2x4 Adirondack Chair Plans

Submitted by Ana White on Wed, 05/22/2019 - 11:33
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Easy to build adirondack chair. We made the base stronger with all 2x4 framing.  This Adirondack chair is a reader favorite and has been built thousands of times.

We also have a modern version here.

This plan includes a footstool.  You can also build a matching coffee table and a matching side table.  Check out all our outdoor furniture plans here.

yellow adirondack chair with footstool

My Favorite Adirondack Chair Plans

Of all the Adirondack chairs I've built, this one is my favorite.

Because we use 2x4s for the legs (and add the back leg) this decreases the overall cost, but increases the strength and durability.  This also makes the chairs easier to build.

But we don't sacrifice comfort - with the deep recline and optional footstool plans, these chairs won't disappoint.

ana white adirondack chair with side tables

Optional Footstool Plans

I have also created a matching footstool plan (see below) that works with this Adirondack chair.

adirondack chair with footstool with ana white sitting in it

More About Outdoor Wood Finishing

Outdoor furniture should be finished more like a deck than a dining table.  It's not complicated, but knowing just a few tips can make your furniture last much longer.  I share all my hard earned outdoor wood finishing secrets in this post.

dimensions diagram of Adirondack chair
Dimensions are shown above


Shopping List
  • 3 – 2×4 @ 8 feet long
  • 1 – 2×2 @ 6 feet long
  • 4 – 1×4 @ 8 feet long
  • (30) 2 1/2” self tapping wood screws
  • (60) 2” self tapping wood screws
  • (20) 1 1/4” wood screws
  • exterior appropriate wood glue
Cut List

2 - 2x4 @ 20 3/4” long with BOTH ends cut PARALLEL at 15 degrees off square, long point to short point measurement (back legs)
2 - 2x4 @ 20” (front legs)
2 - 2x2 @ 26 1/2” long, longest point measurement, ONE end cut at 15 degrees off square (arm support)
2 - 2x4 @ 31 7/8” long, ONE end cut at 35 degrees off square to longest point, OTHER END cut at 20 degrees off square to shortest point - see step 1 (stringers)
2 - 2x4 @ 22 1/2” (front apron and back support)
5 - 1x4 @ 22 1/2” (seat slats)
5 - 1x4 @ 36” (back slats)
1 - 1x4 @ 19 1/2” (back top support)
1 - 2x4 @ 19 1/2” (back base support)
2 - 1x4 @ 27” (arm rests)

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Miter Saw
Power Sander


Step 1

From stretcher board, cut off top portion by marking with a square and cutting off with a jigsaw.  Do this on both stretcher boards.

Step 2

Attach one back leg and one front leg to a arm support with 2 1/2” exterior screws.  Keep the top and outside edges flush.  

Step 3

Mark front leg on inside with arm support on outside, as shown in diagram.  Leave 1 1/2” space in front of stretcher.  Attach stretcher to front and back legs with 2 1/2” exterior screws and glue.

Step 4

Build opposite side of chair in mirror, with arm supports to outside and stretcher to inside.  Make sure the two match up.

Step 5

Front Apron is attached to fronts of stretcher and from outside of chair for additional support.

Step 6

Begin at the front of the chair and attach seat slats to stretcher with 2” screws and glue.  Leave a 1/2” gap between seat slats.

Step 7

Attach back support to back legs with 2 1/2” exterior screws, matching up measurements in diagrams.

Step 8

Build back by attaching all back boards to seat back base support, leaving approximately 1/2” gap in between.  Then attach at top with 1 1/4” screws.  Cut arch shape on back top using a large round object to guide you.

Step 9

Place back inside chair and secure in place with 2 1/2” exterior screws.  Also screw back to back support with 2” exterior screws.

Step 10

Secure armrests to arm supports and tops of legs with screws and glue.

Step 11

Optional Adirondack Footstool Plans

Adding a footstool to your adirondack chair will increase the comfort!  We've included the plans below that match this adirondack plan.



1 - 2x4 @ 8 feet long or stud length

1 - 1x4 @ 12 feet long

2” and 2 1/2” exterior screws



2 - 2x4 @ 23 1/2” long with both ends cut at 30 degrees off square, parallel to each other, long point to short point measurement (stringers)

5 - 1x4 @ 22 1/2” (top boards)

2 - 2x4 @ 13 3/4” long with one end cut at 30 degrees off square, longest point measurement (legs)

Step 12

Cut the adirondack foot stool stringers with a compound miter saw first.  Then use a square to mark the cut off and cut with jigsaw or circular saw.

Step 13

Use 2" screws and glue to attach the deck boards on top of the stringers.

Step 14

Attach legs with 2-1/2" screws to insides of the stringers to complete the footstool.

Finishing Instructions
Preparation Instructions
Fill all holes with wood filler and let dry. Apply additional coats of wood filler as needed. When wood filler is completely dry, sand the project in the direction of the wood grain with 120 grit sandpaper. Vacuum sanded project to remove sanding residue. Remove all sanding residue on work surfaces as well. Wipe project clean with damp cloth.

It is always recommended to apply a test coat on a hidden area or scrap piece to ensure color evenness and adhesion. Use primer or wood conditioner as needed.
Help Improve This Plan

We apologize if there was an error in this plan. Please help us out and report any errors here.



Wed, 04/22/2020 - 09:03

What type of wood do you recommend for this and other exterior wood projects. Look for a high quality look. Thanks


Mon, 05/25/2020 - 19:08

Love the plans. Very easy to follow. I am ready to stain them. Prior to doing so I have sealed the bottom of the legs with epoxy to keep moisture from penetrating from underneath.


Sun, 06/07/2020 - 11:54

This is a great, easy to follow plan. I made 5 of these chairs, and painted them vivid colors. My friends and neighbors love them. I used a Kreg jig to hide almost all fo the screws, for an even cleaner overall look.

My only recommendation is to reverse steps 6 and 7. Fastening that back support in first will help ensure you maintain the right distance between sides at the rear of the chair as you assemble the seat boards. This is a lesson learned through experience... I came up 1/2 inch short on 1, and couldn't set the back in place. It wasn't a huge deal to correct, but still... something better avoided.


Mon, 07/27/2020 - 04:29

These chairs are relatively simple to make - this is only my second time trying to make furniture, so this was a great tutorial to follow. I did find the video to be a helpful complement to this to figure out which side the screws should go on, etc. Like a lot of the comments, the stringer board was probably the most difficult to figure out. I was initially worried that they'd be a little on the smaller side, but was super happy to find that the size is perfect! I decided to paint mine black, and WOW do they look good. My husband told me they look like they'd cost $300 a piece from Restoration Hardware... now THAT'S a complement! I think it ended up costing right around $30-35 per chair in lumber, then a bit more if you factor in the wood screws, wood filler and paint. Time spent to build and prep for painting (so filling with wood filler and a final sanding) was closer to 6 hours per chair, then painting was about 2 hours per chair. I may be a little on the slower side (I tend to measure exactly where the pilot holes will go so everything looks consistent and symmetrical), but this is not a quick afternoon project (especially if you build six!!), but absolutely worth it!