Last year at Haven I won a set of gorgeous Adirondack chairs from Thompson’s WaterSeal! Unfortunately, we were still living in our tiny apartment at the time, so I offered them to my parents instead. The next time I made it out to CA to visit them, my mom and I decided to paint them, and look how they turned out!
Painting Adirondack chairs is way easier than you might think; plus when you paint them yourself, you can make all sorts of fun patterns and designs! We painted by hand with brushes, but you could easily spray paint them if you’d rather.
Painted Adirondack Chairs
Here’s what you need to paint wooden Adirondack chairs:
- a wooden Adirondack chair
- medium grit sandpaper
- exterior primer/sealer (we used INSL-X Aqua Lock primer/sealer)
- exterior paint (we used ben Waterborne Exterior Paint- Low Lustre; the yellow is Lemon Grass #339; the blue is I’ve Got The Blues #774)
- paint brushes
If your Adirondack chair is already put together, take it apart as much as you can. This will make it easier to paint each piece thoroughly. Luckily, these chairs shipped in pieces with assembly instructions and hardware, so it was easy to paint everything before we put it all together.
If your chair has any rough spots, start by sanding them down. You want a smooth surface for the primer to adhere to.
Once your pieces are smooth, prime them. Primer will help the paint stick to the chairs and cover better, and it will help seal the chairs so the paint job isn’t ruined when you leave them outside in the rain.
Cover each piece, front and back, with a good coat of primer. Then set the pieces aside to dry.
Once the primer is dry, grab a paintbrush and start painting with color! You will probably need two coats of paint to thoroughly cover the primer, so don’t worry if the paint is a little light or you see primer showing through on the first coat. After the first coat we noticed some light streaks on the arms of the chair (see photo below), but after the second coat, the streaks were completely covered!
It goes faster if you have help! Once you’re done with your first coat of paint, set the pieces aside to let them dry.
We moved the pieces up to the patio to do the second coat of paint because the giant oak tree in the middle of my parents back yard dropped a ton of leaves on the pieces as they were drying!
For your second coat, make sure to go over any light spots or streaks, and brush along the grain again with light strokes to help reduce visible brush strokes in your paint.
Let the pieces dry again. This may take longer than the first two times because there’s more paint on the wood at this point!
If you’re worried about it, you can seal the pieces with a clear sealant once the second coat of paint is dry. But if you use good quality exterior primer and paint like we did, that should be enough to seal the chairs.
Once the paint is dry, assemble your chairs!
Once you have it all put together, sit back and enjoy your painted Adirondack chairs!
The photo of the single chair above was taken right after we finished the project, but my mom actually took the photo of both chairs together just last weekend, a year after we painted them. They’ve gotten a little dirty over the past year, but the paint job has held up perfectly even though they’ve been outside the whole time!!!
It looks like the painted birdhouse has held up too!
Do you have Adirondack chairs on your deck or patio? Now that we own a house, we need to get a pair for our yard!
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