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How To Care For Your Adriondack Chairs and Furniture
Take a few simple steps to extend the longevity of your adirondack outdoor furniture.
Left on their own, Adirondack chairs will turn to a silvery gray color over time. This is called patina. Restoring the wood to its natural color requires a full sanding, which is not an easy task. You can delay the onset of patina by keeping your chair well-sealed, adding stain or tint.
Regardless of whether you choose cedar or pine, we recommend sealing your furniture with a quality exterior sealant. We recommend Cabot, a sealant that is available with a variety of stains or tints. You also have several choices in opacity, depending on how much grain you want to show through. You can also choose Clearkote, which is a clear sealant.
Seal the chair every year to two years as needed. When your chair starts to absorb water on the arms, rather than repel it, then you know it is time to reseal your chair. When sealing, be careful not to over saturate the wood. A single coating of sealant should be enough to protect it for the season. Over sealing does not necessarily mean that you are adding extra protection to the wood. You are just delaying the drying process.
Store your furniture in a safe, dry area when not in use or when weather becomes to inclement. You can also choose to cover your furniture with commercially available covers. Whether you store your furniture in a garage, or cover it, we recommend setting the legs on something that will not transfer moisture to the wood (such as patio block).
If you decide to paint your chair rather than using a tinted sealant, choose a paint that allows the wood to breathe. Oil-based paints tend to lock in moisture preventing the chair from breathing. Eventually, the chair will rot from the inside out. Choose a latex or water-based acrylic paint which allows moisture to escape.
Decide where to place your chairs, rockers, or lounges. Placing them directly under trees is a sure-fire way to insure they will get dirty quickly. The rain water washes all of the dirt off of the tree and deposits it right on your chair. To clean dirt build-up you can use a mild-detergent, or a light concentration of water and bleach. You can also buy commercial wood cleaners such as Murphy's Oil Soap.
Be sure to check all hardware each season and retighten any screws or bolts that have become loose. This is particularly important with Adirondack rockers, swings or gliders, as the motion of the furniture can cause the hardware to loosen over time.
Taking some simple steps will increase the longevity of your furniture, and consequently increase your satisfaction with the product.
Terry Burton is owner of http://www.AdirondackChairShop.com an online retailer of New York State manufactured Adirondack chairs, furniture, and home furnishings.