Caring for Cedar Adirondack chairs - unstained

Our handmade Adirondack chairs and outdoor furniture are made with clear western red cedar and thus can be left unstained without losing its strength or longevity. Western red cedar has been specifically chosen for our products because it holds up so well outdoors even in the harshest weather conditions.

Wood grain: Over a long period of time if these cedar Adirondack chairs are left unstained the wood will begin to be effected by the various changing weather conditions out there - as the wood gets weathered sometimes the grain begins to lift up - to keep the Adirondack chair wood smooth simply sand it as needed. Or you can leave the wood as is, if you prefer the more rustic aged or grey antique furniture look.

Wood color: If you leave your Adirondack chairs unstained, eventually the cedar will fade to a soft silver color (the grey/silver color of drift wood).

If you do not want these Adirondack chairs to turn grey but want to maintain the naturalcolor of the cedar you will have to put a finish on it that has a high UV protection rating since it is the sun that fades the cedar to silver. Please note that all finishes will change the color of the cedar to some degree (usually giving it a more golden appearance for clearer finishes).

When it comes to finishes for your Adirondack chairs you have a few options; Leave it unstained to weather to silver grey or apply one of the following:

    • Stain
    • Paint
    • Water sealer
    • Lacquer
    • Marine Varnish
    • Wax
    • Linseed Oil

Just keep in mind that not all finishes are created equal - some really don't hold up well in outdoor weather, others are not well suited to cedar Adirondack chairs. Be sure to see our other articles lower on this page talking about these different options.

Painting or staining options

STAINING ADIRONDACK CHAIRS

Stains are the best way to go if you want easy to care for your Adirondack chairs and allwood patio furniture. The average stain can last anywhere from 1 to 7 years depending on the quality of the stain used, the number of coats applied, and the type of application. The big advantage to stain is that unlike paint, stain will not peel or bubble and gradually fades away over time. Thus it is simple to keep it looking new from one year to the next by applying a single fresh coat each spring or re-staining fully every 4 to 5 years as needed.

An additional coat of stain each spring takes only a few minutes of effort compared to the hours of labor that painting requires (sanding, priming, and painting). For our cedar Adirondack chairs we recommend using Cetol 1 by Sikkens for the longest lasting finish but there are other good stains on the market today that have high UV protection ratings that can give you a wonderful finish if applied well.

Here are the basic instructions for staining your Adirondack chairs, just keep in mind that these are general rules only, they may not apply to the specific brand of stain you buy. Always read the labels and follow the paint manufacturer’s instructions for the best finish.

  1. Partially disassemble your Adirondack chairs. You don't have to take the back slats or seat slats off - you simply want to have each piece accessible for staining as it is near to impossible to stain up and under the chairs while they are fully assembled without making a huge mess. Staining before you assemble your Adirondack chair is recommended.
  2. Make sure all pieces of your Adirondack chair are all clean and dust free (if there are any scratches, lightly sand them smooth then clean off all dust before staining).
  3. You can apply the stain by brush, sprayer, sponge or cloth - just keep in mind that sprayers will create over spray which on a windy day could end up staining your neighbor’s house/car/ dog/etc.
  4. If using a brush apply a liberal coat of stain, then check for drips making sure they are wiped away before they dry. Do only one section at a time to assure consistency and a no drip finish.
  5. Once completely dry sand lightly (with extra fine sandpaper; such as 320 grit) Then vacuum any residual dust and it would be recommended to use a (tack cloth) to remove any small particles of dust. Then apply a thin second coat. (Again don't forget to check for drips since they detract from the beauty of a finished product.)

You can leave it with 2 coats or add a 3rd and 4th depending on how heavy a finish you want on your Adirondack chairs. The sanding between coats is what allows the stain to adhere to the wood, but it also provides an exceptionally smooth surface which creates a nice shine if you apply enough coats. If you have any questions or need additional assistance please don't hesitate to call us toll free at the best Adirondack chair 1-800-418-1433. Don't forget to email us your pictures! We love sharing photos of our happy customers enjoying their Adirondack chairs, swings and patio furniture.

PAINTING ADIRONDACK CHAIRS

The painted Adirondack chairs look great and the paint can last 1 to 3 years before needing to be repainted IF proper steps were taken to apply a professional finish.

Although painted Adirondack chairs look lovely the first year or two we don't actually recommend paints because it cannot breathe with the wood and will eventually peel and bubble creating hours of labor removing the paint down the road. If you don't mind the intense labor involved in scraping and sanding before you can refinish the chairs - then painting may be a viable option for you.

When shopping for paint for your Adirondack chairs, be sure to find something with a high UV rating - this is equivalent to sun screen for your patio furniture - the higher the number the longer the color will last (provided the quality of paint is good). To minimize future labor you really do want to buy a good quality outdoor paint, the cheep ones will peel off usually in the very first year they are done.

Here are the basic instructions for painting your Adirondack chairs, just keep in mind that these are general rules but may not apply to the specific brand of paint you buy. Always read the labels and follow the paint manufacturer’s instructions for the best finish.

  1. Partially disassemble your Adirondack chairs. You don't have to take the back slats or seat slats off - you simply want to have each piece accessible for painting and it is near to impossible to paint up and under the chairs while they are fully assembled)
  2. Make sure all pieces are all clean and dust free (if there are any scratches, lightly sand them smooth then clean off all dust before painting).
  3. You can apply the paint by either brush or sprayer; just keep in mind that sprayers will create over spray which on a windy day could end up painting your neighbor’s house/car/etc.
  4. If using a brush apply a liberal coat of paint, then check for drips making sure they are wiped away before they dry. Do only one section at a time
  5. Once completely dry sand lightly (with extra fine sandpaper; such as 320 grit) and apply a thin second coat. (Again don't forget to check for drips since they detract from the beauty of a finished product.)

You can leave it with 2 coats or add a 3rd and 4th depending on how heavy a finish you want on the product. The sanding between coats is what allows the paint to adhere to the previous coat of paint, but it also provides an exceptionally smooth surface which creates a nice shine if you went with a gloss or semi gloss paint.

Please note that the paint build up between the seat and the seat front frame may increase the tightness when trying to reassemble the Adirondack chairs. Be sure to completely dismantle the front legs, and then attach the legs individually to the seat screwing in the bottom foot plate only after the legs are attached to the seat.

If you have any questions or need additional assistance please don't hesitate to call us toll free at the best Adirondack chair 1-800-418-1433. Don't forget to email us your pictures! We love sharing photos of our happy customersenjoying their Adirondack chairs, swings and patio furniture.