Skip to Content

How to Restore Weathered Wood Adirondack Chairs in 3 Easy Steps

Do you have old worn out Adirondack chairs? With a little elbow grease and our simple techniques, you can restore weathered wood Adirondack chairs to their former glory.

Picture this…it’s a warm summer evening and you’re ready to unwind with a glass of wine in your favorite Adirondack chair.

But as you settle in, you notice that the once-sturdy and stylish chair has become totally weathered and worn over time.

Don’t let that ruin your outdoor relaxation time!

With a little effort and my simple techniques, you can easily revive your Adirondack chairs to their former glory.

Today I’ll provide a step-by-step guide on how to repair, clean, sand, and repaint your chairs.

When you finish this project you’ll be able to enjoy many more summer evenings with comfortable and stylish outdoor seating.

Some of the items used in this post include affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases at no added cost to you. You can read our full affiliate disclosure policy here.

Why Do You Need to Restore Weathered Wood Adirondack Chairs

black Adirondack chair with peeling paint

Adirondack chairs are a classic piece of outdoor furniture.

They’re comfortable, stylish, and can withstand the elements.

But even the best Adirondack chairs will eventually start to show signs of wear and tear.

If you want to keep your chairs looking their best, you’ll need to refinish them from time to time.

black paint peeling on wood chairs

As you can see from these photos I may have let my chairs get a little too weathered!

Although we clean them every spring, the old finish on my chairs was peeling, cracking, and fading.

The wood was also starting to crack because the painted finish wasn’t protecting the chairs from the harsh North Carolina sun anymore.

Refinishing your Adirondack chairs is a relatively easy project that you can do yourself.

All you need is a few simple tools and some supplies, and you can have your chairs looking like new in no time.

Here’s what you’ll need to restore weathered wood Adirondack chairs:

How to Repair Outdoor Furniture

man tightening bolts on legs of outdoor wood chair

I enlisted Chris to help me with this project so it would go quicker.

We had four Adirondack chairs to restore so four hands work faster than two.

The first thing he did was tighten the bolts on the chair legs where they had come loose.

blogger screwing arm of chair together

Here you can see how the wood on the arm of the chair is cracked where the paint was split so it was definitely time to restore these.

We also tightened any of the screws that were loose with our drill.

Be sure to counter-sink the screws so they don’t snag on your clothing when using the chairs.

nailing loose board in with brad nailer

Some of the slats on the seat were actually popping up so we added a few finish nails with a Brad nailer to secure them.

Using this type of nail ensures that the head of the nail is sunk below the top of the wood so you can’t feel it when you’re sitting on the chairs.

Once everything was nice and secure again, we moved on to the next step in restoring our Adirondack chairs.

How to Sand Chairs when Restoring

blogger sanding Adirondack chair with orbital palm sander

I would definitely recommend using a small palm or orbit sander if you have one.

Using an electric or battery-operated sander will make faster work of this job.

If you don’t have one you can absolutely sand the chairs by hand with sandpaper it will just take a bit longer.

Even if you use an orbit sander you’ll still need to use sandpaper to get in between the wood slats on the Adirondack chairs.

four chairs after sanding before painting on patio

Start sanding your chairs with medium grit sandpaper making sure to sand along the grain of the wood to avoid damaging it.

Then, switch to finer-grit sandpaper and sand the chair again.

This will help to smooth out the surface even further, leaving you with a clean and even base for painting.

Pay particular attention to any rough spots or areas where the wood may have splintered.

Sand these areas down until they’re smooth and even with the rest of the chair.

How to Clean Chairs After Sanding

image of chair after being sanded

Fill a bucket with a mild soap and water solution to clean your chairs after you’ve finished sanding them.

This will remove any sanding dust that may be on the surface of the wood.

Let your chairs dry completely before painting.

What Paint Should You Use to Refinish Chairs

Adirondack being restored with paint

Choosing the right type of paint is key to ensuring the longevity of your newly refurbished chairs.

Using outdoor paint formulated for wood will provide the best protection against the elements.

I used Sherwin William A100 Exterior Acrylic Latex in Satin finish in the color Black Magic.

Adirondack chair on wood pieces for painting

Before beginning to paint, make sure your chairs are completely dry and free of any dust or debris

Apply the paint in thin and even coats, letting each layer dry completely before adding the next.

This will ensure a smooth and even finish on your Adirondack chairs.

chairs on drop cloth in garage to be painted

Here are some additional tips to remember when refinishing an Adirondack chair:

  • Choose a finish that is designed for outdoor use.
  • Apply the finish in a well-ventilated area.
  • Allow the finish to dry completely between coats.
  • Reapply the finish as needed to maintain the look of your chairs.

Is Refinishing Your Adirondack Chairs Worth It

restored outdoor Adirondack chair on patio

I’d say putting a little sweat equity into refinishing my chairs was totally worth it.

We paid about $800 dollars for our four chairs about 10 years ago so I’m sure replacing them would have cost us even more now.

To be completely honest, I kinda wanted new chairs.

But new wasn’t in the budget so I rolled my sleeves up and got to work restoring our old weathered Adirondack chairs.

Restoring our outdoor chairs actually made them look brand new again.

side by side comparison photos before and after restoration

Let’s take a look at the before and after because we all love a good side-by-side comparison am I right?

The newly painted finish gives the chairs a fresh, clean look and makes them more inviting and comfortable to use.

By restoring the chairs we’ve extended the life of them so we’ll be able to enjoy them for many years to come.

If you have any questions or suggestions, contact me or leave a comment!

Don’t miss any of our tips, tricks, or stories!

We’d love for you to follow us on social media! You can find us on YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook.

Pin it to Remember it:

Pinterest graphic