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Custom Painted Adirondack Chairs - Quarantine Project

Written by Becky Litton


Posted on April 28 2020

Aloha! We've had tons of interest in our painted chair project we've been posting about on instagram.  The project is finished, and we thought we'd post a little how to and give out links for y'all to get your own "quarantine chairs." 

First off, we accomplished this project using only what we had in the garage, making it a true quarantine project. There may be better methods and materials, but these are we had to work with. 

1. We ordered these chairs from amazon months ago.  Find them here. I recommend sanding before assembling. 

2. Prime and paint.  I primed using a a single coat of primer so old and paint covered that I couldn't read the label.  Then I painted them both with several (three to four) coats of Modern Master's Front Door Paint.  I got this on Amazon as well for anther project.  It's good paint and it's the right amount for a project like this.  You'll find the paint here.  

3. And of course you need to make your chairs personal to you. I chose a command at sea insignia for the Captain and a rose and anchor for the Captain's boss. ;) To do this I printed out the design, laid it over transfer paper, and traced it. I use Saral white  transfer paper for use on dark backgrounds. Then I took a small brush and filled it in with the afore mentioned ancient white primer. Don't worry about making it perfect, you're about to blast it with a sander. (yes, I originally painted a cow, then I changed my mind. It's a cow's prerogative.)

4. Because red paint is tricky (you need a million layers for good coverage) and because I love a good rustic look, I also sanded and stained the chairs.  I used a small hand sander and got out all of my quarantine frustration out on the edges and even over the painted designs. This gave it a nice worn look.  Then I stained the whole chair, design included, with a dark stain.  I would have used General Finished Gel Stain, but I didn't have any so I used an old can of minwax. 

painted Adirondack chairs by modern rosie

If you want to try your hand at painting a pair of quarantine porch chairs and have questions, let me know! Best of luck. 



  • Modern Rosie, these look great! I agree that it is a COW’s prerogative to change her mind. I have been using your technique making signs during this down time. Would love a set of these on our deck. Will have to think about chairs. Love the red by the way!

    Posted by Kathy MacCrea | October 12, 2020
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