Give your new Adirondack chair a distressed finish. The distressed look is a way of imparting a sense of age and use to a piece of wood furniture. Why would you want to make new furniture look old? Some people enjoy the sense of comfort and history this look brings with it, but they don’t want to spend money on expensive genuine antiques. Others enjoy the look but just can’t find what they want in stores, so they take new furniture and customize it according to their tastes. If you want to try the distressed look on your Adirondack chair, you will need paint, sandpaper, and a clear sealant for the top coat. Steer away from a gloss finish, though, as this will only make your chair look new.
Start by applying a light sanding to your Adirondack chair so the paint will adhere better to its surface. Wipe the chair down with a clean cloth to remove dust. You can use a primer first, if you wish. Paint the entire chair with your selected shade of flat paint. Darker colors look especially good with a distressed finish. Allow the paint to dry partially between coats. After you have applied the final layer of paint, allow it to dry completely. If the air is humid, allow more time.
Once you’re sure the chair has dried completely, grab a fresh piece of sandpaper. You will sand in the same direction as the wood’s grain, but you will not sand the entire chair. Sand only the areas that are usually the first to show signs of wear. On your Adirondack chair, this might be the edges of the armrests, the feet, and so forth. If you need additional guidance, examine pictures of distressed furniture to get a feel for where you might sand.
Don’t sand too hard. You’re not trying to gouge out wood or remove a whole section of paint. Sand lightly, just enough to give your Adirondack chair the appearance that it’s been used. You should take off a little paint as you sand. When you have finished this step, get another clean cloth and wipe the whole chair down to remove dust that your sanding may have caused.
Apply your clear sealant according to the manufacturer’s directions. This top coat should help to preserve your calculated appearance of gentle use from degrading into an actual all-over look of harsh use.
You’re done. You have sanded your chair, primed or painted it with the necessary number of coats, and allowed it to dry. Next, you have used sandpaper to distress key areas and edges of your chair-the same areas that would normally be the first to show signs of wear. Then you have wiped down the chair to remove dust and finished by applying a clear top coat. Once the top coat has dried, you should be able to use your Adirondack chair with its distressed finish. Now what’s your next project? A matching side table? Perhaps an ottoman?