Seeking Advice on what type of wood to use....

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Forum topic by Joe Bush posted 05-19-2009 09:09 PM 896 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Joe Bush

4 posts in 2933 days

05-19-2009 09:09 PM

I am planning on making some Adirondack chairs which I intend to paint. Does anyone have any recommendations on what species of wood to use. Do I need to use treated pine or something else. Any advice is appreciated.


-- Joe B, NC

8 replies so far

View PurpLev's profile


8523 posts in 3071 days

#1 posted 05-19-2009 09:19 PM

I think redwood and cedar are the commonly used – they dont require finish and protection from the elements and will age to a nice grey color

I would recommend avoiding any treated lumber for anything that comes in contact with human skin, or vegetables and other things that will cycle into/onto the living.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Milo's profile


869 posts in 2741 days

#2 posted 05-19-2009 09:34 PM

If you can get your hands on it, Bald cypress would be a good wood to use on outdoor furniture. As PurpLev said though, redwood is also a good choice.

-- Beer, Beer, Thank God for Beer. It's my way of keeping my mind fresh and clear...

View a1Jim's profile


115177 posts in 2999 days

#3 posted 05-19-2009 09:44 PM

Purp and Milo have the best choices

-- Custom furniture

View Joe Bush's profile

Joe Bush

4 posts in 2933 days

#4 posted 05-19-2009 09:47 PM

Thanks for you responses. Should I use those species even though I am going to paint them?

-- Joe B, NC

View CharlieM1958's profile


16229 posts in 3640 days

#5 posted 05-19-2009 09:58 PM

A good weather-resistant species will hold up better over the long haul in all likeliehood, but I’d say you would be okay using treated pine if you wanted to save a few bucks.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View lew's profile


11265 posts in 3177 days

#6 posted 05-19-2009 11:33 PM

Another factor to consider is the location where they will be used. Will they be completely exposed to the elements or partially protected?

I made 2 out of white pine (Borg Lumber) painted them and placed them on the front porch- it has a roof but no other sheltering parts. They have been there for 15 years and still in great shape.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View LesB's profile


1228 posts in 2865 days

#7 posted 05-20-2009 12:52 AM

If you are going to paint them I think almost any sound wood will work. Just not oily ones. Exposure to the elements has a lot to do with the durability of both the wood and the paint. Make certain the wood is really dry before you apply paint or you will have blistering of the paint from trapped moisture. After painting I would put some sort of rubber or plastic footings on the bottom of the legs to keep moisture from wicking up from the soil or deck.
In North Carolina Redwood will be quite expensive but cedar may be reasonable. Some cedars can be oily so check them out. Douglas fir would be great but again it is a west coast wood that is probably expensive there.

-- Les B, Oregon

View CaptainSkully's profile


1407 posts in 2980 days

#8 posted 05-29-2009 02:56 AM

I would also recommend priming the wood very well before the finish coat(s). Make sure you use exterior grade paint, whether it’s latex or otherwise. Also, boating stores have an excellent array of weatherproof finishes that allow the wood to show through.

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

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