Refinishing Wood Patio Chairs

Most patios and outdoor living areas contain two or more wood patio chairs. These make popular outdoor living furniture because they are durable, comfortable and easy to refinish. Follow these steps to refinish your wood patio chairs for an updated look or better seal.

Prep Your Wood Patio Chairs

The first step in refinishing your wood patio chairs is to sand down the chairs. Sanding is important because it both clears away old finishes and it prepares the surface of the wood for accepting the new finish. Sanding can be done by hand with sanding blocks and sandpaper, or it can be done using a sandblaster. If you have several layers of paint to get through, you may also want to turn to a chemical paint stripper. If you use a chemical paint stripper, you need to be outside, you need to wait for a day when there is no wind and you need to wear safety gear like gloves and goggles.

Fix Damage

After you have removed the old finish(es) from your wood patio chairs, examine the chairs for damage. Damage is normal for wood furniture and is pretty easy to fix if you catch it early. Usually all wood damage requires is wood putty and a little extra sanding. If the damage is excessive, however, you may need to replace a part of the chair.

Adding a Lacquer Finish

Lacquer is a great finish to consider for your wood patio chairs. Lacquer is a thick varnish that will not only add a shiny and beautiful finish to your wood patio chairs, but it will also help to protect the wood from water and sun damage. Lacquer comes in a variety of finishes including black, red, clear and opaque. To apply a lacquer finish to your wood patio chairs you will want to sand the chairs down and apply multiple coats of the lacquer to your chairs, allowing each coat to dry completely before applying the next.

Adding a Paint Finish

Another way to add a colorful finish to your wood patio chairs is to paint your chairs. If you want to paint your wood patio chairs you will need to select a paint that is appropriate for outdoor use. This type of paint will provide the wood with a moderate level of protection from moisture and sun damage. However, paint has a tendency to chip and flake off as it is exposed to extreme weather conditions. This means that you will need to repaint your wood patio chairs each season or every other season depending on how much damage is sustained each year.

Adding a Wood Stain Finish

The third option that you have is to stain your wood patio chairs. This is a great option if you are interested in allowing the beauty of the wood grain to show through the finish that you select. Stains come in many colors and types. Oil stains can be clear or colored. However, they will require an additional clear polyurethane coat to protect the wood and to preserve your stain finish. The second option is to use a gel stain, which has the protective coating mixed in with the stain. This finish only requires one coat.