Asked on May 28, 2012

Need help on how to repair a plastic chair

Barbara H
by Barbara H
I have three of the plastic chairs from the 70's. The Texas heat has gotten to them. The slats are popping on some of them when you sit down. Any ideas on how to repair these? I have tried a plastic epoxy and it did fine at first and then would not hold, thought about jb weld? Any ideas would be great. Thanks.
  14 answers
  • Paul M Paul M on May 28, 2012
    You can repair that with epoxy like you did, or welding using a soldering iron and some plastic from something other than the chair you are repairing, however, over time plastic loses is elasticity and when subjected to stress (pressure, twisting, pulling) it will fail, or break as you have experienced. So even though you can repair it, unfortunately, it won't last, at least not with anything that I am aware of. So fix them and just don't sit in them anymore and they will be fine. <(^_^)>
  • Bobby Jean S Bobby Jean S on May 28, 2012
    I would cut a small piece of similar hard plastic for support, since weight will be applied after the repair is made, and use JB Quick (fast setting JB Weld) or epoxy to make the repair on the reverse side of the chair. Allow to dry at least 24 hours before using.
  • Sharron W Sharron W on May 29, 2012
    Have you tried the two part epoxy that when you mix it together and knead it, it ends up looking like bubble gum? then you can flatten it out with a small rolling pin and cut it to shape so that repairs from underneath are not visible. If something won't adhear, you may need to sand the area to be fixed lightly with a course sand paper and then wipe it with rubbing alcohol. You'll want the epoxy to dry at least overnight before giving it a try. Also, I think I'd consider not using these outside if you like them, you may want to give them more protection...they are after all quite old as far as plastic goes... Lastly...if you use something to "weave" in and out of the bottom like 3/4" ribbon it looks like you could get two rows in each of the chair rows...anywway it would help distribute the weight and not put all the weight on only the pressure points of the chair bottom....
  • My wife would tell me to lose weight, but that the answer to how to prevent this. Plastic as it ages become brittle. Combine with baking in sun it really does not stand much of a life. With dark colors your even shortening the life even more. Bobby Jean has the right idea to fix this, but you should expect more breaks as the plastic gets older. Using a seat cushion will spread the weight more and help against breaks, but I would start saving for a new set. You have got more then your monies worth out of that set.
  • Kelly F Kelly F on May 29, 2012
    I would try JB Weld- hardware store- a couple of bucks. It comes in black I think. The other thing you could do is put a piece of black plastic- underneath- pull the edges together and glue the new plastic to the existing using that e6000 glue. It would be worth a try I think - the glue is free and the plastic could come off of the bottom of a 2 liter pop bottle maybe?
  • Kathleen R Kathleen R on May 29, 2012
    Try melting each side of the crack, slightly, and sticking them back together before it hardens up again.
  • Charles R Charles R on May 30, 2012
    After you make the repairs, you might consider making (or having someone make) covers for the chairs to prolong the life. I really like your chairs. It is unfortunate that some of the things we really enjoy have to give way to the elements with age.
  • Sharron W Sharron W on May 30, 2012
    @Kathleen, that will make the plastic shrink back AND curl at the edges ultimately making it harder to repair and uncomforable to sit on...LOL @ Barbara H. You could also use plumbers tape on the bottom with the epoxy as reinforcement...It's fairly soft metal and lends itself to being "shaped"....if you did that AND Charles idea for having covers made it might extend their life for several years...
  • Charles R Charles R on Jun 03, 2012
    Just had another flashback about plastic and fixes. The door handle on my car broke in the extreme cold weather we had a couple of years ago. (Since then I've learned that most car parts - even the chrome ones - are plastic) Cost for a replacement plastic handle was $60+ plus changing it out. While I thought of ordering one from the dealer, I used some Gorilla glue (just a small dab) on the broken handle. 1 1/2 years later and the handle is still working fine. So - try some Gorilla glue. Cheap, easy, and it will only take a short time to find out if this will provide the fix you need. (Then get covers made for future protection from the elements)
  • Denise Denise on Aug 13, 2015
    Just off the top of my head.... i saw a post on here about using concrete to make a leaf fountain, by putting the leaf in the concrete and folding up on sides. Your chair might could be done that way, by laying it in the concrete, or "spackling" it on. Once plastic starts cracking and breaking, it will only continue to fall apart. Maybe this will work???
  • Opal Opal on Nov 21, 2015
    I think you are on the right track with the JB weld or like product. However experts say contact an expert, which for these chairs might be worth a consult because they are rather lovely and unique. All plastic deteriorates over time and heat is the primary contributor as well as solvent cleaners, so try to keep them under a covered area out of direct sunlight or move them indoors.
  • Irene Irene on May 08, 2016
    There is a whole line of paints in many colors that are made just for plastic, including outdoor paint for plastic lawn chairs. Gorilla glue should work fine for the repairs.
  • Will Will on Jun 06, 2017

    Gorilla Glue not recommended for plastic!

  • Rooster Cogburn Rooster Cogburn on Sep 07, 2018

    Q bond or similar glue powder product. You put a piece of tape underneath and add powder and glue in layers allowing it to build up and dry. It hardens in 5-10 seconds and gets hot so keep off your hands. Will be good as new and you can sand it to make it look perfect if you so desired