How To Stain An Adirondack Chair

Follow These 4 Simple Steps

How To Stain An Adirondack Chair

Q: How Do I Stain An Adirondack Chair?

A: Need some wood staining advice? Staining an Adirondack chair not only makes it look nice visually, it also increases its lifespan. Unfinished wood looks great, but changing weather and environmental elements will ultimately cause your chair to fall apart. However, staining it will preserve it for years to come. Thankfully, the process is easier than you may think. Just follow these four wood stain steps to stain an Adirondack chair.

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How To Stain An Adirondack Chair - When is the Best Time To Stain?
How To Stain An Adirondack Chair - When is the Best Time To Stain?

How To Stain An Adirondack Chair

When is the Best Time To Stain?

You will have better results staining on a sunny, dry day than you would on a wet, rainy day. Sunny days tend to be less humid, which is ideal when you are working on any staining project. Check the weather forecast before you start your wood staining project.

Look over the wood and make sure there aren't any rotten spots. Once you've given the chair an overall inspection and made any necessary repairs, you're ready to stain the chair.

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Prepare the Chair for Staining

Grab your wood stain. Here, we used Olympic Maximum Semi-Transparent Stain & Sealer in One in FogYou'll also need a paintbrush and any other supplies you want to use during the staining process. If necessary, place the chair on a painting tarp to protect the concrete or ground below.

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Step 2 - Sand the Wood
Step 2 - Sand the Wood

How To Stain An Adirondack Chair

Step 2

Sand the Wood

To find out if you have to sand* the wood, conduct a water absorption test. If the water beads on the wood, you'll need to sand the wood down before applying the stain.

Beading water shows that wood has a protective layer on it that will prevent the wood stain from penetrating down into it, which will prevent the stain from drying properly.

Before long, the stain could even begin to peel off your chair. So this step, while it may seem tedious, plays a big role in the overall results you achieve for the finished project.

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* WARNING! If you scrape, sand, or remove old paint, you may release lead dust or fumes. LEAD IS TOXIC. EXPOSURE TO LEAD DUST OR FUMES CAN CAUSE SERIOUS ILLNESS, SUCH AS BRAIN DAMAGE, ESPECIALLY IN CHILDREN. PREGNANT WOMEN SHOULD ALSO AVOID EXPOSURE. Wear a properly fitted NIOSH-approved respirator and prevent skin contact to control lead exposure. Clean up carefully with a HEPA vacuum and a wet mop. Before you start, find out how to protect yourself and your family by contacting USEPA National Lead Information Hotline at 1-800-424-LEAD or log on to Follow these instructions to control exposure to other hazardous substances that may be released during surface preparation.

Olympic Staining Tip

Always test a small, hidden area, using the same number of coats you will be using on the chair and let it dry so that you can be sure to get the wood stain color you want. 

Step 3 - Prepare the Stain
Step 3 - Prepare the Stain

How To Stain An Adirondack Chair

Step 3

Prepare the Stain

Before you dip your brush or roller into your wood stain, make sure to stir the stain. The pigment in the stain will settle to the bottom of the container while it sits on a shelf not being used.

You can shake the stain can if necessary, but if stirring works, stick with stirring. 

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Step 4 - Apply the Stain
Step 4 - Apply the Stain

How To Stain An Adirondack Chair

Step 4

Apply the Stain

You'll want to use a paintbrush to apply the wood stain. This will help you achieve even and consistent coats. Just make sure when you are applying the wood stain, you go with the grain and not against it.

Don't forget to backbrush when staining an Adirondack chair. This will give you complete coverage and an overall nice project once it's all completed.

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Please refer to the Product Label, Technical Data Sheet (TDS) or Safety Data Sheet (SDS) for safety and detailed application instructions.