How to Stain Adirondack Chairs

Adirondack chairs are comfortable outdoor patio chairs, perfect for relaxing and catching a few rays of sun or watching your children play. Changing the appearance of these chairs is easy to do with a wood stain. Adirondack chairs are normally constructed of cedar or pine and will last for years with proper care. Staining your chairs takes just a couple of hours and will give them a whole new look.

Stain your adirondack chair to give it a warm, earthy look.

Step 1

Sand any rough edges with fine-grit sandpaper to ensure that your brush will flow smoothly over the wood.  Clean the area you want to stain by wiping it with a cloth dampened with denatured alcohol.

Step 2

Test your wood stain by brushing it on a small section of the wood that is hidden from view.  Make sure this is the look you want to create.

Step 3

Follow the directions on the can to apply the wood stain with long even strokes, using a good quality paintbrush.  Allow time for the stain to absorb according to the directions on the can.

Step 4

Wipe the stain away with a soft cloth and decide if it is the color you need.  Some wood is more porous than others, so it may take two or three applications to achieve the look you want.

Be sure to allow the stain to dry thoroughly between coats. 

Things You Will Need

  • Fine-grit sandpaper
  • Cloth
  • Denatured alcohol
  • Wood stain
  • Paintbrush


  • Choose a stain that is formulated for outdoor furniture. Water and oil stains are the easiest to use for beginners. Wood stains are available in many colors and wood tones. Choose a wood stain that complements the natural wood hue of your chair. If it has a yellow, red or grayish tint, choose a stain with the same hue for best results.
  • Apply a sealer after staining the wood to prevent the color from bleeding. Once the sealer is dry, apply a finish that is recommended for outdoor furniture. The varnish, shellac or lacquer will prevent moisture absorption and rotting. You may need two or three coats.

About the Author

Chelsea Fitzgerald covers topics related to family, health, green living and travel. Before her writing career, she worked in the medical field for 21 years. Fitzgerald studied education at the University of Arkansas and University of Memphis.

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