Type of wood for a painted Adirondack Chair?

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Forum topic by StevenPortland posted 11-13-2012 10:45 PM 9139 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3 posts in 3437 days

11-13-2012 10:45 PM

Topic tags/keywords: modern question adirondack chair outdoor lumber

I live in Portland, Oregon, which is a wet and rainy place. I’m planning to build two of these Adirondack chairs for our front porch. I will be painting them a bright color, similar to these chairs.
What type of lumber should I consider using? Do I need something like cedar since the chairs will be outdoors? Or because they will be painted (sealed from the weather) can I use just standard lumber?

10 replies so far

View AandCstyle's profile


3306 posts in 3588 days

#1 posted 11-13-2012 11:55 PM

My preference would be white oak, but cypress, black locust (maybe the best if you can find it) and redwood will be good choices. Water will migrate up from the feet and eventually “standard” lumber will rot.

-- Art

View Charles Maxwell's profile

Charles Maxwell

1110 posts in 5138 days

#2 posted 11-14-2012 01:00 AM

Redwood or cypress

-- Max the "night janitor" at

View Moron's profile


5048 posts in 5224 days

#3 posted 11-14-2012 01:08 AM

pressure treated decking

inexpensive, readily available and longevity assured ?

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View eric122's profile


141 posts in 4341 days

#4 posted 11-14-2012 01:31 AM

you could use hemlock or western larch or ipe mohogony or tiger wood check out advantage timber out of buffalo ny they have a online store

-- eric underwood

View Richard's profile


400 posts in 4022 days

#5 posted 11-14-2012 02:22 AM

I used pressure treated “1 x” and painted mine. I leave them outside year round. They have been through two Minnesota winters and about to go through a third and are still holding up very well. The paint is starting to flake in places, but that is not unexpected.

-- "It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." - Mark Twain

View Purrmaster's profile


915 posts in 3424 days

#6 posted 11-14-2012 11:26 AM

Ah, a fellow Oregonian.

You might want to check out Woodcrafters (not the same as Woodcraft in Beaverton) in Portland. They have a good lumber selection and the folks there know their stuff.

View Sandra's profile


7207 posts in 3406 days

#7 posted 11-14-2012 12:03 PM

Hi – differing opinion here. If you have never built an Adirondack chair before, you may want to go with pine for your first go. I built my first one with very little woodworking experience and learned a LOT along the way. What that translated into was a very expensive chair. I had to recut some of the pieces several times, bought tools as I needed them, more wood, more tools….

If you use a good primer/sealer and then paint, they won’t last forever, but they’ll look good for at least a few years.
We leave ours outside for three seasons, bring them into the garage only in the winter. I’m in Eastern Canada, so we get a lot of rain in the Spring and Fall.

You could build your first out of pine, and then look at some of the other wood types.

Just my two cents worth. If you check out my projects, I have a yellow chair that’s a bit on the ‘too bright’ side.

Have fun, be safe, and ask away.

-- No, I don't want to buy the pink hammer.

View Madwood's profile


68 posts in 4382 days

#8 posted 11-14-2012 10:39 PM

Building a prototype from pine is an excellent idea! I’ve built literally hundreds of Norm’s Adk chair and 90% of them from pine. I did a couple in cypress a number of yrs ago and they still sit on my deck. The above suggestions are all good chojces and my overall choice would be white oak. Strong and weather=resistant, it would last for a long time, especially painted. Prime first however, or you’ll be painting ever yr or so. Stain would be a good choice of finish as well.
HTH, John

-- In the shop making chaos out of order

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30659 posts in 3669 days

#9 posted 11-15-2012 11:37 AM

If you are going to paint it, I would go with PT pine. Handles the climate well and painted is as good as any without the cost.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View RussellAP's profile


3105 posts in 3618 days

#10 posted 11-15-2012 01:00 PM

Spar and then paint and you can use any wood.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

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