These chairs have been on my mom's patio for several years, and although they looked pretty shabby, the wood underneath was in relatively good condition. So I decided to take a shot at cleaning them up!
Adirondack Chair Renovation
These chairs were destined for the dump, but I saw life still to be lived in all those slats! It took some time and elbow grease, but it was well worth it!
Normally, you don't necessarily need to remove the previous paint when repainting furniture. But the mauve paint on these was already peeling off in chunks, so I used the pressure washer to get as much off as I could. I spent 4-5 hours with the pressure washer that day!
I wasn't planning to take these apart, so I started sanding any exposed areas I could reach with my DeWalt palm sander and 80 grit sandpaper. Pretty soon I realized that in order to do these chairs justice, I would have to take them apart completely and sand them properly.
My Blue Ridge Tools Socket Wrench Set was really helpful in getting the carriage bolts off, and my DeWalt gyroscopic screwdriver did wonders on all those rusty screws.
Once the chairs were completely taken apart, I sanded each and every piece until all of the mauve paint was removed. These chairs were originally green, but that appeared to be an oil-based paint that was not in danger of peeling off.
Most of the wood was in decent condition, but there was one bracing piece under one arm that was rotted to the point of being unusable. Luckily, I had a piece of pine on hand that could be cut to match, and my Blue Ridge Tools Jig Saw to do the cutting.
There were also a few spots that could use a little bit of wood filler, which I made myself with some sawdust and wood glue. I find that this is more paintable/stainable than store-bought wood filler that comes in a tube.
After about 4 days of pressure washing, sanding, and minor repairs, it was finally time to start painting! I started off with putting on a coat of Zinsser 1-2-3 water-based primer with a foam roller.
For this project, I used something I already had on-hand: Sherwin Williams Duration exterior acrylic latex trim paint left over from when the outside of our house was painted. An oil-based paint would have been more ideal, but it takes a lot longer to dry, and I didn't have any in the house (this project was done during COVID-19 social distancing, so I was limiting my trips to Home Depot). I painted two coats quickly, then let the pieces dry for a couple of days before reassembling the chairs.
There was A LOT of pieces to deal with, but luckily I took some pictures (and a lot of video) during the process, so I was able to get them back together fairly easily. I reused the original carriage bolts, but I replaced all of the screws with new ones. This was easy because all of the screws were the same size (1 5/8 inch), and I had a box of those already in my workshop!
I love having these chairs to relax on the front porch, especially now that we are spending so much time at home.
Like that planter between the chairs? Check out how I made it here: