Re-staining Adirondack chairs

I cannot put into words how much I lurrrvvve Adirondack chairs. They so accurately describe my decorating and design style — comfortable, rustic (yet chic), perfect for both mountain and coastal outdoor settings, with room for snacks and drinks on the arm rests (a most important feature), sturdy … did I mention comfortable???

I have two Adirondack chairs sitting on my gorgeous, wraparound front porch. They fit perfectly with the style and setting of our recently purchased home (located next to a large lake in the mountains of Pennsylvania).

I’ve had these chairs for about four years and, although they’ve served me well, I noticed recently they were beginning to weather. They needed a new coat of stain. So, last weekend I decided to spruce them up.

I started by power-washing them to remove the aging stain as well as any dirt/debris.

The chair on the left in the photo has been power-washed; the one on the right has the old finish. Note: Once you power-wash wooden chairs, you will probably want to go over them with some sandpaper and steel wool to smooth out any rough patches.

After power-washing, I re-stained the chairs with Olympic Maximum waterproofing sealant in Redwood Naturaltone.

Here are the finished chairs, sitting all purdy on our front porch. Aren’t they just begging to be used? I can’t wait to chill-ax (name that movie) on them this weekend with a huge glass of the hubs’ peach tea and a good home decorating book.

Some fun facts about Adirondack chairs

The Adirondack chair, also called the Muskoka chair, was originally designed by Thomas Lee in 1903. He was on vacation in Westport, N.Y., in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains, and was in need of outdoor chairs for his summer home. He tested his first designs on his family.

The name “Muskoka” was adopted from the municipality of Muskoka, Ontario, a cottage country area north of Toronto.

A single Adirondack chair is made from 11 pieces of wood. That is literally all there is to it. The chair is easy to put together and easy to maintain. It also uses the absolute minimum amount of wood required to create a viable chair that is also environmentally friendly.

I hope to continue using my Adirondack chairs for years to come. They remind me of the summers I spent in the Adirondack Mountains as a teen, working at a Christian camp. I still consider those summers some of the best of my life to date.

Do you appreciate Adirondack chairs as much as I do?

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6 Responses

  1. Joie says:

    Sadly, I am not the blessed owner of a pair of adirondacks…HOWEVER, I love the word AND I love the chairs! I have one of those chintzy plastic ones…and it “works”, but it was just for added color by my front door.

    Someday…I too will be the proud mom to a pair of adirondacks!!

  2. Hey There. I found your blog using msn. This is a very well written article. I will be sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your useful information. Thanks for the post. I’ll definitely return.

  3. Margaret Varner says:

    I love these chairs too. I’m always looking at them and we went camping one time and I just adored them. You are right, they are real comfortable. I told the hubster that I wanted to get these someday. Well, now I’m sparked to get some or do some much needed building. He needs to get the dust off of those saws of his and build me somthing anyway, lol….was just thinking of powerwashing my porch bench and staining it. I didn’t want to do the whole sandpaper and wool thing, though, oh well. Got to be done. Summer prodject here I come

  4. JILL says:

    I found two beat up in a trash pile last year, kept them for a year and pressure washed them today. Going to try your stain next weekend. Thank you – yours look beautiful!

  1. April 10, 2012

    […] I started by adding these fun, floral outdoor throw pillows. They were $4.99 apiece at my  favorite discount store, Gabriel Brothers. If you live near a Gabes, run, don’t walk to pick up these pillows. I couldn’t have sewed them myself for that price! Don’t they look great on my Adirondack chairs? For a tutorial on how I refinished these chairs, click here. […]

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