Caring for Your Unstained Wood Adirondack Furnishings

Many customers chose not to include staining of their furnishings as part of our handcrafting process. This allows for their furniture to arrive ready to custom stain or paint at home or purposefully left to naturally age for a rustic aged or grey antique furniture look.

Over time, unstained wood will begin to be affected by the various changing weather conditions. The wood will start to become weathered, and sometimes the grain itself will begin to lift up. To keep the wood smooth, simply sand using a 120 grit sandpaper, as needed.

If you prefer that your furnishings not turn grey, but want to maintain the natural color of the wood, you will have to put a finish on it that has a high UV protection rating as it is the sun that fades the wood to silver.

Please note that all finishes will change the color of the wood to some degree (usually giving it a more golden appearance for clearer finishes).

Should you chose to add a finishing to your untreated wood, you have a few options:

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

Important: Before treating your Adirondack furnishings be sure to read the product labels to familiarize yourself with safety protocols. For example, never stain products indoors, only in well-ventilated areas; and never store stain-soiled fabric in a pile as this can potentially become a fire hazard.

OPTION 1 - STAINING

Stains are the best way to go if you want easy to care for your Adirondack furnishings. The average stain can last anywhere from 1-7 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 4-5 years, as needed.

Pro-Tip: For touch-ups or refinishing, we recommend SICO ProLuxe (either 078 for light/golden stained products or 045 for the dark/mahogany stained products). Alternatively, you can use a similar oil-based stain (be sure to compare UV ratings as not all stains provide that protection).

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.

Prepare

  1. Staining before you fully assemble your furniture is recommended.
  2. If your furniture is already fully assembled, partially disassemble.
Note: You do not have to take the back slats or seat slats off. You simply want to have each piece as accessible for staining as possible which can be challenging if it is fully assembled.
  1.  Using 120 grit sandpaper, sand away any scratches, flaws or dents, and smooth over any rough spots.
  2. Vacuum away any dust or dirt, then wipe with a damp cloth, or a tack cloth (available at paint supply stores) to ensure no dust reside remains.

Stain

Pro tip: You can apply the stain by brush, sprayer, sponge or cloth - just keep in mind that sprayers will create overspray which on a windy day could end up staining your neighbor’s house/car/dog/etc.

First Coat
  1. Using SICO ProLuxe (or a comparable outdoor oil-based stain) use a brush or sponge applicator go over each piece lightly.
  2. Check for drips and smooth them over before the stain dries. Do only one section at a time to assure consistency and a no-drip finish.
  3. Let your furnishing dry completely (usually 24 hours) in a dry well-ventilated place outside of your home as breathing fumes can be dangerous.
Second Coat
  1. Once completely dry, lightly sand with a 220 grit sandpaper. Once again, be sure to clean off all dust by vacuuming then wiping with a damp cloth or tack cloth.
  2. Apply the second coat similar to the first coat. Note, this second coat is lighter. Be sure to check for drips and wipe them off, if necessary.
  3. Let your Adirondack furnishings dry completely (usually 24-48 hours) in a dry well-ventilated outdoor place.
Third Coat
  1. Lightly sand with a 320 grit sandpaper and be sure to clean off all dust by vacuuming and wiping.
  2. Apply the third coat the same way as the first two, keeping this coat light. Again, be sure to wipe off all drips and check shortly thereafter for more drips.
  3. Let your Adirondack furnishings dry completely (usually 24-48 hours) in a dry well-ventilated place outdoor place.

If the Adirondack furnishing doesn’t have a heavy enough finish for your liking you can repeat the last step for an additional one or two coats, as necessary. 

Three coats of SICO ProLuxe usually last about 2-5 years in direct sunlight, the 4th coat can last 3-8 years. 
 

Pro tip: Don’t go too heavy on the coats or the stain will pool on the surface and act as a film instead of a stain. The wood needs to be able to breathe if the finish is going to last. 

OPTION 2 – PAINTING

Painted Adirondack furnishings look great and the paint can last 1-3 years before needing to be repainted – if proper steps were taken to apply a professional finish.

Although painted Adirondack furnishings look lovely the first year or two, we don't recommend paints because the wood cannot breathe 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 sunscreen 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 will want to buy a good quality outdoor paint. Cheaper varieties will peel off, usually in the very first year after 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.

Prepare

  1. Painting before you fully assemble your furniture is recommended.
  2. If your furniture is already fully assembled, partially disassemble. You do not have to take the back slats or seat slats off. You simply want to have each piece as accessible for staining as possible which can be challenging if it is fully assembled.

Note: Paint build up may increase the tightness when trying to reassemble the Adirondack chairs. Be sure to completely dismantle the front legs, then re-attach individually to the seat. Screw in the bottom foot plate only after the legs are attached to the seat.

  1. Using 120 grit sandpaper, sand away any scratches, flaws or dents, and smooth over any rough spots.
  2. Vacuum away any dust or dirt, then wipe with a damp cloth or a tack cloth (available at paint supply stores) to ensure no dust reside remains.

Paint

Pro tip: You can apply the stain by brush, sprayer, sponge, or cloth - just keep in mind that sprayers will create overspray which on a windy day could end up staining your neighbor’s house/car/dog/etc.

First Coat

  1. 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 to assure consistency and a no-drip finish.
  2. Let your furnishing dry completely (usually 24 hours) in a dry well-ventilated place outside of your home as breathing paint fumes can be dangerous.

Second Coat

  1. Once completely dry, lightly sand with a 220 grit sandpaper. Once again, be sure to clean off all dust by vacuuming then wiping with a damp cloth or tack cloth.
  2. Apply the second coat similar to the first coat. Note, this second coat is lighter. Be sure to check for drips and wipe them off, if necessary.
  3. Let your Adirondack furnishings dry completely (usually 24-48 hours) in a dry well-ventilated outdoor place.

Pro tip: You can leave your furnishing with two coats or add a third and fourth depending on how heavy a finish you want on the product. Sanding in between coats is what allows the paint to adhere to the previous coat of paint, and provides an exceptionally smooth surface which creates a nice shine if you went with a gloss or semi-gloss paint.

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.