Adirondack and Muskoka Chairs - Finishing Refinishing and Staining Techniques for Wood Preservation
Our Unique Furniture treatment and long term care
We take great pride in the products we build and we use only the finest finish available on the market today. When you purchase a product treated* it means more than just stained, it is a process that preserves our furniture for many years.
Our Unique Process
We say our furniture is treated, not just stained because of the unique process we use in finishing.
Before final assembly each piece is sanded to a furniture grade surface, then completely immersed in a vat for the first coat application.
The pieces are set to drip, then after a few minutes they are carefully checked for drip stains which are smoothed over then set to dry.
When dry, each piece is finely sanded, all dust removed then sprayed with a second coat application.
Again the pieces are carefully checked for drips and smoothed over before drying. This is then repeated for the third coat.
Once dry, all pieces are sanded again and a fourth application is sprayed on top surfaces. Only after the last coat is dry do we assemble all the pieces to apply a high quality product such as Cetol 1 by Sikkens.
Only the Finest Finish
Cetol 1 by Sikkens is internationally recognized as one of the best stains on the market. This stain creates a durable flexible film coating that penetrates the wood surface yet lets the wood "breathe" to accommodate constantly changing climatic conditions.
It will not crack, blister or peel and is an excellent water repellent (water will bead on it). With time it will wear away (usually 2 to 5 years depending on color and sun exposure). To prevent wear and to have a new look on your furniture year after year, just clean the surface and reapply a thin coat on top surfaces once a year. (Once the stain is completely faded it is harder to get that new look.)
To learn more about this stain you can visit the Sikkens web site at: www.sikkens.com
For the nearest dealer location visit: http://www.nam.sikkens.com/find-a-dealer.cfm
Long term care or applying finish yourself
Finishes: Unstained Products
Our Adirondack chairs and outdoor furniture are made with Western red cedar and can be left unstained without loosing its strength or longevity. Eventually the cedar if left unstained will fade to a soft silver color (the grey/silver color of drift wood). To maintain the natural color of the cedar you will have to put a finish on it that has a high UV protection rating since it is the sun that fades the cedar to silver.
Here are your options for applying a protective coat to your products:
Stains: Stains are the best way to go if you want easy to care for products, however stain does not usually last as long as paint. The average stain can last anywhere from 1 year to 5 years depending on the quality of the stain used, the number of coats applied, and the type of application. But unlike paint, stain will not peel or bubble and gradually fades away over time. Thus it is simple to keep it looking new from one year to the next by applying a single fresh coat each spring. An additional coat of stain each spring takes only a few minutes of effort compared to the hours of labour that painting requires (sanding, priming, painting). We recommend using Cetol 1 by Sikkens for the longest lasting finish but there are other good stains on the market today that have high UV protection ratings that can give you a wonderful finish if applied well. Here is the basic way of applying most stains (be sure to read the instructions on the stain you purchase for precise application of that stain): 1. Make sure all pieces are all clean and dust free 2. Apply a liberal coat of the stain, then check for drips making sure they are wiped away before they dry. 3. Once completely dry sand lightly (with extra fine sandpaper like 320 grit) and apply a thin second coat. (again don't forget to check for drips since they detract from the beauty of a finished product.) 4. You can leave it with 2 coats or add a 3rd and 4th depending on how heavy a finish you want on the product. We use 4 coats of Cetol 1 by Sikkens for that shinny finish (we do not apply varnish or lacquer).
Paints: The painted Adirondack chairs look great and the paint can last up to 7 years before needing to be repainted IF proper steps were taken to apply a professional finish. However we don't recommend paints because it cannot breath with the wood and will eventually peel and bubble creating hours of labour removing the paint down the road. An alternative to paint is a heavy particle stain. It has the coverage of a paint with the breathing ability of a stain. Sikkens makes an opaque satin stain that goes on like a paint, has a high UV protection rating, and offers a long lasting finish that with time will fade away (much easier to refinish later than scraping and sanding paint for days). For selecting the right paint for your needs, talk to your local paint dealership and be sure to follow instructions provided to get a professional finish.
Water sealers: These will work but keep in mind that they cannot prevent the wood from eventually going grey unless you find one with a high UV protection rating and you apply it regularly as part of your maintenance. Be sure to read the labels to see what protection they actually offer and keep in mind that wood has to be able to breath (it expands and shrinks in different weather conditions). You also want to make sure the wood doesn't dry out and start cracking & splitting (although these minor flaws do not lessen the strength of the product).
Lacquer or Varnish: We do NOT recommend using Lacquers or Varnishes as they seal the wood completely and tend to bubble and peel within a very short amount of time (wood has to be able to breath , if the finish wont breath with the wood it will lift off the wood). If you want your product shinny use a good quality stain and sand lightly between each coat.
Wax, linseed oil, etc.: These products are great for caring for wood indoors but don't do as well outdoors. The heat from the sun can cause these products to rise to the surface of the wood leaving wax or oil on your clothing when you sit on them. Read the labels and make sure you know what kind of finish you are applying.
Feel free to contact us for further information