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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Fifth, paint the chair the awesome color you have chosen to express your personal choice, think happy thoughts and chose a happy color.
Sixth, enjoy your favorite beverage while listening to the birds in the morning and enjoying the view of your place.
This was our view from the chairs the morning they were ready for use…
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.