Driving home one day I spotted two dining chairs out by someone’s curb, ready for the trash. I wanted to stop and get them, but I kept driving because I felt really dumb dumpster diving on my own street. I mean, what if the neighbors saw me? Embarrassing… Well, I got home and I couldn’t stop thinking about all the awesome projects I could do with them so I got back in the SUV and drove back to the house. I didn’t stop though. I drove past two more times before I worked up the courage to jump out and grab them with my ninja-like skills. I think the car was parked less than 20 seconds.
I was so happy to have them in my garage! However, this is where the love story ends (or takes a hiatus). The chairs were broken and needed some repair and I had several other projects going on at the time, so they were pushed to the side for almost two months.
Finally, after completing the patio chairs and cushions last week, I decided these two broken, three-legged chairs would be perfect as a garden bench…and so the dumpster dive garden bench made from chairs was born!
First, I needed to fix the broken legs. Easier said than done because they were torn from the frame and the wood was splitting. I made several trips to the hardware store and after a couple failures and more damage to the wood, I decided that I was just going to find the easiest (and not necessarily the prettiest) way to attach these legs. At one point, I even looked for replacement legs and nothing matched or looked right, plus I didn’t want to spend $15 per leg on my broken chairs. End result: I bolted those suckers on and smeared a pile of wood putty in the cracks and called it a day. In my frustration I knew I was going to paint over them so the “ugly” would show too much.
On to sanding…my favorite! Not really, but these chairs weren’t too bad. I wanted to take the sheen off so the paint would stick. I used my mouse sander for as much as I could and then hand sanded all the little crevices. Once that was done, I was out in the back yard for more spray painting.
I set up my tarp and the chairs upside down so I could get all the awkward angles on the bottom first. I chose Rustoleum American Accents formula in Lagoon. I love this color. It is highly saturated and I knew it would look great next to my bright patio cushions.
Once the chairs were painted I grabbed some plywood out of my scrap wood pile and used the old chair bottom as a template for the two-seater bench bottom. I traced the chair bottom on the plywood and then moved it over to make a 36″ wide bench. Then I used a straight edge to connect the two seats. Last, I used my jigsaw to cut out the shape of the seat.
After I had it all cut out I gave it a quick once-over with the sander and 120 grit paper.
I stained the bottom and top of the seat in my favorite Rustoleum stain shade of Kona. After the stain dried for 12 hours I attached the seat to the chairs using the same screws that held on the previous chair bottoms.
Last, I coated the seat bottom with Minwax Helmsman Spar Urethane for extra protection from the elements. Two coats were all it took to make the seat bottom highly durable.
Here is my finished bench made from two throw away chairs! I love it. 🙂