Modern Outdoor Chair from 2x4s and 2x6s

Ana white outdoor furniture
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Easy to build, sturdy modern outdoor chairs for deck or patio - free plans step by step plans with diagrams by  

We love that these chairs are beautiful from the back and the front!  These chairs looks great with stacks of outdoor pillows.  

This is a free woodworking plan with step by step diagrams, shopping list and cut lists from

Also check out our matching loveseat plans.

Modern Outdoor Chair from 2x4s and 2x6s Plans


UPDATE: After seven years of being outdoors, these chairs still are strong, sturdy, and holding up great!  The finish has done well too, no chipping or peeling paint.  New photos are the same chairs, seven years after they were built.

Are you looking for beautiful and sturdy seating for your outdoor space?  Have you considered building your own?  You can save a ton of money and get exactly what you want!  

For about $20 a piece, I built these outdoor chairs!

We love they way they look.  We love the sturdiness.  We love how heavy they are - no one likes to chase outdoor furniture down in the wind.  And we love how easy they are to build!


Building the Modern Outdoor Chairs

These chairs were so simple and easy to build!!!  All just 2x4 and 2x6 lumber, right off the shelf!

Here's how I built it -


I cut all my boards according to the cut list below using a compound miter saw.  You could also use a circular saw and a square, or even have your local home improvement store cut your boards for you.  Good straight end cuts are very important.

building the modern outdoor chair


Then I attached the legs to the longer 2x6 boards, using 2-3/4” long deck screws.  Notice the spacer in between the slats – it’s a scrap 1x that measures ¾” thick.


Here’s how it will look with both legs.

arms for the modern outdoor chair


Then add the top armrest piece, and repeat for two arms (for one chair).

simple modern outdoor chair assembly


It’s ideal to have two people to assemble, but if you don’t, I used a board threaded between the slats to support my back boards while I attached.  This is the most challenging step of the entire build.

seat slats, unfinished simple modern outdoor chair


Once the arms are attached to the back and front pieces, two cleats are screwed to the insides of the arms, and seat slats rest on top.  TIP: For added comfort, consider installing the seat at a slight downward angle.

Turned out really well!


simple modern outdoor chair plans

Good luck, and if you build, do share pics (you can add a brag post or tag me on instagram @anawhitediy or #anawhite)  – can’t wait to see how your outdoor chairs turn out!

Plans follow, enjoy and share!

three steps to building your own simple modern outdoor chair


Loveseat Version

After many requests, we have created a loveseat plan version for your convenience.

loveseat version of modern outdoor chair

Reader submitted photo by Joshh81

Thank you for submitting brag posts, it is helpful and encouraging!

Here's Some Tips to Build Better Outdoor Furniture

Want to build better outdoor furniture?  Over the twenty years I've been building, maintaining, and enjoying my own outdoor furniture, I've learned a few tips that can help build longer lasting furniture.  

 5 QUICK Tips for Better Outdoor Furniture


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Modern Outdoor Chair from 2x4s and 2x6s

Outdoor Chair plans
Dimensions shown above


Shopping List

4 - 2x4 @ 8 feet long

4 - 2x6 @ 8 feet long

2-3/4" self tapping deck screws

25" x 25" seat cushion (if smaller cushion, adjust plans to fit)

Exterior Glue

BEHR PREMIUM(R) Semi-Transparent Waterproofing Stain & Sealer


I recommend pefinishing boards before cutting.

Cut List




4 - 2x4 @ 22-1/4" - Legs

6 - 2x6 @ 28-1/2" - Side Slats

2 - 2x4 @ 31-1/2" - Arm Rests

4 - 2x6 @ 25" - Front and Back Slats

2 - 2x4 @ 25" - Front Top Slat and Back Top

2 - 2x2 @ 25-1/2" - Inside Cleat

5 - 2x4 @ 25" - Seat Slats (can get away with just 4)

Cutting Instructions

This chair was designed to fit a 25" x 25" seat cushion.  If different sized cushions are used, adjust plans accordingly.

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Circular Saw
Power Sander


Step 1

Use 2- 2-3/4" or longer screws and exterior wood glue to attach legs to the longer 2x6 boards, with 3/4" spacing in between.  I used two screws per joint.

Step 2

Attach top with glue and 2-3/4" screws.

Step 3

Attach front and back slats to arms to create the frame of the chair.

Step 4

Attach back top piece with screws and glue.

Step 5

Step 6

Lay seat slats on cleats and screw down.

Finishing Instructions
Finish Used
I used BEHR premium outdoor finish



Wed, 07/12/2017 - 11:27

I love this plan.  Do you have a recommendation for where to find the cushion?


Tue, 02/20/2018 - 10:34

You can find them at home Depot or right now you can get them on the Ikea website.. They are white.



Tue, 02/20/2018 - 11:00

You can find them at home Depot or right now you can get them on the Ikea website.. They are white.



Thu, 07/13/2017 - 20:04

Please tell us where you found the cushions. Everyone I see are the folded type that won't work at all. 



Mon, 07/17/2017 - 21:16

Hi Ana, Love you projects. What color is that stain on the outdoor modern chair?


Sat, 09/16/2017 - 07:23

I find that screws don't hold well when out into the end grain. I drilled and installed 1" dowel into those areas and then sanded flush once screwed. Gives the screw a much better bite as it is grabbing a cross grain. Great plans!!


Mon, 01/08/2018 - 16:28

Excuse me, I'm from another country, and I do not understand well the measurements used in the tables, could you tell me if the thickness and height are expressed in inches? Thank you


Sun, 01/28/2018 - 10:07

Hi Ana,

Is the shopping list is for two chairs? Another question is can I just use a regular lumber or should I use treated lumber as we have snow every winter? 

Thank you and have a great day.


Sat, 07/07/2018 - 14:47

Where can one find four 2x6 and four 2X4 for $20? I can't even get four 2x6 for $20


Sat, 05/04/2019 - 09:49

I am planning on making these for my patio and wanted to ask you something. 

1. Based on my measurements the shopping list is only for one chair. It doesn't state about how many screws are needed per chair. I have only had luck finding a huge box of the 1/4 in. x 2-3/4 in. Steel Self-Tapping Timber Screws in a 600 count pail. Clearly, I do not need that many, so about how many do you think will be used PER chair?

2. Do you recommend just using an exterior wood glue or specifically what type do you feel is best?

3. Did you use cedar, pine, or redwood treated lumber? 

4. I am also interested in the plan for the small table in the photo.

Thanks for your help! Love projects and saving money!




Sun, 07/07/2019 - 09:36

I made these this week, just came back from buying the cushions and the back of the chair is way way too low to support the back of the cushions. I thouggt the pictures looked that way too but i hadnt seen anyone comment on it being an issue... is anyone else  dealing with this? Just spent so much time and money on these and they might be a waste :( 

Bryan G Price

Tue, 02/25/2020 - 05:33

Hello Ana,

First I want to say that I am so glad to have stumbled onto your site.  You've done an amazing job.

Also, I really like the detail of your plans. This project in particular is amazing.  I think I'll be building a number of these for the backyard firepit this summer.

Just lovely!




Sun, 03/29/2020 - 08:00

I made a couple of these chairs, but think I may have made a mistake of using pressure treated lumber (I bought PT bc of someone's suggestion since these will be outdoors) based on some reading I did after the fact.  For future outdoor furniture projects, what's the best type of wood to buy?  Thanks!

P.S.  The chairs did turn out great and we love them!  Very sturdy and comfortable.


Thu, 04/02/2020 - 12:03

Hi Ana,

Is there a way or a plan to use Kreg pocket holes so the exterior screws don't show?



Tue, 05/05/2020 - 10:38

Anyone know about how much these weigh? I was going to use them in the yard by a firepit, but didn't want anything too heavy as they have to be mowed under periodically.


Thu, 05/28/2020 - 00:19

As long as you’re measuring correctly and have your angles set correctly, you’ll be totally fine cutting with your mitre saw. If anything, it will probably be more accurate.


Wed, 05/27/2020 - 06:44

I’m so sorry if this is a stupid question! I’m in the UK so inches are like a foreign language to me (I love your plans Ana & have created a few pieces - just takes me longer as I always need to convert to cm & mm lol) Could I please check whether the shopping list is for 1 chair or for both?

Also, have any of you ever used a semi-transparent White stain that is suitable for sealing/protecting wood for outdoor use? I’d love an almost white washed look!