Refurbishing Patio Chairs

3 Materials
12 Hours

All of us have had possessions that get worn out: clothes, linens, furniture, etc. The elements such as water, heat, and sunlight accelerate the demise of most things. That is what happened to our outdoor dining chairs.

Probably eight years ago we purchase some Allen+Roth chairs to use on our back patio. They were stylish, sturdy, and comfortable. They had slipcovers that could be machine washed and metal legs to look like wood. Perfect!

Then about two years ago we noticed that the seats were giving way. The foam seemed to be breaking down.

Because I hate paying the money for new since I feel like most things can be repaired, I decided that trying to re-stuff the chairs was worth it. Plus, they were still really sturdy and nice looking.

I admit, that what I found in the process of doing this was a bit of surprise, it was still a very doable project, just a bit more labor intensive. If you have these chairs, as thousands do, here is how you can make yours like new.


Pressure treated plywood

Self-drilling screws

High density upholstery foam


  • Unscrew the metal leg frame from the seat.
  • Carefully peel back the upholstery and lining to reveal the foam seat.
  • Remove all foam. This is a bit tedious but necessary.
  • Once you get down to the straps, take those out as well leaving just a metal frame.
  • Trace the metal seat frame onto the plywood and cut out with a jigsaw.
  • Sand off the sharp edges.

  • Use the new wood seat to trace onto the foam.
  • To make the seat less boxy and more round, it will take several steps.
  • If your foam is 3" thick, draw a line about 1.5" from the table, all the way around. Then make another marking on the top of the foam about 1.5" in from the edge.
  • Cut foam with an electric meat knife, lining up the blade on the two lines, resulting in a 45 degree cut. If you watch this video, from a previous project this will become much clearer and you will learn some more tips.
  • After the first bevel is made, repeat the process with smaller dimensions as seen in the top right image.
  • To help keep the foam from shifting around on the wooden seat, use some spray adhesive.
  • Replace the lining over the foam.
  • Secure it with self-drilling screws.
  • Replace the upholstery.
  • Reattach the metal legs.

There you have it. Dining chairs, almost as good as new for the cost of some foam and plywood! Not bad! If you have any questions, reach out.

If you want to make one of these cute throw pillows, check out this blog.

Resources for this project:
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Chics With Tools by Kerith House
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
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  1 question
  • Nora Nora on May 06, 2021

    Bravo! You kept your old chairs out of the landfill too!! They look great!

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2 of 4 comments
  • P P on May 07, 2022

    not only use pressure treated plywood for seats, paint or waterproof the underside of the plywood where it is exposed - moisture and damp will rot our the plywood from below

  • Mary Coakley Mary Coakley on May 07, 2022

    Nice work