Adirondack chair-cedar or treated and paint? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 06-10-2012, 01:37 PM Thread Starter
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Adirondack chair-cedar or treated and paint?

I would like to try and make a couple of adirondack chairs and have a couple questions on wood and finish. I'm thinking about using pressure treated lumber because it is cheaper and then painting it. Woman likes colored things instead of natural wood for some reason.

Is pressure treated alright to use for these chairs? Or should I go with cedar? For finishing if I go with treated do I have to wait a year in order to paint them for it to dry out or can I paint them right away? I would like to paint right away if possible. Or should I just go with a pine board if I'm going to paint it? If I go with cedar should I just use a deck sealer to seal it?

Thanks for any advice on this.

Thanks for your help
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post #2 of 8 Old 06-10-2012, 02:14 PM
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As far as finishing, the cedar would be faster however you don't have to wait a year to paint treated wood. With summer coming upon us if the wood is freshly treated it could be finished in early August especially if you keep them from being rained on. If you can get the treated wood from a small lumber company chances are the wood has been setting on the shelf for months and you can go ahead and finish it. You can usually tell by the weight. If you want to you can also stain treated wood. It will just be darker than untreated wood.
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post #3 of 8 Old 06-10-2012, 02:19 PM
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Treated is usually subpar pine/fir and has a tendency to warp/split easier than cedar. It also bleeds through the paint easier.
Yes the cedar costs more...for a reason. It really doesn't even need painted, but will grey out, so if you don't like grey, you seal or stain it.

Both will work, but one is better.
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post #4 of 8 Old 06-10-2012, 02:25 PM
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Pressure treated wood can be difficult to work with, due to being saturated with water/chemicals e.g., when bought from a big box store.

The moisture will dry off, but if you have cut the pieces made the joints etc, while wet, then things will not fit once the wood dries.

If you do make with pressure treated I would use a stain rather than paint. Some treated wood make not take a paint. Also the paint will crack if the treated wood shrinks due to trying in the summer heat.

If you are intending to paint, why not use 2x4 hem/fir? The paint will be the weatherproofing. Just keep the feet off the deck with rubber buttons.

Consider a design with mechanical fasteners. Even epoxy will fail if the wood shrinks in the summer heat.

Cedar looks great when new, but can crack and cause splinters.

If you want a naturally resistive wood, consider mahogany or white oak. After all whiskey/ wine barrels are frequently made with white oak and they last for a LONG time.
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post #5 of 8 Old 06-10-2012, 02:59 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the quick replies. What about just using pine and then painting or staining them?

Thanks for your help
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post #6 of 8 Old 06-10-2012, 03:32 PM
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If I were going to paint I'd give Poplar lumber a serious consideration for cost and paint retention ability.

Treated lumber isn't really necessary and is often yellow pine. I don't like it for projects like chairs and isn't real paint friendly as some fir lumber isn't also.
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post #7 of 8 Old 06-10-2012, 06:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ponch37300 View Post
Thanks for the quick replies. What about just using pine and then painting or staining them?
That would work fine. It just wouldn't last as long as the cedar or treated wood.
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post #8 of 8 Old 06-10-2012, 06:26 PM
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ponch - I have done both and the cedar worked out better (for us) than the PT pine. Here in Indiana our winters are just barely bad enough to require that wooden furniture be taken indoors. So I have a little trick that I have done for about 20 years now . . . just before stacking wooden furniture in the barn I spray a light coat of Thompson's Waterseal on all surfaces. By springtime all traces of oil are soaked into the wood and there is no concern about staining clothing. I have a few cedar chairs and a table that are 20 years old and look like new. No paint no stain.
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