Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Refinishing Adirondack Outdoor Furniture

 
Sometimes I sits and thinks, and sometimes I just sits.
Satchel Paige (1906 - 1982)
The Adirondack chairs and bench that encircle the Fire Pit at Sweetwater are the perfect spot to "sits and thinks" or to "just sits"!




This photo was taken early this summer.  I don't know if you can see how BAD the wood finish is on the furniture....we like to leave them out all year....so the wood really takes a beating in the harsh Minnesota weather!

I spent the last month refinishing the chairs....and I am thrilled with the result!
I WAS NOT thrilled with how long the project took....
But now I can show you the results....and tell you how I did it!

"Librarian Alert"....I just had to show you what I found when I researched 
"Adirondack Chairs"


 This is a drawing from the Patent issued to H.C. Bunnel in 1905!  Cool Huh!
Then in 1938 Irving Wolpin refined the design and took out this patent:

 I guess that explains why these chairs are such iconic images of outdoor relaxation.

Enough with the history lesson....on to the project!



SEE...I wasn't kidding when I told you the wood on the chairs was in HORRIBLE shape!

We have had them for 4 years...
We tried Tung Oil at first....
We tried Spar Varnish a couple of years ago...
It was time to get EXPERT advice!
We went to the SOURCE.....and asked the little old man who built the chairs what to use!
He told us about SIKKENS....
It "ain't" cheap....but when you see the results you will see it was worth the cost!


The first task was sanding the furniture down to the bare wood!
HOURS AND HOURS AND HOURS of sanding!
(my apologies to the neighbors who had to listen to the sander)
I have to admit that I did the sanding in stages.....my hands kept getting NUMB!
(Hopefully all that sanding was good for my triceps!!!) 
I actually did two chairs at a time!


Once the sanding was done.....it was time to put the finish on!
SIKKENS is oil based....so I had to listen to the admonitions of Mr. S 
"Make sure you use a good brush so there won't be any bristles on the chairs!"

"Make sure you dust them off and use a "tac cloth"!

"Make sure you don't spill any SIKKENS on the patio blocks"

"Make sure you do a good job cleaning my good brush when you are done!"

Once I started putting the finish on.....I was sooooo excited to see how they were turning out!
It almost made me want to start sanding the other chairs right away....OR NOT!


 Isn't that an amazing transformation?

When I got all 4 chairs done....the bench that Mr. S made was totally the wrong color!








This bench is one that is made from a pattern he took from a bench that sat outdoors at lake cabin we spent time at many years ago...it is the most comfortable bench!











We had never put anything on this bench to seal it or finish it....and after 3 years it was pretty rough....but I decided to give it a try!

SUCCESS!




I am pretty darn proud of the way they turned out!
Hopefully the finish will last....but at least I know that if they need a refresh next year...
I WON'T have to do all of that sanding...just a new coat.
I really cannot sing the praises of the SIKKENS product enough....
Maybe they could sponsor my blog someday !!!!

The FirePit area is just waiting for us to come "sits and thinks" or "just sits"!


I will leave you with this gorgeous art print of Adirondack Chairs in Maine!
It is by Debra-bretton-robinson Art and depending on the size 
you could get it for as little as $25

Source

Wouldn't this be beautiful hanging on the wall?

this one seems to fit the theme of this post!!!
Source
Gotta Love IT!
Maybe Mr. S and I should invite Eric and Myrna over to sit in our refinished Adirondack chairs! They look like they need a nice glass of wine....or at least some "fashion advice"!

Have A Great Day....Hope you find time to "Just Sits"!



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