Country living, DIY, & a Dash of Fun!

Recycle Old Patio Swing Chair Into New Wooden One


Does this look familiar?
I see them everywhere…old ripped-up patio swing chairs sitting in people’s yards.  These swings still have a good frame, but the fabric is all rotted away and the swing can’t be used anymore.  Most people keep them around for a while with the assumption that SOMEDAY they will order a new fabric cover for the swing…but then it’s forgotten and eventually the whole frame is thrown away.

I had two of my own rotted-out swing chairs just laying around waiting to be disposed of until one day I decided to fix em up myself!  A wooden swing looks just as good (if not better) and lasts a lot longer than a fabric one does!

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  • Self tapping screws (I used 1 1/2 in long screws but since the metal piping on these frames vary in size, you may want to measure what length you’ll need to screw through wood into frame)
  • 2x4s (I used ten 5ft 3in 2x4s but each swing chair will vary)
  • High quality outdoor spray paint
  • Stain or paint for wood


  • Chop Saw
  • Hand Drill w/drill bits
  • Sander

Remove any old fabric

Spray paint the frame

Measure and cut 2x4s

Sand edges of 2x4s and then paint or stain

Space 2x4s out on bench

Drill tiny pilot holes where your screws will be, making sure to drill through the wood and into the metal tubing.

Click HERE to learn how to do a pilot hole.

Now drill countersink holes about halfway into the wood, so that when the self tapping screws are drilled in, the top of the screw will sit below the surface of the wood and penetrate the metal tubing.

Click HERE to learn how to countersink.

These are self tapping screws.  Drill your self tapping screws into the wood where you drilled the pilot and countersink holes.

As you can see, the screws are all countersunk into the wood and penetrating into the metal tubing.


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  1. Thanks for the swing rebuild

    • Tee

      No problem Kirk! I hope you enjoy your old ‘new’ swing as much as I love mine! 😉

  2. What do you use for the middle of the swing for the seat to support the weight of people? A Metal brace? I don’t see any mention of it.

    • Tee

      If you use 2x3s or 2x4s the wood is thick enough to support the weight without a brace…if you use anything thinner like a 1×4, the wood will bend and won’t support the weight very well.

  3. Julia

    Love your idea and have a “patient” waiting for this treatment outside.
    Slightly confused though: You used 2x4s and 1 1/2 in long screws . And these screws were long enough to go through the wood and into the metal pipe? How deep are the countersink holes?

    • Tee

      Hi Julia! The countersink holes are pretty deep, they go about halfway down into the wood. Happy building! 😉

  4. Stephen Bliley

    I thought to do this yesterday. Would there be more support of I laid the 2×4’s front to back instead of left to right? Would it weaken the metal frame?

    • Tee

      Hi Stephen! Unless you use anything thinner, I have found that the 2x4s are really sturdy and don’t really need any bracing. If you are still concerned, I don’t see why it would be a problem to lay the 2x4s front to back. You would have to do a lot more cutting and screwing, but it would give it a different look and be just as cute! If you decide to do this I’d love to see a pic 😉

      • Stephen Bliley

        I decided to use steel angle iron to cross brace front to back. I’m using four of those and then going to lay premium deck boards down. The boards are thinner and already rounded at the edge. I’ll post a picture when I’m done. It was good too see that someone had also thought of this, since I was looking for a picture of a completed one.

  5. Stephen Bliley

    I want to share my pictures with you. I finished mine. Just waiting for the boards to dry and then stain it.

  6. I have a swing that lays down flat that the cushions rotted away . I always wanted to fix it with would . I just never knew how to and your instructions are going to help me so much . Thank you.

    • Tee

      I’m so glad you were able to find my post helpful Rhonda! 🙂

  7. kevin

    Can we use 2* 6 instead of 2*4 , Or that 2*4 are better ?

    • Tee

      Hi Kevin!
      2x6s should work just as well!

      • kevin

        did you use regular 2*4 or the pressure treated ones ?

        • Tee

          Hi Kevin!

          I just used regular ones 🙂

  8. Aimee

    Finished ours! It looks awesome! Thanks for the idea!

    • Tee

      Awesome Aimee!!! I’m sure it looks fantastic!

  9. Xiomara

    What you used in your wood to color it

    • Tee

      I used red wood stain for the wood 🙂

  10. Roger

    Thanks. I was hoping to find someone who tried this. I thought this would work was wasn’t sure how to make it happen. Any ideas for the sun shade?

    • Tee

      You know I’ve thought about adding a sun shade but just never did it…as long as there is a shade structure above the swing chair (some don’t have this), I’m sure it would be just as easy to lay and screw in some 1x4s onto the top…

  11. Kim

    I have an old swing frame that I just couldn’t throw out in hopes I would figure out some way of making a new seat for it. Saw your post a while back and “WOW!”
    Perfect!! I dug out my swing frame, cut off the ripped canvas, gathered my boards and I’m ready to go!!!! Thank you so much for posting this!!!! Can’t wait to get men finished!!!


    • Tee

      Awesome Kim!!! Your swing is going to look great with a new wood makeover!

  12. Cindy

    Your swing looks great and we are going to try out your method. I was wondering if your screws go all the way through the metal pipe or just the top layer. I have seen some that use a bolt that goes through with a nut on the back. I would like to avoid this if it will work without going all the way through.

    • Tee

      Hi Cindy!
      I wanted a clean without having to worry about nuts and bolts, so I purchased self tapping screws that only went through the top layer. Hope that helps!

  13. Nicole

    Is there a center support

    • Tee

      Hi Nicole!
      The metal frame on the chair had center supports so I didn’t need to add any.

  14. Yvonne

    We have two swings but they have fancy curly que under arm bar. Has anyone got suggestion on how we get the boards screwed in with these in the way. They are welded from frame to arm rest with spot welds. They look nice would like to keep but how do we fit in boards and screw them?

    • Tee

      Hi Yvonne,
      Post a pic so we can see it 🙂

  15. Linda Coyer

    I currently have two swings that were used in my pool area. I’m moving into an apartment and have offered the larger swing to my neighbor, so she will refurbish it for her yard; with the assistance of your web site. I’m taking the smaller one with me to use on my patio area at my new location. Thank you for showing us how to make this happen and make two friends very happy.

    • Tee

      Hi Linda,

      I’m so happy you and your friend found my post helpful! It’s such a shame to waist the whole swing when the frame is still good…enjoy your new swings!

  16. Sierra Juhl

    Do you think that using a 2×4 in the center from front to back screwed into the metal frame under the swing seat would work as a support? Just worried over time the wood will bend and warp with no support in the middle at all.

    • Tee

      Hi Sierra,

      Sure, I don’t see why not! You could even just make all of your planks go front to back and not worry about doing a brace if you wanted. The planks would definitely be a lot shorter and stronger going this way 🙂

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