Adoption Update. Also Featuring… How to Restore Your favorite Adirondack Chairs

Skip Adoption update to Learn how to repair, revitalize, Adirondack chairs of the past.

Adoption update: There is none.  Our plans to meet our son and bring him home have been postponed indefinitely.  This is the 3rd attempt we have tried to meet our son and to all parties involved, most importantly our son, we are waiting for the day we can legally bring him home with us to meet him.  We have no idea when this day will occur, so we can no longer plan for it.  Thank you to everyone who has tried to help, but there is nothing left to do, but wait. Thank you for those who have been praying for this event to take place; we hope it will be soon.

There is only one thing left that we can do, our own method of therapy, and that is to expel the frustration onto completing another off grid project. We have chosen to repair Krista’s grandparents’ Adirondack chairs she inherited. They are most likely older than both of us added together, and they are needing some serious TLC. Plus, we needed the distraction from the emotional roller coaster ride we have been on.

Learn how to repair, revitalize, Adirondack chairs of the past.

The before; how they looked before being revitalized.

The before; how they looked before being revitalized.

How to Restore Your favorite Adirondack Chairs (This project took two days to complete)

First, use a putty knife to scrape the old flaking paint off as much as possible. Check for blisters in the paint and use the putty knife to remove them and scrape the paint as flat or to the wood where ever possible.

Use a putty knife to scrape off loose paint chips.

Use a putty knife to scrape off loose paint chips.

Second, use a rough grit sandpaper, we chose 80 grit for our chairs to really smooth out the paint and the exposed wood. Sand the entire chair and hand sand places the electric sander can’t reach.  You don’t have to go to the original wood, but it needs to be smooth between the wood and the spots still with paint.

Krista uses an electrical sander to smooth out the surface of the wood and paint still left on the chair.

Krista uses an electrical sander to smooth out the surface of the wood and paint still left on the chair.

Third, use a commercial grade wood glue, clamps, and a small nail gun to reinforce joints that have become loose. Allow time for glue to dry before removing clamps. I allowed about half an hour to an hour because the glue I used needed the extra time.

Glue, clamp, and nail loos joints in that order.  I used a nail gun using a majority of 2" thin pin nails to reinforce the joints and do less damage to the already weakened wood.

Glue, clamp, and nail loose joints in that order. I used a nail gun with a majority of 2″ thin pin nails to reinforce the joints and do less damage to the already weakened wood.

Fourth, primer the entire chair. The wood was so dry that it took two coats of primer. Prime the bottom/back side of the chair first, then the top/front. Allow to dry before priming the next side.

Krista priming the chairs. The chairs needed two coats of primer.

Krista priming the chairs. The chairs needed two coats of primer.

Fifth, paint the chair the awesome color you have chosen to express your personal choice, think happy thoughts and chose a happy color.

Using a small roller helps on the larger surfaces.

Using a small roller helps on the larger surfaces.

 

Sixth, enjoy your favorite beverage while listening to the birds in the morning and enjoying the view of your place.

This was a two day project, and we were able to enjoy the chairs on the morning of the 3rd day.

This was a two day project, and we were able to enjoy the chairs on the morning of the 3rd day.  In the background is our dart board.  We love to play in the warm summer evenings.

This was our view from the chairs the morning they were ready for use…

When we sat down to enjoy a cup of tea in our revitalized Adirondack chairs our kitten was over extending his welcome on the bird's home.  You can see the stare down occurring.  This is the first time this bird house had a nest and probably the last after this season.

When we sat down to enjoy a cup of tea in our revitalized Adirondack chairs, our kitten was over extending his welcome on this bird’s home. You can see the stare down occurring. This is the first time this bird house had a nest and probably the last after this season.

 

The history behind these chairs.

Grandma and Grandpa Habelt’s Adirondack Chairs:

Mark and I decided to restore the two Adirondack chairs that were my Grandparents.  I absolutely love these chairs for their comfort and memories.  As I was sanding the many coats of paint off, green, yellow, orange, then blue, my mind was caught up in thoughts of where these chairs have been and the people who used them in each of their colors.

I remember visiting my Grandparents at their “Cabin” located in the Santa Cruz Mountains in the small town of Brookdale.  Being only a couple hours away when I was young, allowed me and my family to visited often.  The two story, green roofed, Cabin was made of Redwood.  It had a covered wrap around porch in front and a quaint uncovered porch in the back, which was dressed with a white metal table adorned with a yellow umbrella, four chairs, metal base chaise lounge chair with turquoise cushion and white cloth cover, and extra chairs in the laundry room waiting for guests to use them.  In the afternoons at the Cabin, we would all sit under the covered front porch in the shade surrounded by redwood trees.  Placed on the front porch was a wobbly table, four chairs, old rocking chair that had springs and was not comfortable at all, and two green Adirondack chairs.  These were truly the best of times growing up.

I did not care for the Adirondack chairs when I was young.  They were so huge that I felt like they were swallowing me and that I was folding in half when I sat in them.  My feet did not even come close to touching the porch.  They were just stretched out in front of me and were elevated.  I can remember thinking and asking myself why all the adults love these chairs?  Now I know.  When these chairs fit you they are very comfortable and support your whole body.  Simple design with great comfort.

Out of curiosity, I looked up the history of the Adirondack chair and the design was first invented by Thomas Lee in the early 1900’s.  His friend, Harry Bunnell saw the design and without asking obtained a patent and started making what he named the Westport Plank Chair.  The chair design by Thomas Lee was made in the Adirondack region in Westport, NY.  As time has passed the slant-back, low seated, wide arm-rested chair design has become known as the Adirondack Chair. (History found on Orvis website)

I also asked my parents how old our Adirondack Chairs were and my Dad remembers them being at the Cabin in 1944, when his parents, my grandparents, bought the Cabin. Wow, 71 year old chairs.  How awesome to think that Mark and I are able to continue the tradition these chairs provide:  people sharing with people.

8 thoughts on “Adoption Update. Also Featuring… How to Restore Your favorite Adirondack Chairs

  1. I am so sorry to hear that your visit with “Your Son” was Uneventful.. But .. I do believe “everything happens for a reason”.. as long as you have worked, and prayed, and hoped, this child would be yours, God also has been with you. I believe this child will find a family, and YOU will also find “Your Child”. For what ever reason this “Match” wasn’t the one, I know God will, “When the Time, and Match, is Right”, you Will have that child that God has prepared for you all. Our Love, and Prayer’s are with you until that time comes. ❤
    I also LOVE why, and what, you've done with the Chair's.. They turned out amazing… This just proves how, with a little love, patience, and time, beautiful memories are made. Even though I have not had the pleasure of meeting you in person Krista, know that God has made a perfect match for you and Mark. And He will also find the "Perfect match" in a Child for you both.
    All my Love to you,
    Aunt "Patty Dawn" and Bruce

    Like

    • Aunt Patty Dawn,
      Please don’t misunderstand; our adoption is still going through; we just don’t know when. We haven’t given up on our son and won’t, but to visit him without a determined date that we could legally bring him home could be more difficult for him to process. Especially, if we see him and he has to return to his foster home, we would have to then explain we have no idea when we can return for him.
      The frustrating part is the date we were suppose to meet him and bring him home was this week. Now, we don’t know when it will be finalized, and we can’t begin to plan to reschedule until it’s completed. The paperwork is now finally moving, but at a very slow pace.

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  2. Mark,
    I did MIS-understand… I thought it was just NOT happening this time. I’m sorry it’s taking so long. It’s got to be hard on All of you to have our State’s Adoption System so “Unpredictable”. But I am so Happy to hear that “It IS going to happen”, and my prayer is that it will be SOONER than later. You will be amazing parent’s and I know your son will have a wonderful life with you.
    I’ve enjoyed watching your lives unfold on here. I am amazed at what you and Krista have accomplished. I am so proud of the Man, Husband, and (soon) Father you have become.
    Thank you for “Straitening me out” on the adoption. 🙂 and we’ll continue to pray for a “Speedy Process”..
    Love and Hug’s,
    Aunt Patty Dawn ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Paperwo rk! 😦

    Well with how amazing of a family you are and with how much you have to offer I see no reason why this should not in time work out, and it is obvious to anyone looking that it is through no fault of your own that things are postponed; you have done all you can and were on top of it! Just the gov system sometimes leaves something to be desired… human systems are subject to flaws. Now, we wait. It is a good choice to put your waiting hands to use! And it was a very worthwhile project also. Those are awesome chairs and fantastic family heirlooms.

    In a few years time, this will just be another bump in the road that leads to where your family will someday be. And who knows, there may be a reason. God’s time, as you said.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if he was also anxiously looking forward to seeing you, and he might also be dissappointed. Maybe now is a good time to send him more photos of what you are doing while you wait and reassuring him that you are still waiting for him? Just another idea for things to do with your waiting hands, not knowing the details of your situation.

    Best of luck and prayers your way.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dear Mark and Krista,
    This is your son’s CASA, Jody, writing. He will come home to you two soon. I’m praying for it.
    I love that you spent your time on a restoration project. A couple of years ago, when we were caring for my parents, we bought an old rusty, cob web covered iron gate and turned into a lovely headboard. So therapeutic!
    Breathing and Praying,
    Jody

    Liked by 1 person

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