How to Paint an Adirondack Chair

Table of Contents

How to Paint an Adirondack Chair

Table of Contents

Adirondack chairs have proven to be a staple for any outdoor space. However, being constantly exposed to harsh weather elements, the chair is prone to wear and tear. It may easily fade and deteriorate over time. If you are willing to bring back your Adirondack chair to its former glory, repainting remains a great idea.

Painting can not only help to renew your Adirondack chair but also refresh the style and mood of your outdoor living space. Following is our detailed guide on how to paint an Adirondack chair. From painting a brand new chair to repainting an old one and maintaining it, our guide can allow you to make the most of any backyard, patio, or balcony.

Materials You Will Need

Painting an Adirondack chair will require fairly simple tools. The most crucial part remains to select the right kind of paint or spray. The paint can play an important role in protecting the chair from the harsh weather outside. Make sure you select a paint or spray that is best suited to exterior spaces. For this project, we would recommend using a spray with primer as it can provide good coverage and results. If you are concerned about how much paint you need for the Adirondack chair, then at least two spray cans are required to efficiently paint the chair.

To prep your chair for the paint job, a damp cloth and coarse sandpaper remain a must. You might also need warm water and a household cleaner to remove any remaining dirt or mildew from the chair. It is also important to ensure that the surrounding areas do not get dirty or damaged during the painting process. Use a drop cloth to protect the floor and surrounding areas.

Lastly, to extend the durability of the chair, consider investing in a top coat. A water sealer can prevent the chair from easily greying or weathering. Choose a clear water sealer that does not disrupt the final look of the chair.

prepare materials

Following is the list of materials you will need for painting an Adirondack chair:

  • Two cans of exterior spray with primer (In your choice of colour)
  • Dry cloth and household cleaner (Optional)
  • Coarse sandpaper
  • Drop cloth and masking tape
  • Top coat (Water sealer)

How to Paint an Adirondack Chair Step-by-Step

paint the chair

This step-by-step guide mainly focuses on how to paint a wooden Adirondack chair. From painting a new wooden chair to guiding you on how to repaint an Adirondack chair, this section can easily guide you through the process.

Step 1: Make the necessary repairs

Before starting the paint job, it is important to make all necessary repairs to the chair. If you are painting an old Adirondack chair, make sure to check for loose boards, splinters, or deep gouges in the wood. Once these are fixed, fasten and tighten any loose screws in the chair. Make sure all the repairs are done before the painting process.

Step 2: Thoroughly clean the chair

clean the chair
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It is important to clean the Adirondack chair before you can start prepping it for the paint. To clean a new Adirondack chair you may only need a damp cloth. Use a damp cloth to wipe off any dirt or dust from the chair.

For old Adirondack chairs that have accumulated dust and mildew, a household cleaner may be necessary. You can use a brush to remove dirt or any stubborn stain. Once done, it remains a good idea to use a rag soaked in warm water to pick up any remaining residue. It is equally important to give your Adirondack chair adequate time to dry. Use a towel and then allow the chair to air-dry completely under the sun.

Step 3: Sand and prep the chair

sand the chair
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One of the most crucial steps remains to sand and prep the chair for the paint job. Even if you are painting a new Adirondack chair, it is a good idea to thoroughly sand the chair first. A smooth, sanded surface will allow the paint to penetrate and adhere better to the chair.

If you repainting an old chair, make sure you remove any remaining, chipped-off paint. A coarse 80 grit sandpaper can enable you to sand any rough edges or imperfections. For a new chair, a 100 grit sandpaper might also work. Make sure you sand the chair from all sides, top to bottom, to ensure a smooth surface and hassle-free painting process.

Step 4: Spray paint the chair

spray paint the chair
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Once you have sanded the chair, make sure to wipe off and remove any sawdust. It is also important to lay a drop cloth beneath the chair to protect the floor and surrounding areas from over-dripping of the spray paint. You can secure the drop cloth with masking tape.

If you are not sure how to spray paint an Adirondack chair, then follow the precise guidelines below. You can also check the Youtube video to attain a brief understanding on how to spray paint an Adirondack chair.

To spray paint the chair, shake the can properly for around a minute. Keep it at least 10 inches away from the chair, and spray in a steady sweeping motion. The sweeping motion will prevent the paint from running and dripping. It is advisable to start from the top, in up and down motion to achieve a smooth and even coat. Make sure you cover all the corners and edges of the chair.

It is preferable to apply the second coat as soon as the chair is dry to touch. This may take about an hour, depending on the paint being used. Make sure you cover any remaining light areas or streaks in the second coat. In most cases, you will achieve good results within two coats. If there is any color variation or spots, you may require a third coat.

paint the bottom
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Once you are done painting and reapplying the coats from the outside, it is time to flip the chair. Make sure your chair is dry to the touch before you can flip it. This may take about an hour, depending on the spray paint being used. Once you have flipped the chair apply paint to all nooks and crannies, at least twice.

When done with spray painting, allow the chair to dry. The time may vary according to each spray paint, but it is advisable to give your Adirondack chair at least a day to dry.

Step 5: Apply the top coat

A top coat of an exterior water sealer can protect the chair from harsh weather. You can apply it with a brush, roller, or spray. Apply it evenly upon the chair going from top to bottom. Once the chair is dry, flip it and apply the clear coat to the remaining areas. Check the instructions given, and allow your Adirondack chair to dry accordingly.

Tips and Considerations

spray shelter
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When setting up to paint your Adirondack chair, many things need to be considered. Make sure the area is well-ventilated and you cover all the surrounding areas with a drop cloth. If you are working outside, it is a good idea to invest in a spray shelter. Even if it gets a little rainy or windy, you can paint and easily allow the chair to dry outside.

Another important consideration remains the paint you choose. You can use both paint and spray for an Adirondack chair. However, we recommend using sprays as it can dry faster and also allow for an even and easy application. It is also more convenient to apply spray that includes both primer and paint. A primer will seal the chair and also allow the paint to adhere better. So if your spray or paint does not include a primer, make sure you apply the primer onto the chair first. Lastly, always read and follow the instructions given with the paint, as the drying time and directions of each may vary.

To achieve the best result it is important to sand the chair and remove any remaining paint. If you have to take off a lot of paint, it is a good idea to use a liquid deglosser. It can greatly help in removing old paint from the chair. In case, you mess up somewhere, you can always wait for the chair to dry and start over. Make sure you thoroughly sand the area before repainting it.

How to Maintain Your Painted Adirondack Chair

maintain chair

Since Adirondack chair mostly stay outside, it is easily prone to wear and tear. On average, you may need to repaint an Adirondack chair once in one to three years. There are a few measures you can take to extend the life and durability of the chair. One of the basics remains to apply a top coat to the chair. A water sealer or a coat of polyurethane can help in protecting the chair from harsh weather.

You can also choose a paint with a glossy finish to increase the longevity of the chair. The paint will reflect more light and protect against harsh weather elements. To prevent the build-up of dirt or grime, it is preferable to wash the chair with mild soap after every few weeks.

Also, in case of harsh weather, consider moving the chair to a shaded area. These simple measures can keep your Adirondack chair in good condition and enable you to enjoy it for a longer period of time.


We hope that our guide on how to paint an Adirondack chair allows for an easy painting process. Though repainting can be time-consuming, it can be a great way to renew the life of your Adirondack chair. You can also invest in our durable and eco-friendly Adirondack chairs, available in a beautiful range of colours.

Be sure to follow our simple guidelines to maintain an Adirondack chair and embody a dose of comfort and style in your outdoor spaces.


How often should you paint them?

Generally, an Adirondack chair will require a paint job once in 1- 3 years, depending on the maintenance of the chair.

Staining remains a great way to enhance the natural appearance of the chair. It is thinner and requires less time to dry. Staining does not need any kind or primer and generally involves less prep work as compared to paints.

However, if you want to hide any imperfection in the chair, painting can be a great option. Generally, painted Adirondack chair would require less maintenance than the stained ones.

Exterior latex enamel may work best for Adirondack chairs. The paint can seal the chair and offer protection against UV rays and moisture. However, it is important to cover the chair with primer before you can apply the enamel paint.

It is very important to sand the chairs. Sanding allows for a smooth surface so that the paint can easily seep and better adhere to the chair. It can also allow for easy and consistent coats to deliver better results.

Yes, spray paint remains a good medium to paint any outdoor wooden furniture. Sprays are generally oil or solvent-based and can provide decent protection against daily wear and tear. Most sprays do not require a primer and allow for even and consistent coats of paint. Lastly, the application and drying time of spray paints is much less than conventional paints.

Yes, you can spray paint plastic Adirondack chairs. Spray paint can easily renew and extend the life of the outdoor plastic chair. Make sure you use a spray paint suitable for exterior use. Choosing one with a satin finish can help your plastic Adirondack chair to sustain better against harsh weather.

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