How's that for a title?
I want to preface this post by saying that finishing this project was a long time coming. Charlie and I started re-doing these Adirondack chairs at my parents' river house last summer - way before I started blogging! So, I don't have any fantastic before or during photos of the early phases of the project. The finished product turned out really, really nicely though, so I figured it was worth sharing here on the ole blog.
First, the backstory... These Adirondacks belonged to the previous owners of the river house (similar to the old kitchen cart from yesterday's post). My parents wrote them into the contract when they purchased the river house (smart cookies) because they were just perfect to have out in the yard overlooking the river. Classic design, LOTS of them - I think there were eight (?) total - but there was one minor problem. They were in horrible shape. Rickety, splintered wood, broken pieces on some, etc. I actually feared sitting on them due to the possibility of hiney splinters. Yikes. So Charlie had the bright idea to fix 'em up and paint 'em so that they would be in great shape for years to come. Woohoo! I was sold and we were excited to get started.
Here's how they looked originally, before we got our hands on them:
Unfortunately, this is the only before picture I have. From far away, you can see they look pretty good, right? Just trust me when I say they were not in good shape for the reasons listed above.
So last summer, we spent several days taking them apart and basically rebuilding them. Oh how I wish I had photos of that process. It was hard work, and took a lot longer than we anticipated. We were pretty resourceful though - we sacrificed two of the chairs that were in the worst shape (basically beyond repair) and took pieces from them to restore the remaining chairs. Hooray for power tools and brute force.
To make sure the chairs were really solid, we inserted new screws to strengthen the chairs in rickety places, filled in gaps with sandable/paintable wood-filler, sanded down rough areas and prepped them for a fresh coat of paint.
Since these chairs live outside and have to withstand the elements (salt air, rain, and wind among other things), we wanted to make sure the paint would be durable, so we headed to our local Ace Hardware and asked what the best product(s) would be to make sure these chairs wouldn't need painting for a long time. He recommended priming first with Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Primer and painting with Royal (Ace Hardware's brand) Porch and Floor Paint. So that's what we did.
We primed (and primed and primed) to cover the wood completely. Dark wood isn't easy to cover! We used a combination of brushes, rollers and this paint sprayer. Y'all, for a project like this, you need a paint sprayer. All those nooks and crannies, and edges between slats are a pain in the butt to get at with a roller/brush.
We bought this Wagner one specifically for this project, and it was a lifesaver.
I sprayed and Charlie rolled/brushed the chairs. Priming complete.
And then we ran out of time. Summer ended, and by the time we next went down to the house, it was too cold to paint. So we waited almost a year before restarting this project. Much to our satisfaction, the primer held up quite well over the winter, and we didn't have to redo it (ain't nobody got time for that). Here's how the chairs were looking with just the primer and a year's worth of weathering:
Not so bad.
We finally got to adding the top coats of porch and floor point this past weekend, which is where the photos pick back up. Yippee!
Here I am with my trusty paint sprayer...
And there's C, rolling away...
I won't go into detail about the painting process, but I will say that it went by much faster this time since we didn't have to do all the prep/repair work. My aunt even got in on the process for part of it (thanks Suzanne!).
I'd say all our hard painting work paid off. Look at these beauties now:
White, white, white GLEAMING Adirondacks! They look brand new. Hopefully they'll hold up really well and won't need another coat of paint for many years (fingers crossed!).
So that's the epic story of the Adirondack chairs. Old, rickety, and splintery to smooth, pretty, and lovely! I'm so proud of us for sticking with the project. I think we deserve a good pat on the back :).
Have you ever taken on a major fixing up/painting project like this? Was it worth it? Were you pleased with the results?
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