• Hometalker
  • West Palm Beach, FL


17 Materials
9 Hours

This Modern 2 by 4 Chair is an attractive seating solution that offers a tasteful accent to any room. It has an angled seat for comfort and can be used with or without cushions. The seat is suspended by two bolts on each side. The arms were painted with an interior-exterior white paint and the seat was stained with a warm hickory finish. As always, you can choose a finish that best suits your taste. This

diy modern 2 by 4 chair

Step 1: Prepping the Side Arm

Start with the 2 by 4 pieces of lumber that are cut to 30 inches for the top & bottom. Then, notch out a section (aka rabbit) at both ends of the 2 by 4 as shown in the photos. The section should be approx. 1/4” deep. This is only done for the top and bottom of the arm, repeat this step 3 more times.

Next, pre-drill two holes on the back side of the notched out section. Do this for both ends.

diy modern 2 by 4 chair

Step 2: Assembling the Arms

Locate the lumber for the front and back of the chair arm. Apply wood glue then clamp and screw the 2 by 4 together as shown. 2.5in to 3in exterior rated screws will work just fine. Set the arms to the side and head to the next step.

diy modern 2 by 4 chair

Step 3: Constructing the Seat

Then, rip a 2 by 4 in half that will fit in the seat framing. These will be used to support the seat bottom (the middle support). Now, install the ripped 2 by 4 by gluing and screwing them on. At this point do not secure the middle support.

(2) Front & Back = 27 inches

(2) Sides = 22 1/8 inches

(5) Middle Support =22 1/8 inches

diy modern 2 by 4 chair

Step 4: Drilling the Pass-Through Bolt

Locate the front of the seat frame built in Step 3. The front should be measured at 27 inches.

Use a scrap piece of 2 by 4 to gauge where the chair arm will sit. Then, draw out a reference line, see photos for example.

Find the center within the reference line and drill a 1/4 inch hole.

Next, drill a 1/4 inch hole in the arm 15 inches from the ground. It’s important to keep the hole as straight as possible. This way the bolts slide through easily and the chair sits level.

diy modern 2 by 4 chair

Step 5: Attaching the Seat to the Legs

Insert the bolts and add the nuts, tighten it by hand for now. The bolts will be tightened in a later step. Next, cut a scrap piece of wood at 10in. in length, then place this at the very back of the chair. Now, right where the chair arm and the back cross paths, drill a 1/4in hole in the center through both parts. Do this for both sides, then install the nuts and bolts and tighten them by hand.

There is an additional piece of wood that sits under the armrest. Since the chair is at an angle you will need to transfer that angle to this piece of wood. This piece of wood holds the seat bottom to the back. It’s supported with (4) 3-inch screws.

diy modern 2 by 4 chair

Step 6: Adding Top to the Back Rest

I used a biscuit joiner because I didn’t want to see screws here. You can use screws and plug the holes or just leave them visible if you prefer

diy modern 2 by 4 chair

Step 7: Installing the Seat Support

Pre-drill the 5 middle supports. One screw on each end should be fine along with wood glue.

Place them in the frame and use scrap wood to space them evenly.

diy modern 2 by 4 chair

Step 8: Completing the Chair Back

Now clamp, pre-drill and screw the back together.

diy modern 2 by 4 chair

Step 9: Prep Work

Remove the two arms and give it a good sand to clean up the rough surface.

diy modern 2 by 4 chair

Step 10: Applying Stain

1. I applied pre-stain conditioner per the instruction.

2. Apply stain with a brush

3. Remove stain with a rag Minwax Gel Stain ” Hickory”

4. Apply protection

5. Painted the two Legs with high gloss paint.

diy modern 2 by 4 chair

Step 11: Final Touch

After all the finish dried. It’s time to assemble by adding the both arms.

Just inset the 4 bolts, 4 washer, 4 lock washer and 4 nuts.

diy modern 2 by 4 chair

Finish Product

If you are looking for some inspiration on a budget this chair is a great option. When I made this I needed some seating on my covered patio. I didn’t use treated lumber due to the aesthetics. I find it hard to get the desired result when using pressure treated lumber. If you want to place this out in the elements and have direct contact with the ground, then treated lumber is the way to go.

diy modern 2 by 4 chair

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