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I took the boys out to the zoo a couple of days ago where we managed to kill about 3 hours between the animals, the playground and the splash pad.  It’s been hot (naturally) but less humid and breezy, so it was actually quite enjoyable.

Then I got I wild idea that I could save my crappy adirondacks from total ruin if I used my fancy schmancy sander and took as much of the paint off as possible and then stained them.  So I spent last evening on my back patio sanding the bejesus out of one painted chair and one that had just stain on it originally.  I have a motley crew of adirondack furniture in my back yard.  My goal is to have them all stained somewhat similarly—plus, they all need some serious maintenance.

Since taupy-gray is my new neutral (sort of like the furniture that Restoration Hardware is currently showing) that was my goal.  The painted chairs could look really distressed with a lot of the paint still stuck to the frames, looking like weathered chairs left on the beach.  The teak rocker looks finer, as teak usually does. 

I spent the day sanding and staining, finishing up my wooden outdoor furniture, and I love the teak chair and table, but the painted chairs look a bit like desert storm camouflage.  Not so enchanted with them, but I imagine I have extended their life considerably, although I’m not so sure should be thrilled about that!   I found some outdoor pillows on clearance for 6 bucks a piece at Target that soften the “busy” appearance of them, and dress up the bench.

Tell me what you think!

Here are the products I used if you’re feeling ambitious, too:

Dewalt rotating hand sander with about a million 80-100 grit sandpaper discs

Lots of tack cloths to wipe off the dust

Sikkens outdoor stain in a driftwood-y color that we tweaked at the paint store

A little pickling white stain that I had lying around to lighten and make more opaque the stain color.

I needed a table that looked decent between the Desert Storm chairs, and the other two tables I stained didn’t do anything for them; so I took an umbrella pot and a rusty plate I had hanging on the back fence.  I used a little tan glaze to alter the color of the two so that they blended.  I used gorilla glue to mount the plate to the vessel and it’ll do for a while.  If I wanted to make it a real table, I would drill a hole through the plate and stand ant use hardware to put them together, but it’s just not that important to me.

Anyway the main part about this project that makes it worth the effort is the good sander, and a really high quality outdoor stain, otherwise your efforts will have been in vain inside of one season.  The other thing that is necessary if you want a finer finish on the painted chairs that I did, is to take them apart and sand each piece separately. 

Did I inspire you?  (To go out and buy all new outdoor furniture?)