4 Tips When Applying a Finish During Hot or Humid Weather

Perhaps you’ve ordered one of our beautiful wooden Adirondack chairs unfinished to stain or paint on your own. Or maybe you’re planning on stripping and refinishing an older piece of wood furniture. Regardless, the environment in which you apply your finish, be it a stain, paint coating or otherwise, can make all the difference in the world!

Let’s help you ensure a beautiful, even finish while minimizing any stress factors. Here are some crucial tips to consider when applying one in hot or humid weather.

Some Moisture is Good. Too Much is Bad!

Ever hear the term relative humidity? In indoor spaces, it’s basically the calculation of how much air moisture content is present. A range of 40 to 60 RH is best for human health, but what about wooden furniture? If you’re lucky enough to have your own little woodshop, an empty garage or otherwise – making it technically possible to apply a stain or paint finish to your furniture regardless of the weather outside – you should first consider how humid the conditions are. Not only can high humidity cause damage such as warping in some woods, but it dramatically slows the drying time as, naturally, there’s too much moisture in the air to speed things up! The same more or less applies in outdoor application settings – it’s easier to wait for more manageable humidity levels so you can apply a thin, even coat with minimal hassle.

Strange Effects and Getting Past them

Humidity can cause another problem, and that’s the appearance of the finish itself. Cloudiness or a hazy effect can happen when there’s moisture trapped beneath the layer you applied and the surface of the wood. While this sometimes goes away on its own, you don’t want to be left wondering whether it will. Targeting affected areas with a carefully applied amount of heat – such as from a hair dryer – can sometimes help. Cloudy finishes are more apparent in clear coatings, such as polyurethane, but with paint or lacquer you can normally just apply another layer and that will fix it.

If it’s Warm Out, You Don’t Need a Thick Coat!

Much as when it comes to what you wear yourself, the finish covering your wooden furniture shouldn’t be an inch and a half thick if you want it to be even and dry in a relatively quick manner. A general rule of thumb is to apply a thin coating that evenly just covers the entire surface. If you want to apply a second layer to get an even stronger effect, simply wait for the first to dry – which shouldn’t take too long if you’ve got it thin enough, even in hotter weather. Of course, if the day’s a scorcher with high humidity, then you’ll need to be a bit more patient as the drying time will take longer than usual. Of course, even in cold weather, you don’t need to apply a thick finish – treat the surface as you would when painting a wall in your home! You’ll also have a nicer final result this way, even if you decide to do a second layer later on (generally, this isn’t needed).

If You Can Wait, Don’t Hesitate

As we touched on earlier, humidity and temperature most significantly impact drying times. If you want the most no-nonsense finishing experience possible, one that’s streamlined and easy to manage even if you’re new to the craft, your best bet is to wait until the right weather arrives. Generally, a stain or paint finish needs a day or two to dry in the best of conditions – this is typically when it’s not hot nor cold, and with balanced humidity that isn’t overbearing.

Debating whether to finish the surface of your wooden Adirondack chair? We’ve got you covered with our state-of-the-art, four-stage treatment process, available as an option when you order from us. This offers a finish equivalent to three even coatings, protecting your outdoor furniture and helping it stand out from the crowd! Learn more by contacting our team today.