Log patio furniture such as Adirondack chairs will need to be re-stained periodically to refresh and condition the wood. To condition log furniture that has been faded due to sun exposure, you’ll need the appropriate tools and supplies. At the hardware or home improvement store, look for quality exterior stain, a flat brush, sponge sanders and drop cloth for protecting your floor.
How Often Should You Re-Stain?
How often you re-stain your outdoor log furniture depends on a few factors. First, consider the environment in which the furniture is exposed to. Does it rain or snow heavily in the area? Is the log furniture directly exposed to the sun?
If you’ve answered “yes” to the above questions, you’ll need to re-stain the wood more frequently. For furniture that tends to “dry out” from sun exposure or fade more easily, re-stain the logs every six months. The important thing to remember is, do not use sealant on the log furniture, because this could result in wood rotting. If this occurs, you may need to strip the rotted wood and re-finish it once again.
The Process of Re-Staining, Step-by-Step
- Place a drop cloth down on your deck or patio floor: This will prevent stains from damaging your floor.
- Gather your project supplies: Semi-solid wood stain will provide some protection from the ultra-violet rays of the sun. If you’ve decided on a two-tone effect, you’ll want two exterior stains; one in natural, the other in a dark teak shade. For sanding the wood, you’ll need a flexible 80-100 grit sponge sander. You’ll also need a flat brush that is appropriately sized for the slats and log legs. Also, have a few stir sticks on hand to stir up the stain before use, as well as a few rags for clean up.
- Sand the log furniture: You need to smooth out any roughness. Peeling or chipped logs also need to be smoothed before re-staining. Unlike the use of sandpaper, a sanding sponge will make it easier to reach contours and corners.Choose a sponge sander that is flexible enough for hard-to-reach areas underneath log slats and around corners. These conforming blocks are usually made with double-sided grit and coated with aluminum oxide. Be sure to sand all areas, including undersides, front and back. All splinters should be brushed away after the process, and the logs should be smooth to the touch. Remove sanded dust and splinters by wiping with a rag.
- Stir your cans of stain thoroughly: It’s best to use a stir stick for this, because it is large and wide enough to reach all areas, including the bottom of the can.
- Stain the logs: For a two-tone effect, first use the darker shade for the edging and contours. The two-tone look especially works well for tables. The natural stain should be used for the body and legs of the table and chairs. Be sure to work the stain into the ingrain. Also, pay attention to the darker colored “knots” on the logs. These circular imperfections seem to dry out quicker than the rest of the wood, therefore they need a bit more stain for conditioning.
- Allow your log patio furniture to thoroughly dry out: This should take about 24-48 hours.
- After the logs are completely dry in a day or two, re-stain the furniture: That extra coat of stain will provide the finishing touch. You’ll rarely need a third coat, but if you feel it is necessary, wait until the second coat has completely dried before adding a final application.
There you have it! Now that you have revitalized your rustic log patio furniture, keep it protected when not in use. Patio furniture covers are available in complementary colours and can help keep your log furniture look like new between re-staining.