Remember when I said we had a front patio update, only to run into issues at the eleventh hour? (I mean, it’s DIY! Naturally.) Well over the holiday weekend, we were able to tie up the loose ends, and now we have a new, pretty porch swing to show for it! (As for the road block, we’ll be sharing those details and how we course corrected this week; if there’s a will, there’s a way!)

You all know we’ve been teaming up with Ace Hardware (thank you, Ace!), and most recently, they’ve added a new line of OPI nail colors to their Paint Studio! In a nutshell, together with Clark+Kensington, OPI has released 18 colors in 3 collections – The Wild Heart, The Romantic and The Artist. When Ace asked us to give one of these colors a go, Scott and I both landed on Nein! Nein! Nein! OK Fine! – part of The Romantic line – as the perfect contender for our swing project. The not-quite-black felt rich and fancy (ooh!), and we wanted something bold that could still be paired with colorful plants and pillows. To say we’re thrilled with the color and the exterior Clark+Kensington paint would be an understatement! Our OPI choice is hands down our new favorite black. It’s truly stunning!

For the swing itself, we used these plans from Ana White, but as we do, we made a few minor alterations to better fit our needs. While her plans are for a 6′ swing, we shortened ours to 5′ and did a step or two backwards (keep reading below!). Ana’s instructions are simple and effective, so we’ll simply share our supplies and cut list for a smaller swing. Don’t be alarmed by the hefty supply list – hanging the swing was the most complicated part of the project – but more on that later (!).

5 – 8′ 2x4s
6 – 6′ 1x6s

(1) 2 – 15′ pack of chain, 340 lb working load
(2) 4 – 1/4″ quick links, 880 lb working load
(3) 4 – 5/16″x4″ eye bolt w/ nut
(4) 8 – 5/15″x1.5″ fender washers
(5) 4 – 5/16″ coarse nylon lock nut
(6) 2 – 5/16″x4″ Screw hook lag thread
(7) 2 – 2.5″ S Hooks


Tape measure
Compound miter saw (for making cuts)
2.5″ wood screws
2″ finish nails
Countersink bit
Nail gun
Wood glue
Wood filler
Sandpaper / electric sander
Exterior paint / paint sprayer
Safety glasses

4 – 2×4 @ 21″ (support joists)
2 – 2×4 @ 60″ (front and back aprons)
4 – 2×4 @ 18.25″ (back supports)
2 – 2×4 @ 11.25″ (arm fronts)
2 – 2×5 @ 25.5″ (arm rests)
6 – 1×6 @ 60″ (back and seat slats)

Before diving in, we got started by going through our cut list and having all the lengths ready to go. As I mentioned above, Ana’s instructions are so easy to follow, and once we had our seat frame built, the rest of the steps tumbled into place effortlessly. Normally we’d be proponents of using our Kreg jig and creating pocket holes for the support joists, however, we nixed that and just used wood glue and 2.5″ screws from the outside. (Honestly? It was because we didn’t have shorter screws on hand for the pocket holes!) Whenever we used a screw, we prepped it with our countersink bit so we could hide them later.


With our seat frame built, we moved on to the back supports using a good dose of wood glue and 2 screws in each 2×4.


This is the point where the tutorial suggests moving on to the arm rests, however, we opted to install the top slat for the back first, as this would allow us to build the arm rest and have it rest snug against said slat. If we were to do it the other way around, we feared that we could be ever-so-slightly off, meaning that the top slat would need to sit lower (and allowing the back support to be exposed at the top) or the arm rest wouldn’t be high enough.


With the arm rests in place, we used our nail gun to secure all of the 1×6 surface slats, starting with the second back slat and then moving to the seat. A dab of wood glue along the seat and back supports were applied – you know, for good measure.


Because we used a countersink bit for all of the screws, we were able to easily cover them up with wood filler and a good sanding. Since this is an outdoor swing, we didn’t go overboard sanding every square inch, rather, we worked on any rough areas or frayed edges. In total, I think we sanded for all of 20 minutes.


We’ve used Clark+Kensington in the past, but we’d yet to try their exterior line – and color us impressed! We went with the satin sheen, which worked really well with our color, Nein! Nein! Nein! OK Fine! (We had to pick the longest paint name, right? But isn’t that the fun in choosing your nail colors, too?) We also opted to use our spray gun since there are so many edges and hard to reach gaps, saving us time and a lot of energy. All said and done, the sprayer barely used a half gallon – it covered beautifully!


The chain attaches to the swing using every item in the swing chain list above, with the exception of the screw hook lag threads, which are for a stud in the ceiling:



The tutorial for our style of swing creates a really low back, which is ideal for layering on pillows. Without pillows, depending on your size or height, it will hit you mid-back. However, we like that we can sling our arms across the top, and the extra deep seat is perfect for laying down and stretching out (which I’ve been happily testing out daily!). Side note: You might notice that our patio floor has a new color! We were on a roll this weekend – literally, ha! Details on that later as well!


If you’ve skimmed this whole post and became distracted at every photo of our CC girl (believe us, we understand), read this: We went into our swing project somewhat blindly, assuming that installation would be straight forward. It was not. Before starting a thing, we absolutely encourage you to check the support beams that’ll be holding your swing and have a plan. I mean, this is so obvious, right? We made a lot of assumptions beforehand, and this little disclaimer comes from our own error in not doing so ourselves. (I suppose we were just really excited to get going!) But! The good news is that we found a solution! Scott will share that with you this week (for anyone else who might be thinking, well, bummer! I don’t have a plan!), so until then…

… How about a giveaway?  To celebrate the launch of the OPI color palette , we’ll be giving away a $100 Ace Hardware gift card to one lucky reader! The giveaway runs through this Friday, July 11th at 5pm CST, and the winner will be announced within this post by Friday evening. Simply enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. Good luck and happy entering!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


We’re excited to be collaborating with Ace Hardware as a part of their Ace Blogger Panel! Ace has provided us with compensation and the materials necessary to complete this project (hey, thanks, Ace!), and all opinions are our own. CC is an added bonus.

38 replies on “DIY Porch Swing”

  1. I recently found your blog and I love if! How much do you think you guys spent on materials? My porch could really use something like this!

    1. For our 5′ swing, you could expect somewhere between $60-70, but with paint, it would be around $100. Not bad for a beautiful piece of furniture! We already had all the tools and nails/screws, so you might want to factor that in as well.

      1. Oh my gosh, NONE of this post made sense until I read this comment!! I was thinking “why in the world would you buy specially tinted nails for your project… can’t you just paint over the nails?”.

        My head was so firmly in DIY Land that even if you had said “nail polish” I still probably would have been scratching my head wondering what it meant to polish a nail!

  2. Thanks for sharing this project. I love the look of this bench and I think I want to add legs and make it a free standing bench vs a hanging swing.

    1. During our installation turmoil, we did actually consider adding 4x4s for legs – so that’s definitely an option! In the end, we held on and pushed through. We’ll share what happened and how we fixed it this week!

  3. I have to admit I got a little distracted by the cute model : ) I think my dogs would be afraid to jump up on a swing!

  4. I just tried Clark+Kensington for the first time today. I bought it two weeks ago, Calypso Beat, this gorgeous berry, magenta-ish color (I hate pink) and started painting a MCM piece of furniture this morning before work because I couldn’t wait any longer. It is…drop dead gorgeous. I cannot wait to get home and slather on another coat.

    Love the swing! It looks navy to me, but it could be the light. Either way, it’s gorgeous.

    1. Ooh, I bet that is pretty!

      Yup, it does have a blue tint in the light, sometimes even leaning slightly green! It’s such a rich color. We loved that, since it will go nicely with our front door once we get that painted.

  5. Love the swing. I think I would use that color on the wooden chair in our backyard.

  6. Love how the swing turned out. I would make one in a heartbeat if I had something to hang it on. I don’t think our lanai would support it…..however we have a huge oak tree out in the front yard…maybe it would look awesome there. Thank you for the directions with pictures, it always helps so much since I’m a visual person.

  7. Nice work guys! This looks awesome and has me scheming a reason to come back to Chicago and give it a try!

    The color looks great! Have you seen the commercials for the OPI colors??? They crack me up. They almost sound fake, like something out of Zoolander. “Now you can have your nail color ON YOUR WALLS!!!”

  8. Boyfriend built for me saturday.. turned out great. Love it.

  9. Hi there. Just wondering about how much time did the swing take for you to make?

  10. For the hanging, it looks like you used a shorter chain up top with an S-hook at the end and linked the 15′ chain to the s-hook in the center with even sides coming down, is that correct? Do you think you could just skip the smaller chain and s-hook up top and connect the chains center directly to the screw hook lag thread? Is there a structural or safety reason for doing what you did?

    1. Hi, Sandy! Yes, I think you could skip it. We looked at a bunch of porch swings online, and we thought the S-hook was a nice little design detail, so we opted for that.

  11. Hi, just found the swing blog…:) Will you please explain the problems you had with hanging it and ways we can make it easier? or what we should be looking for? Thanks so much. :)

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