THE ADIRONDACK DEBATE

I am truly excited with all my newly acquired space in our country home, it's not huge by any stretch, okay the backyard is bigger than a football field, but the house is modest, a heck of a lot bigger than our tiny one bedroom in Los Angeles. With all this new space we will be needing furniture that I hadn't considered prior.  We have a lovely little front porch and a large deck in back.  For the deck I just bought some simple folding wood chairs that were floor models at a store, they were $20 a piece, I also bought a round metal side table which is big enough for us to eat on (another floor model).  It's not ideal or anything I want to photograph, but it's not hideous and has been working out really well (for now).  The front porch, although not a necessity to put chairs out there right away (since we don't even have a sofa), I did have a burning desire to get something out there stat.  It just seemed so forlorn coming home to an empty porch. My husband was sold on getting Adirondack chairs, I wasn't.  I wanted something a little less country and maybe even more contemporary.  Outdoor furniture does not come cheap, I looked, more like scoured and had a hard time. I did end up finding some pieces I really liked at World Market, but even at the relatively low price tag for outdoor furniture it was beyond what I could afford to spend. I decided to give the Adirondack another chance, it's a classic design, in the right colorway and possibly with the right pillows I could make it less cottage and more chic, right? I looked locally first Craigslist, no one was selling their chairs for less than $200, the Woodsmith was double that and even the big box stores were asking over $125 per chair.  I was dejected and considered trying to figure out how to build my own when I found an assemble yourself version at Home Depot for $30 a piece! I wasn't sure if I could figure it out, I am horrible with any sort of instructions but I did and they are both nice and solid. My only dilemma now is what color to make them.  I am considering a matte black (or should I do high gloss?), or white, or stain them, I'm not good with decisions.  I'm not going to go with a color, that's too much of a commitment for me.  I figure if I am yearning for a pop of color (which has never happened), I will add it via the cushions/pillows which I will have to sew myself.  I have tons of fabric, my sewing machine should be here sometime in 2012 (when will that moving truck arrive?) and I am really motivated. Since I successfully put these chairs together I feel like I can pretty much take on any project. Have any of you worked with unfinished furniture before?  Anything I need to know?  Any tips?  I would be distraught if I ruined my new chairs.

martha (May 21, 2012 at 1:12 PM)  

Nice job! While they do look country, Adirondacks are so comfortable; totally worth the trade-off in my opinion. And I would paint them with a glossy color (black or white - it really depends on your porch) so that they would hopefully be a bit easier to clean.

Adri (May 21, 2012 at 1:14 PM)  

I'd def ask around for rec's on paints that stand up to the weather there. I'm sure the locals can tell you which kinds (gloss, matte or specific brands) stand up to the humidity so they don't seem tacky in the summer while your sweaty shorts-wearing self is lounging on the porch with a lemonade.

Miss B. (May 21, 2012 at 3:18 PM)  

Martha, I guess I should have mentioned the color scheme outside, hah! The house is Ecru, more an off white (but not so yellow). The shutters and front door are matte black and the trim and railings are bright white. The porch has the original aged wood (the house was completely re-done). So I think either black or white or a natural-ish color. They are blond fir now and stick out like two sore thumbs. Adri, SUPER good call on finding out about the paint, it's already sticky here, we've been looking at weather charts that read' 60% humidity, feels like 100%' that cracks me up. Even when it's 20% humidity it feels like 200% to this California girl!

Christine (May 21, 2012 at 9:46 PM)  

From personal experience when I had a wrought iron railings installed, I wanted matte black. The installer said that I should pick high gloss because in one season it would be matte but still have the durability of a gloss. He was right. Of course, this is LA, so I'd check with the local paint stores, small ones that have been around awhile vs. the big box type. And yes to Adri's advice of getting tacky feeling in the summer heat. Maybe a marine paint? Have fun whatever you do!!

Dana (May 21, 2012 at 10:13 PM)  

I would hesitate with the black if you get any direct sunlight. You will have to deal with hot bottoms if the sun shines on your deck when you will be enjoying it and fading of the blacks as time goes by.

If you can't be persuaded from black, I would go with satin with the ok of the paint guy so you don't end up with drink rings on your arm rests or uneven finish from washing away the calling cards of the little birdies that may stop by. ;)

All that said, you might like a deep walnut stain or even a black / slate grey stain. Congratulations on your new home and your DIY success!

Miss B. (May 22, 2012 at 10:51 PM)  

Christine marine paint may be a brilliant idea, I will ask the local hardware store. Dana, I honestly did not think about the idea that it would be hot and you are correct, that would be no fun for anyone, lol. I am toying with the stain idea now, hmm? So many choices!

Slappin B!tches Since 1982! (May 23, 2012 at 5:54 PM)  

Ahhh! These are the ones I got my sister for her house. They are super comfy. And not to bad putting them together yourself. I will say staining and Varnish was the way I went with it. Staining it made it a little more rustic and homey, and then I used a clear coat of lumber or deck seal to keep the elements off. The seal also makes it easier to clean off bird poop and pollen from them!

Amy (May 24, 2012 at 7:40 AM)  

I think black would look awesome (true, it will soak up the sun, but I've found lightly stained benches that scorched my backside a good one. Hot, is hot). Anyway, the black would add a modern touch and you could always throw in color with pillows/flowers.

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xx,

Miss B.