, and now all the prep work is done.

I'm going to start by setting up the arms of the chair.

I am going to put glue at every joint in this chair and this would not only make the chair super strong, but also you don't have to worry about any squeaks a few years from now, depending on the wood glue you're using you really need to apply the glue and apply clamp right away.

You don't have a ton of wait time and one thing to keep in mind.

If you don't have large clamps, you can use ratchet straps to bolt this together.

I'm going to use five inch lag screws.

I'm only going to use one per joint, which also makes a great reason to use the wood glue.

The next thing I did was find the very center of this location.

Then I took a 7 8 bit and drill a hole, approximately one and a half inches deep.

Next take a small bit and drill in the center of that hole into the next lumber behind it now drive the lag screw from one lumber into the next one.

Now repeat this going around the entire arm, you should have four bolts per arm now, just repeat the same thing for the other arm.

So now I'm going to set up the two arms so that we can attach the back and also the bottom for the seat in order to keep the seat the same height at the front and also at the back, I'm going to use some scrap pieces of wood.

Now, with these pieces clamped in place, I can now add wood glue and then clamp.

The structure together now take the same pieces of scrap wood and we're going to put those on the front legs so that I can set the front part of the seat in place.

I'm also going to use the same method.

I used to assemble the arm to now attach the arms to the back to hide all the lag screws.

I'm going to use wooden dowels to plug all the holes, then use a flush cut, saw to cut down the dowels, and I'm going to repeat this step for all the other joints that needs to be attached now early on in the video I mentioned that this piece would make more sense later on in the video now these two faces on the 4x4 would be facing out and also up- and this is going to also hide all of the connection within the seat.

So at this point, I'm not going to glue these pieces into place, I'm just going to sit them there for now.

So I can then take that support piece and place that under the bottom and this piece will be glued and also screwed into the back of the chair.

Now these pieces of lumber will be spaced out within the opening of the chair right now and I'm going to take some scrap pieces of wood to keep the same consistent spacing between each one of them.

Now from the bottom of the chair, I'm going to drill out a few holes so that I can attach two screws per board.

Now, I'm going to jump back to the outer ends of the seat, I'm going to glue those up and also screw those into place and now we're on to the next step and I'm gonna sand it down and clean it up the best I can and while I'm doing that, here's a quick word from today's sponsor I like to consider myself simple and I don't like options just too much to think about.

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Now, with all the sanding behind me, I'm now going to put on a layer of wood conditioner, and this is going to also help me reduce blotchiness on the final product.

Now after the conditioner has dried.

I have a few hours to put on the stain now, I'm not 100 sole on the color, so I'm gonna sit on it for a little while and then decide.

If I'm going to keep this color or darken it up the minute.

I make that decision I'll then be able to put on the final coat, which is a couple layers of polyurethane, so here's the finished product.

At one point I thought the chair was a bit low, but overall I am happy with it.

One thing you could change if you're planning to make this, you could make the back a little higher just by making the legs a bit taller, be sure to check the video description for the dimension of the chairs and other details.

Now, my long-term plan is to make my own cushions, but for this video I went to my local home center and found some cushions.

So hopefully cushions are not that hard to make, because it is something I want to explore in the near future.

So here's some additional footage of the chair and until then be sure to like comment and subscribe, and I will see you guys on the next video you.

DIY Modern Outdoor Chair (2024)


How do you waterproof wicker furniture? ›

In order to waterproof the furniture, two coats of marine varnish should be applied after the painting is complete. Anyone who does not wish to change the natural color of the wicker furniture can eliminate the paint and just apply three coats of the marine varnish every two years.

What can I use to seal and protect outdoor wood furniture? ›

Products such as polyurethane, varnish and lacquer are most commonly used for the protection of outdoor wood furniture. Make sure to apply the finish over every surface — even underneath and in every crevice. If moisture works its way in, it will not be able to escape and your wood will become damaged.

Does outdoor wood furniture need to be sealed? ›

One of the most important steps you can take to protect outdoor wood furniture is to use a sealer. A sealer is a transparent finish that is applied to wood to protect it from moisture. Sealers work by penetrating the wood's pores and preventing water from entering.

Is it cheaper to make your own chairs? ›

Save Money

But if you make your own furniture, you can save a lot of money on the overall cost. You'll only need to buy the materials, and you won't have to pay for labor costs. You could even get creative and use recycled materials to make your furniture, which would save you even more money.

Is it cheaper to build your own patio furniture? ›

Yes, it's less expensive to build your own patio. If you hire a professional to do it for you, the labor cost for the project could add 45% to the total price.

What is the easiest DIY patio? ›

PAVERS are the best option

For a do-it-yourself patio, a simple square design with one size of pavers is a lot easier to install than one with various sizes and curves because you will not have to cut the pavers, which takes time and skill. Pavers are strong, inexpensive, and easy to install.

What are the three material that can be used to make a chair? ›

Chairs can be made from wood, metal, or other strong materials, like stone or acrylic. In some cases, multiple materials are used to construct a chair; for example, the legs and frame may be made from metal and the seat and back may be made from plastic.

What materials do you need to make a chair? ›

Office chairs are mainly made with leather, fabric, plastic, wood, and nylon. Each chair stands based on the quality of materials used in making. Leather-made or artificial leather-made chairs both stand very long causing no damage. leather made chairs are offers both comfort as well as luxury goods.

What is the most weather resistant outdoor furniture? ›

Hardwoods such as teak will stand up very well to the elements. They are also generally strong and resistant to insects, cracking, and warping. Teak is a dense, oily hardwood that is naturally resistant to water, rot, and insects. It's a popular choice for outdoor furniture because of its durability and natural beauty.

Is it OK to leave wicker furniture outside in the rain? ›

Because of its chemical makeup, resin wicker is more durable than other materials. It won't corrode if it gets wet after sitting out in the snow or rain. It's also less likely to fade than many other materials used to make outdoor furniture.

What is difference between rattan and wicker? ›

Rattan vs. wicker is another example of terms that have become interchangeable over time. However, there is a differentiation: rattan is the material; wicker is the weaving method that creates wicker furniture.

What is the best oil to seal outdoor wood furniture? ›

Teak oil is generally considered the best oil to treat wooden garden furniture. It provides year-round weather protection whilst emphasising the wood's natural colour. It does this by replacing the natural oils that are lost through weathering, and preventing the wood from splitting and warping.

What is a natural sealant for outdoor wood? ›

Not only is Pure Tung Oil natural, food-safe, water-proof, and easy to apply, but it helps bring out the natural beauty of the wood. We plan to try more “green” sealing products in the future, but for now, Tung Oil is our favorite natural wood sealer.

What happens if you don't seal wood furniture? ›

Wood is dried-out and dull if you do not apply some sort of sealer. Staining and finishing are two very different things. By applying pigments, a stain is meant to darken or dye wood, but the wood is not preserved by staining.

Is it better to oil or stain outdoor furniture? ›

The oil will protect your wooden patio for a longer period of time. Why? Simply because it is impregnating. Unlike synthetic stains which lie on the surface, oil penetrates the wood pores, making it impossible for water to seep in.

How do you make wooden outdoor furniture last? ›

Use an outdoor rated paint or stain for added protection.

Outdoor paint or stain will add a nice durable layer of protection to your unfinished outdoor wood. It's specifically made to withstand harsh weather conditions.

What is the best material to build a chair? ›

One of the most prevalent and time-honored materials featured in chair designs is solid wood. Solid wood is popular due to its durability, repairability, reusability, and beautiful grain patterns. Most chairs on the market today are considered Ready-to-Assemble (RTA).

How to make a cheap chair look expensive? ›

8 Excellent Ways to Make a Cheap Furniture Find Look More...
  1. Replace or remove hardware. ...
  2. Faux the finish. ...
  3. Display nice stuff on it. ...
  4. Lighten the visual load. ...
  5. Add white or black. ...
  6. Add sleek pattern. ...
  7. Splurge on expensive upholstery materials and methods. ...
  8. Change the function entirely.
Mar 11, 2020

What is the most affordable DIY patio? ›

Concrete is one of the most popular patio materials and the cheapest material you can use to build a hard-surface patio. Concrete is made of aggregates and paste—concrete aggregates can be crushed stone, sand, gravel, or even shells; the paste is made up of water and cement.

What is the cheapest wood to build outdoor furniture? ›

Since it's widely available, fir can be useful for those running a slightly tighter budget. It's one of the cheapest woods for outdoor use. If you're a woodworker or DIY garden furniture maker, this species also works and machines well, in addition to holding finishes easily — whether a clear varnish, stain or paint.

What is the best wood for outdoor furniture? ›

Cypress, redwood, and cedar are three softwoods that have natural moisture-wicking properties and make fine choices for outdoor furniture. But in our opinion, the best wood for outdoor furniture comes from top-of-the-line hardwoods such as ipe, mahogany, and teak.

How can I make my patio look expensive? ›

Adding rugs, comfortable chairs, coffee tables, and pillows all elevate the look while bringing the comfort of the living or dining room outdoors. Don't stop there! Throws, coasters, candles, poufs, and even lamps can all come outside to make your space a place you love.

What type of patio lasts the longest? ›

Natural stone, tile, pavers, and brick are some of the longest-lasting patio materials. These materials are durable and resistant to weather and wear, which makes them a good choice for long-lasting structures.

How to make a cheap backyard patio? ›

4 DIY Ideas for Creating a Patio on a Budget
  1. Packed Gravel. Gravel is a terrific choice for affordability and ease of installation. ...
  2. Crushed Stone. Crushed stone is typically something you would use as a base material for pavers, but we've found that it makes for a great patio space on its own. ...
  3. Pavers. ...
  4. Concrete Forms.
Jun 16, 2017

Which of these materials should not be used to make a chair? ›

Chair can be made of wood, plastic and iron because they are stiff and do not deform easily. Rubber cannot be used because it can be deformed easily.

What is it called when you put fabric on a chair? ›

Upholstery is the work of providing furniture, especially seats, with padding, springs, webbing, and fabric or leather covers.

What are Chinese chairs made of? ›

Chinese furniture is made from a variety of woods, including tropical hardwoods, bamboo, and also decorated lacquer examples. Richly textured surfaces were often incorporated into furniture to provide a decorative element.

What is the strongest material for chair frames? ›

Forged iron, is used for pieces that need both strength and durability, while handling a lot of stress. Forged iron can retain its shape, while withstanding immense pressure. Since the process is more involved, forged iron products tend to also be more expensive.

What is the most popular type of chair? ›

Desk chairs are one of the most common types of chairs..

What tools are used to make a chair? ›

  • Reamers for Chairmakers.
  • Adzes for Chairmakers.
  • Drawknives for Chairmakers.
  • Spokeshaves for Chairmakers.
  • Dowel & Tenon Cutters for Chairmakers.
  • Froes for Chairmakers.
  • Inshaves & Scorps for Chairmakers.
  • Seat Hollowing Discs.

What angle should an outdoor chair be? ›

To be comfortable, there should be a 95-105 degree angle between the seat and the back, and the seat should be between 2 and 10 degrees off of horizontal.

How to make a natural garden chair? ›

The natural garden chair can be obtained from crafting, which requires 6× hardwood and 2× iron nugget. The recipe for this item can be obtained from either Tom Nook, where there is a 50% chance of being obtained if Tom Nook asks for this item during the villager house development quest, or peppy villagers.

How much fabric do I need to cover an outdoor chair? ›

Measure the cushions from edge to edge and add 1″ for seam allowance. The length and width will give you the measurement for the seat of the cushion, you will need 2 of these. The length and the depth will give the measurements for 1 side panel, you will need 2 of these.

What outdoor furniture won't get ruined? ›

Some of the best outdoor furniture materials known for their all-season durability include aluminum, recycled plastic, concrete and teak.

What is the longest lasting outdoor material? ›

Wrought Iron is one of the most durable and longest lasting type of outdoor furniture available, many times lasting decades. Truly an investment that keeps on giving, wrought iron furniture is also the heaviest frame.

What outdoor furniture can be left in the rain? ›

The Best Materials for Rain
  • Teak Furniture. Teak is a water warrior. ...
  • Polypropylene Furniture. Polypropylene is virtually impenetrable. ...
  • Resin Wicker Furniture. Organic rattan is charming and earthy, but also a tad vulnerable.
May 21, 2019

How do you weatherproof wicker chairs? ›

Weatherproofing Furniture: Wicker

Give your piece two coats of the paint of your choice, then top it with a layer of spray marine varnish, such as Minwax Helmsman Indoor/Outdoor Spar Urethane (from $10; Amazon). Wicker traps moisture easily; if it gets under the finish, it will damage the fibers from the inside out.

What can I put on my wicker to protect it? ›

Water-sealing natural wicker will keep the moisture away, and prolong the life of wicker products. Clear lacquer sealant can be applied by spraying, or with a paint brush. Be sure to cover the entire surface and let the wicker dry completely. You may also use tung oil, or shellac as an effective sealant.

How long will wicker furniture last outside? ›

Natural wicker's lifespan outdoors is only one to two years, while if used indoors only the lifespan is much longer. If left outside natural wicker will dry and become brittle quicker, causing it to crack, unravel or get holes. The elements can take a toll on natural wicker.

What lasts longer wicker or rattan? ›

Wicker Furniture

Synthetic wicker materials give the same appearance as natural rattan fibers but they last much better outside. For this reason, polyethylene wicker is great for outdoor furniture because of its ability to withstand the elements of mother nature.

What are the four 4 types of rattan? ›

Rattans are naturally found in the Philippine dipterocarp forests and are distributed throughout the country. Four genera, namely Calamus, Daemonorops, Korthalsia and Plectocomia, with 64 species are found in the country (PCARRD, 1991) (see Annex 1).

Is rattan or bamboo better? ›

Bamboo is a lot stiffer than rattan and does not bend easily. Rattan, on the other hand, is more flexible and can bend. Although bamboo is often grouped with hardwoods, especially when it comes to flooring, it is grass. However, it is used for similar applications are hardwoods since it is harder than mahogany.

What is the best thing to waterproof wood? ›

The Most-Effective Way: Sealing Wood

Sealing wood is by far the best way to protect it from water damage. Sealants are made to protect surfaces from everything from scratches to swelling, so use sealants if you can afford them to protect your wood. The most common type of wood sealer is polyurethane sealer.

Can you waterproof outdoor furniture? ›

For most outdoor furniture fabrics, you can use the same waterproofing formulas that are used on sailboat fabrics. Check the fabric for rips before waterproofing. These should be repaired, if possible, before you spray the furniture. Waterproofing will not be as effective if the covers have holes or tears.

What is the best waterproofing for wood? ›

According to them, these are the nine most effective wood sealers:
  • Thompson's Water Seal. ...
  • Rainguard Premium Wood Sealer. ...
  • DEFY Crystal Clear Sealer. ...
  • Anchorseal 2. ...
  • Roxil Wood Protection Cream. ...
  • Eco-Advance Exterior Wood Waterproofer. ...
  • Ready Seal Stain and Sealer for Wood. ...
  • Pure Tung Oil Natural Wood Sealer.

How do you keep outdoor furniture from dry rotting? ›

Varela suggests placing outdoor furniture under a large tree or any other area that is protected from direct sunlight. Even the priciest outdoor furniture can start decaying because of rain. When a storm approaches, stack your chairs in a corner and place a sturdy cover over them, Varela says.

Should outdoor furniture be covered when it rains? ›

The level of rain-resistance in your patio furniture depends on the durability of the materials. Outdoor furniture that isn't designed to repel water, resist rot, or prevent mold or mildew growth should probably be covered or moved inside before each rain.

Does staining wood make it waterproof? ›

Outdoor wood stains are water repellant, so they make the wood waterproof, that is protecting it against water and, as a result, against mold. The only problem is that it is a short-term protection. As the stain wears out, the water easily finds a tiny crack to penetrate the wood.

What can I use so wood doesn't absorb water? ›

Use vapor-impermeable material to avoid wood from absorbing moisture from the outside environment, especially in humid places. Store wood in a clean dry area with a high humidity level (80% or more)

Can you use Flex Seal on wood? ›

Flex Seal can be used on almost every surface: wood, metal, tile, concrete, masonry, fabric, glass, plastic, aluminum, porcelain, drywall, rubber, cement, and vinyl. Plus, it won't sag or drip in the summer heat, and it won't crack or peel in the winter cold.

Can I leave my outdoor furniture outside in the rain? ›

Yes, you can leave your outdoor furniture outside in the rain. However, if you want your outdoor furniture to last longer, there are a few tips you can follow for taking care of it. 1. Make sure that your outdoor furniture is made from a material that is specially designed for extended outdoor use in bad weather.

What is the best finish to protect wood outside? ›

Marine spar varnish is the best type for outdoor use. Its key ingredients are linseed oil (pressed from flax seeds) and alkyd resin (made by reacting linseed oil with alcohol and acid). The film is flexible enough to move with wood as it shrinks and swells with shifts in humidity.

What is the best protector for outdoor wood? ›

Minwax Helmsman Indoor/Outdoor Spar Urethane tops our list as the best wood sealer because of its valuable key features. This four-season wood sealer contains special oils, which allow the solution to expand and contract as the seasons change and temperatures fluctuate.

What is the best coating for outdoor wood? ›

An epoxy sealer with an exterior varnish topcoat is the most durable outdoor finish and can last for many, many years.

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