Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 25

Thread: Best wood for painted adirondack chairs

  1. #1

    Best wood for painted adirondack chairs

    I am building the woodplans Adirondack settee which is a double seater with a table in between, a unique design. The bottom structure is painted and the seat spalts, table top, and seat bottom is natural wood. I would like to do the bottom in cheaper wood than ceder and use ceder for the wood parts, protecting them with clear deck treatment or UV protected poly or varnish.

    What do you think is best for the painted wood parts - the chair will be outside for the summer but inside for the winter.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    3,178
    John

    If by "outside" you mean sitting on the lawn all summer, I'd make the whole chair, certainly the legs, out of the most weather resistant wood you can find -- mahogany, cedar, teak, redwood... whatever. Even if painted, the sun and rain and sitting on the ground will all take a toll on woods with no natural resistance, IMO.

    Years ago, a local woodworker made some painted Adirondack chairs out of cherry for a local inn; I questioned his choice of cherry and he told me (to my surprise) that cherry was actually pretty good outdoors.

    Not.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    outside Indianapolis
    Posts
    296
    Agree with Frank go with a wood that is suited to outdoor use. Paint should be a tough outdoor enamel or acrylic. Other option is if you want a old look is use some of the pre formulated milk paints. They are intended for indoor use but can be pretty tough for general use.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Cincinnati Ohio
    Posts
    4,693
    Nothing wrong with treated lumber.

    I built some outdoor chairs that were on a porch year round. I made them out of regular construction lumber (non-treated) Keep them painted and they lasted 20 years. Just put them out to the trash last night.
    "Remember back in the day, when things were made by hand, and people took pride in their work?"
    - Rick Dale

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    888
    Down here; we're partial to cypress.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Tyler, Texas
    Posts
    2,041
    I think White Oak was the traditional wood used for painted Adirondack chairs. It's also naturally weather resistant so a clear varnish on the parts you mentioned should hold up pretty well if kept maintained. You may have to sand and renew each season. Epifanes varnish would be (is) my choice for outdoor furniture.
    Cody


    Logmaster LM-1 sawmill, 30 hp Kioti tractor w/ FEL, Stihl 290 chainsaw, 300 bf cap. Solar Kiln

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2021
    Location
    Columbia MO and Howard County MO
    Posts
    1,410
    Here is an image of one of my interpretations of the A.C. in birch with satin Imprevo (intended to live on a covered porch). I have used reclaimed Red Wood and chunky live edge slabs as well. I hope those have not been painted yet.

    IMG_0708.jpg
    Last edited by Maurice Mcmurry; 09-15-2022 at 12:03 AM.
    Best Regards, Maurice

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Kansas City
    Posts
    2,268
    western red cedar is the cheapest of all those mentioned, around here.

    Cherry outside? Anyone agree?
    Hobbyist

  9. #9
    I looked this up years ago. Originals were just something cheap , I think it was hemlock. Seats and backs need to have “ bark side” of pieces
    toward people to eliminate razor-blade -like pop up grain.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Piercefield, NY
    Posts
    1,269
    Oak doesn't grow in a lot of the Adirondacks, so I would be surprised if that was the original wood. Black cherry heartwood is quite rot resistant but the sapwood rots fast. I have cut trees at the sawmill on the farm where I used to live that were dead where the bark and sapwood had rotted away but the heart was still perfectly solid.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Corcoran, MN
    Posts
    314
    Quote Originally Posted by Maurice Mcmurry View Post
    Here is an image of one of my interpretations of the A.C. in birch with satin Imprevo (intended to live on a covered porch). I have used reclaimed Red Wood and chunky live edge slabs as well. I hope those have not been painted yet.

    IMG_0708.jpg
    I like the chairs a lot. They have gracious and welcoming curves. The photo echoes those curves with the wheel reflections.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Peoria, IL
    Posts
    3,213
    One of the best ideas I ever saw for outdoor furniture longevity was a guy made little forms around the bottom of the legs and poured a 1/2" cap of epoxy. He drove in a couple screws before the pour to add a little rebar effect to increase shear strength. Prevents all the moisture in the ground from wicking into the legs.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    NE Iowa
    Posts
    944
    I use white oak, usually quarter sawn, and paint it with a high quality marine enamel such Total Boat Wet Edge, or Rustoleum Topside, after priming with the recommended primer for the paint I'm using. I use white enamel, and color to taste with clay-based earth pigments. Nothing is foreever in the sun, of course, but as long as you don't allow water to sit on them, this combination will hold up beautifully years.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    New Westminster BC
    Posts
    2,345
    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Coers View Post
    One of the best ideas I ever saw for outdoor furniture longevity was a guy made little forms around the bottom of the legs and poured a 1/2" cap of epoxy. He drove in a couple screws before the pour to add a little rebar effect to increase shear strength. Prevents all the moisture in the ground from wicking into the legs.
    Agree sealing ground contact surfaces with epoxy is an excellent way to extend an outdoor chair or table's life. Another idea, in addition to the epoxy, is to make feet for the bottom of the legs from UHMW (eg old plastic cutting boards) and attach them with countersunk deck or SS screws. Protects from rot and also makes them easier to move on concrete patios.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2021
    Location
    Columbia MO and Howard County MO
    Posts
    1,410
    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Mack View Post
    I like the chairs a lot. They have gracious and welcoming curves. The photo echoes those curves with the wheel reflections.
    Thanks! It's not a very good image. I feel better about the reclaimed Redwood version which live outdoors and would hold paint well. I have read a good deal about the wonderful woods of upstate NY and have been to the Blue Mountain Lake Adirondack museum. I think the originals are hardwood.

    20220915_163713~3 2.jpg
    Last edited by Maurice Mcmurry; 09-15-2022 at 7:32 PM. Reason: image
    Best Regards, Maurice

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •