Adirondack chairs makeover, pallet-style!
Remember my little rustic shed out back?
Last year the garden shed got a total revamp, from the ground up! Read Save The Shed Series HERE
Next up was creating that cute rustic garden shed sign along the side.
And as cute as this little rustic garden shed looks, it looked a little lonely. I felt it could use a couple of rustic chairs beside it, being that the shed is tucked under a massive shade tree.
So I’ve been scanning Facebook market place, the bidding sites and of course, the free sites I participate in as well.
And then one day there they were… my dream chairs!
The wooden adirondack chairs both coming with their own ottoman had most definitely seen better days. They were left out year around, and were listed as quite rickety.
But knowing what I do about how well reclaimed wood pressure washes up, I didn’t let their deterioration stop me whatsoever! And I figured if some boards were rotted, they could be replaced.
But the bonus to landing these old adirondack chairs is, there were two of them and they both had an ottoman!
I will admit, upon pickup, my heart sunk a little when the chairs easily wobbled back and forth with the touch of one finger. At that point I didn’t even know if I could save them. But for free it was worth a shot!
And if I couldn’t fix them, they could become adirondack chair garden art with vines growing all over them.
So it was time to roll up the ‘ol DIY sleeves and try and save these adirondack chairs! So my garden shed could have some friends.
Not only did I manage to save them, an unexpected adirondack chairs makeover, pallet-style treatment came into play that truly makes them look one-of-a-kind!
So if you come across some old adirondack chairs, here’s one unique and rustic makeover that may be right up your alley too!
Adirondack chairs makeover, pallet-style!
How to clean old adirondack wooden chairs
1. Place the chairs on the lawn, then set up a pressure washer.
2. Slowly pressure wash the chair wood until it comes out clean.
Don’t forget to turn them on their sides, as well as upside down.
Be sure to visit the video at the bottom of this post to see how easy they are to pressure wash!
Pressure washed adirondack chair comparison
To the left is the untouched adirondack chair as I got it. To the right is the pressure washed chair that is still wet. Isn’t the difference astonishing?!
This is why I don’t even bother cleaning reclaimed wood with a scrub brush. Cleaning reclaimed wood with a pressure washer does all the work for you!
How to pressure wash reclaimed wood
- Hold the pressure wash wand further away vs. too close at first to test out the pressure. Adjust as needed.
- Do a test run on an underside first.
- Remove all the grit, while attempting to leave some patina if possible.
- Keep moving the wand vs. holding it in one place, so you get a nice even clean finish with no wood gouging.
Read more tips on The Easiest Way to Clean Reclaimed Wood HERE
How to repair loose adirondack chairs
Repairing these adirondack chairs was simple! Since they were assembled with screws, all that was needed was to tighten each join up. Grabbing a few new outdoor durable wood screws, I replaced some screws while tightening others until the chairs no longer wobbled. It worked!
Sanding outdoor wood chairs for a smooth finish
4. Once completely dry, sand the wood with a palm sander until the desired smoothness is reached.
The chairs were left outdoors overnight, then were ready to sand the next day.
All angles of the chair were sanded, with most of the focus placed on areas where you touch or sit on the chair.
The finish ended up being butter-smooth!
Sanded wood chair comparison
Left: dry chair freshly pressure washed
Right: sanded with a palm sander, ending with hand sanding using 1000 grit.
What is really cool about sanding with a palm sander is that I managed to get all the previous wood treatment off the chairs! See how orange the chair on the left still is before sanding?
The sanded wood turned out PERFECT. A rustic vibe that resembled pallet wood!
Wood pallets come with lots of black ink markings. Random numbers, words and such, depending on what’s being shipped.
What an opportunity! That’s when I grabbed a couple of crate styled stencils to further enhance the pallet wood look…
I don’t plan to topcoat the wooden chairs for outdoor protection, but rather, just use adirondack chair covers to keep them safe from the elements. I love the bare wood look and they should stay this way for a long time as long as I cover them or bring them in when the weather turns wet or cold.
Where to find pallet wood stencils
Perfect for this Adirondack chairs makeover, pallet-style!
Plus, the word coffee… exactly what I’d be using these chairs for!
How to stencil wood to resemble pallet wood
- Decide where you’d like the images to be.
- Load a stencil brush with Fusion Mineral Paint’s Coal Black, (locate a local Fusion merchant HERE) then dry off most paint until your brush feels dry.
- Hold stencil in place, then tap or swirl paint through the stencil to achieve the desired effect.
- Space out the images in a random way, rotating heavy and lighter images to balance it all out.
- If working with two chairs, pretend both are one so you can design them to look awesome beside each other.
Learn more tips on how to stencil at: Everything you need to know about stenciling HERE
I love styling pallet markings. You can’t do this wrong!
And here’s how they turned out!
Refinished adirondack chairs, pallet-style!
Come on over and have a seat! I’m having freshly ground coffee made in a french press! What can I get you?
I mean, can you even?! The adirondack chairs makeover, pallet-style and their footrests turned out so beautiful!
While the pallet stamps are discreetly done (so it looks authentic vs. crafted), they add so much style!
The cute little black and white lumbar pillow is from Ikea. Find other similar lumbar pillows HERE
And yeah, my beloved coffee will be placed right on this wide chair arm! More times than I’m even willing to count.
As for the wood finish, I plan to leave them as-is, and just use some outdoor adirondack chair covers for when they are not being used.
Aren’t those footrests just the best though?! When pushed against the chair, they totally look like loungers. So SO cool. What a find!
Because one chair arm got a message, this one gets one too!
Wanna know a secret?
462 from the Organic Coffee stencil stands for my birthday. April 6, 1962.
And now you know that sometimes there are some hidden meanings in the stencils I create.
As luck would have it, these adirondack chairs are positioned to help you sit up straight, vs. lean too far back which I’m so grateful for!
So all that’s left to do now…
… is to grab a coffee…
… and sit out back under the big ‘ol shade tree on my little adirondack chairs makeover, pallet-style, and enjoy the view.
Click above to watch a short video on the easy pressure washing process!
I think the shed looks BFF happier already…
Think you’ll give this pallet-look a go on a future project soon too?
Create a crate look on any project with these stencils:
Check out many other crate-styled stencils HERE
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