How to Build an Outdoor Bench From Dining Chairs
You can transform a pair of vintage chairs into an outdoor bench that you'll enjoy for years to come
With just some basic carpentry skills, you can transform a pair of vintage chairs into an outdoor bench that you'll enjoy for years to come. Select seats with contoured backs and rear legs that are fully intact and free from cracks, like these harp-back chairs that we found at a secondhand store. And you needn't fuss over the finish or upholstery, as you'll be removing the seats and painting the entire bench once it's built.
Harp-back chairs are frequent finds at used-furniture stores and flea markets—ripe for a DIY reinvention. This sleigh-style bench takes advantage of the chairs' graceful contoured backs and gets its new seat frame from home-center 1x3s and plywood. A couple of coats of exterior latex paint (we used semigloss in Goldfinch), plus upholstery in a water-resistant, fade-resistant fabric (here, in Zara Sunset), and you have a porch-ready perch.
A crossbar under the seat adds stability lost from the removal of the chairs' front legs.