Before & After: DIY Craigslist Outdoor Chairs

I’m all about saving a buck. If I can do a quick Craigslist search and find something on the cheap that just needs a little TLC and upcycling, I’ll totally pick it up and make a project out of it. So when I found these 4 beautiful(ish) outdoor chairs for sale right down the street from me, I just had to have them.

Chair DIY project for outdoor patio

Craigslist Chairs: Before & After

There I was, on the search for some durable outdoor chairs to put around our new sunken fire pit. I had hunted high and low on sites like Lowes, Wayfair, and Home Depot when I was considering investing in some authentic Adirondack chairs. I was thinking wood as a material for whatever chairs I chose because not only would they last longer, but I feared that if I got some sort of plastic it would melt or warp being that close to the bonfire. At upwards of $150 per chair I opted to pass and instead took to Craigslist where I found 4 weathered, wooden patio chairs that could use some sprucing up. At $10 a piece I couldn’t pass it up!

After cramming 3 chairs into my SUV and then calling my husband in a panic to pick up the 4th one that wouldn’t fit, I directed my attention to refinishing them. I didn’t want to put a lot of money and effort into it since that would defeat the purpose of my CL find, so I resorted to Amazon to shop for some stain and polyurethane, and a cheapo $5 paintbrush. I originally wanted to get stain + poly 2 in one to save me a step, but after reading the description I quickly realized this option was for interior use only. After some online research, I got a can of regular wood stain and purchased an aerosol can of exterior polyurethane separately.

The finished product a total investment of $57! Perfect for entertaining.

The finished product: a total investment of $61! Perfect for entertaining.

I did not even bother sanding! I picked out a color I knew was dark enough to cover the remnants of the existing stain and just went with it. I applied one coat of stain to each chair. I would stain each chair in sections and, per the instructions, I would allow the stain to absorb then periodically would wipe off with cloth rags approximately every 2-3 minutes. Once completed, I allowed about a full hour for the chairs to dry and then sprayed each chair with the poly. I sprayed 2 coats of poly per chair allowing a 30 minute dry time between each application.

Related: Home Decor on a Budget

Chairs like these would be perfect for any apartment patio or balcony! However, I would avoid doing a project such as this one INSIDE your apartment. You would definitely have to invest in plenty of drop-cloths or tarps if you wanted to attempt staining outdoor furniture on your balcony or patio, but your best bet is to do this project outside on an open lawn if you happen to have one accessible to you.

Have any lawn furniture DIY projects of your own? Tell us about yours in the comments below.

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Kristen Reynolds

Kristen Reynolds

Kristen is a digital marketer and enjoys coffee, dogs, and writing in her free time. Follow @kreynoldsmedia on Twitter for more.

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