How to Weatherproof Adirondack Chairs? [Best Finishes Explained]

Adirondack chairs are still popular today and are widely used as patio furniture.

Some homeowners even have them on their lawns or garden. But have you ever wondered what to put on Adirondack chairs to weatherproof them from the elements?

The conventional approach would be to apply a coat of paint or stain, but you could also try something a little novel, like a natural clear varnish.

This article will look at some of the finest ways to maintain the beautiful appearance of your Adirondack chair all year long.

And how to weatherproof them without being concerned about the weather.

You will therefore be ready for any weather that comes your way!

JUMP TO: Finishes For Adirondack Chairs | How to Maintain Adirondack | Best Material for Outdoor Adirondack | Buying Guide for Adirondack Chair |

  • Key Takeaways

      • Adirondack chairs are constructed of weatherproof materials like teak or Cedar.
      • Paint or sealants are used to give the best finish to wooden chairs.
      • Gently washing chairs once a week can keep them for a more extended period.
      • HDPE timber is widely used since it is robust, weather resistant, and beautiful. 
      • Factors like durability, weather- resistance, insect-free, and usability must be considered when purchasing Adirondack chairs.

    Best Finishes for Wooden Adirondack Chairs

    Adirondack chairs are renowned for their straightforward, timeless design and their robustness.

    Usually, they are constructed of weatherproof materials like teak or Cedar. Leave Adirondack chairs if you can’t maintain them throughout the year.

    In light of this, the following finishes work very well on these old chairs:

    wood  adirondack chairs



    Your Adirondack chair can be weatherproofed with paint, especially oil-based enamel, with a satin finish.

    It will shield the wood from moisture and UV rays, cover its flaws, and give the chair a more polished appearance. You can first coat them with white ta make a base and then second coat them with the color of your choice to give a refined look.

    You can choose any color; however, we suggest using something light, like white or cream. 

    Tip: Choose light colors to keep the chairs cool in the summer.

    Related Read: Best Types of Lounge Chairs for your Comfort [Explained]

    Wood Stain

    Utilizing an oil-based wood stain is another choice for protecting your Adirondack chair from the elements.

    This will add color to the chairs while still allowing the wood grain to be visible.

    A metal dye stain, a gel stain, or a lacquer stain might also be used if you want something more distinctive. 

    Caution: Do not use water-based if you use your chairs outdoors.

    For added protection, a clear wood sealer can be applied in addition to the stain.

    wood finish


    Spar Varnish

    A transparent, protective finish known as spar varnish is applied to the wood’s surface. It aids in shielding the wood from UV and moisture damage.

    Spar varnish was initially created for boats, but if you want to protect your Adirondack chair from the outdoors, it also works great on them!

    Tip: Lightly Sand them before varnishing to give an even finish.

    Adirondack chair sealant

    Similar to varnishes, sealants offer a layer of defense against moisture and UV deterioration.

    Some examples of sealants would be: 

    • Best Sealer– Ready Seal 112 1-Gallon Can Natural Cedar 
    • Oil-based Wood Sealer– Star Brite Premium Golden Teak Oil 
    • Best Clear Wood Sealer– SEAL-ONCE MARINE 
    • Waterproof Wood Sealer– Thompsons Waterseal 41851 Gl STN 

    Did you know?

    Sealants do not alter the color of the wood as varnishes do. So a sealer is a beautiful choice if you want to maintain your Adirondack chair that should look natural.


    Another excellent solution for protecting your Adirondack chair from the environment is wax. It makes a barrier that keeps out dust and moisture.

    Additionally, it keeps the wood looking fresh and gleaming.

    Wax comes in various forms, so you can pick the one that best suits your requirements. The most preferred wax would be Paraffin wax.


    A synthetic resin called polyurethane is frequently applied to wood to provide protection.

    Both water-based and oil-based formulations are offered.

    One of the best outdoor finishes is polyurethane because it offers a long-lasting, strong surface that is impervious to stains and scratches in hot, sunny environments.

    waterproof wooden chair

    Source: Pinterest

    Oils like Tung oil and teak oil

    Teak trees are used to produce teak oil, a sort of natural oil. It permeates the wood and aids in keeping it clean and dry.

    Another natural oil that can be used on Adirondack chairs is tung oil. It is produced from the tung tree’s nut.

    It permeates the wood, much like teak oil, and aids in weatherproofing it.

    Interesting Fact: Tung oil is also called China wood oil. To be honored, this is the finish with zero VOC (Volatile Organic Compound)

    Maintaining Wood Adirondack Chairs

    These lovely patio chairs need routine maintenance to survive as long as any well-made item. Give them a gentle wash or use a damp cloth once a week to remove the dirt, pollen, and dust that has gathered on them.

    No matter what kind of finish your chairs have, the best thing to use is a gentle, natural cleaning. Take a gallon of soapy water in a bucket.

    After that, rinse them out with a hose or a pail of fresh water to prevent a film from forming. Then use a gentle towel to dry them.

    cleaning wooden chair


    Give Them Attention Annually, As Well

    Spend a bit more time and effort maintaining your chairs once a year. This is something you should do before putting them away for the winter.

    In this manner, they will be spotless and prepared for enjoyment when you bring them out again in the spring.

    Cleaning the Adirondack chair is simple with a power washer, but you can also use a brush or rag and a good wood cleaner. Depending on their finish, you might also wish to add wood polish or wood conditioner.

    Best Material For Outdoor Adirondack Chairs

    Teak as a Material for Adirondack Chair

    One of the greatest woods for wood chairs is teak, which is superior to others like pine, oak, bamboo, or wicker because they don’t weather well and need a lot of upkeep.

    Regarding outdoor furniture, teak is one of the more expensive options.

    Fact: Teak creates its own oil, making it strong and resilient. Because it is hardwood, it is difficult to dent or scratch.

    High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) Lumber as a Material for Adirondack Chair

    A synthetic resin called HDPE creates sturdy, excellent, long-lasting, and stylish furniture. The quality, comfort, and resilience it offers outweigh its expense. It even requires very low maintenance.

    Fun Fact: HDPE is created frequently from used milk bottles and is indefinitely recyclable.

    Injection Molded Plastic as a Material for Adirondack Chair

    Although plastic Adirondack chairs are a less expensive option for outdoor furniture, neither comfort nor luxury can be found in them. It is simple to maintain, requiring only dish soap and a wet towel. Due to its little weight, it is susceptible to wind gusts and frequently breaks a year after purchase.

    My preferred material is HDPE timber, which is made to last a lifetime, maintains its excellent appearance, is entirely weather-resistant and robust, requires little upkeep, and is available in a wide range of colors:

    wood color palate


    Factors to Consider When Choosing Wood for Wooden Adirondack Chairs

    Wood is the ideal material for Adirondack chairs. Aluminum, HDPE (high-density polyethylene) timber, and injection-molded plastic are further typical materials. None compares to wood, though.

    Adirondack chair made of wood is strong, attractive, and quite expensive. Most importantly, wood is recyclable, reusable, and generally eco-friendly.

    But not all types of wood make an excellent Adirondack chair. To create the best Adrindorack chairs, you must locate wood that possesses the following characteristics:

    Interesting Read: Papasan Chair vs. Mamasan Chair: Which is the Best?

    1. Durability and strength

    Adirondack chairs are frequently damaged. First, owners care for them extensively since they love them so much. As the seasons’ change, many individuals also enjoy moving their Adirondack chairs from one location to another.

    You, therefore, need exceptionally durable lumber that can withstand severe misuse.

    2. Resistance to weather

    Adirondack chairs must be incredibly weather-resistant to be used as outdoor furniture. If not, you’ll have to replace it sooner rather than later.

    Finding weather-resistant timber with excellent dimensional stability is essential. Also, take into account wood species with excellent rot resistance.

    Ipe, Teak, and Cedar could be good options to choose from weather-resistant woods.

    3. Resistance to insects

    Adirondack chairs must be resistant to insects and pests to last a long time. You must take precautions to keep pests like aphids, termites, caterpillars, and wood borers away from the chairs.

    Choosing naturally insect-resistant wood can assist. Redwood and Cedar are insect repellants. 

    4. Workability 

    Many Adirondack chairs need to be bent and moved around. Consider using sturdy but highly workable wood varieties that are simple to saw, cut, and carve.

    Naturally, you also want simple wood to polish, screw, and nail.

    5. Aesthetics

    Most Adirondack chair is used for relaxation and leisure, so aesthetics cannot be ignored when choosing wood for them.

    Therefore, you must consider the chair’s finish as well as the color and grain of the wood. However, it’s more crucial that the Adirondack chair you choose supports your way of life and enhances your d├ęcor.

    6. Simple maintenance

    The best Adirondack chair is simple to keep up with and clean. For instance, you must thoroughly clean it before storing it indoors for the winter.

    In order to extend its life, you should also regularly paint, stain, or oil it. Consequently, you want to pick simple wood to preserve and care for.

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