I’ve said this a thousand times, but I’ll say it again; if you have solid wood furniture, DON’T EVER, EVER get rid of it! These Muskoka chairs are solid cedar – something not many can afford anymore – but all they needed was a little makeover to bring them back to new.
Not really a makeover, but I was looking for some alliteration in my title.
I’m sitting here, having just finished the refinish on the Muskoka chairs and I’m rewarding my self with some jellybeans…
It got me thinking; does anyone else pair off their jellybeans, smarties or M&M’s by colour? Then you eat any ‘oddsies’ first? Then move on to the pairs that have the most – like I have 4 reds here, but only 2 pinks and 2 yellows, so I’ll even all the teams out until they are equal….
No? Just me?
You knew I was weird before you came here, so just chalk it up to one more of my idiosyncrasies. 😂
The chairs? – alright already!
I’m refinishing these Muskoka chairs for a friend of mine.
Everything except the finish is in great shape. There is only one very small section of rot on the bottom of one leg (which I’ll cut off because the owner wants the chair lowered anyways), but there is no damage or rot anywhere else.
These have been lovingly cared for for 20 years – which is phenomenal for wood Muskoka chairs!
I got excited and didn’t think through my refinishing process, and brought out my 3100 psi pressure washer.
Well, these Muskoka chairs are made of cedar.
Which I should have known because they are light.
Cedar is a VERY soft wood.
3100psi is a very strong pressure….
The pressure washer removed almost all of the finish that was on the chairs – you can see how much sloughed off on my driveway – but it also left some fairly deep gouges in the wood. 🤦🏻♀️
Seeing this, do you think I stopped pressure washing? Nope, I got high on the before and after and did the same thing to the second chair.
Not in exactly the same damaing way – but in a smoother damaging way. I know – I’m an idiot.
Think then act Shelly. Ugh – another tragic flaw of mine.
I was so upset by the damage I’d caused that I messaged the owner and offered to buy new ones for her. Ever gracious, she said that it was “patina” and she didn’t mind at all.
I did go to town and sand the chairs down with 60 grit sandpaper. (You can see my time-lapse video on Instagram) After 60, came 120 grit and then 220 grit and most of the gouge marks were taken care of.
These Muskoka chairs had been stained and clear-coated before – which is typical of chairs/decks/outdoor furniture of this age.
Now we have a stain and sealer in one in Benjamin Moore’s Arborcoat (same stuff I used for my fence, gate, playground, patio furniture etc). I really love it and have had nothing but success in using it.
The only difference between this and other projects I’ve used Arborcoat on is that I applied it with a cloth. I usually apply with a paintbrush and then wipe off the excess with a cloth, but our humidity hit 90% this week and the stain was drying almost as quickly as I put it on, which left some brush strokes in the finish.
With a cloth I was able to apply the stain evenly and smoothly and without any brush strokes.
Muskoka chairs are not easy to refinish, so there are a few drools of stain underneath the seat slats – I couldn’t keep up with applying and checking for drools fast enough to catch them all. Fortunately, no one looks under the chairs and any extra stain really is just extra protection.
It took two coats of BM’s Oxford Brown in a semi-transparent stain and voila!
No top coat needed!
The Adirondack chairs have a very slight pearl sheen so the surface isn’t rough and the wood is completely protected.
I was sweating folks – after my stupidity with the pressure washer, I really thought I was going to have to sell a kidney to buy more CEDAR chairs.
But overall they turned out beautifully!
In fact, between stages of refinishing the Muskoka chairs, I was sitting in them and filming IG stories. My BF commented that he was going to find me in the garage with the chairs, smoked meats and a 20″ TV yelling at the football/soccer players.
I won’t lie – it was tempting. 😂
Jellybeans are gone…. now I want smoked meats. Pairs of kielbasa, pairs of summer sausage, pairs of pepperoni…. 😂😂
Have a great weekend everyone!