Painting Outdoor Rocking Chairs by Rachel Dawson
Wooden outdoor rocking chairs may not require any finish. Some woods, particularly teak, cedar, and cypress, possess qualities that allow them to withstand weathering with very little maintenance and no chemical treatment. These woods resist moisture and dry out faster than other woods. Natural oils they produce repel insects and pests. When left unfinished, the wood weathers, over time, into a silvery gray. Owners who wish to preserve the woods original color will need to choose a finishing method for their outdoor rocking chairs. Staining, sealing, painting, and oiling are some of the alternatives available.
Before painting outdoor rocking chairs, you should give the wood a light sanding. Sanding the wood smooths it before a first application of paint or stain. It also helps to remove old layers of paint or stain when you want to refinish the wood. Rub the sandpaper in the same direction as the grain. (The grain is the lines in the wood.) After you finish sanding, you should rub the wood with a clean cloth to remove the dust you have created with your sandpaper. If you find that a dry cloth is not sufficient, use a slightly damp rag. But in this case, be sure that the wood is completely dry before you apply primer or paint.
You may wish to apply a primer as your first coat. A primer usually helps the finishing paint to adhere to the surface better. Some people, however, choose not to use a primer. If you are painting new outdoor rocking chairs, a primer may not be necessary. However, if you are painting chairs that have already weathered or have been previously painted or stained, you will find primer a helpful tool. Primer is usually necessary if you are switching from light color to dark, or vice-versa. It not only helps the paint to adhere, but it also provides for more even color.
After you finish your last coat of paint, you might be pleased with your accomplishment. But as the months roll by, you may begin to wonder when you might have to repaint your masterpieces. You will probably need to refinish your wooden outdoor rocking chairs every 1 to 3 years. So if you have paint left over from your initial finishing work, save it. You can store paint safely by closing the lid tightly and storing the can away from extreme temperatures. As a flammable substance, paint can create a hazard if close to a heat source. Freezing can also cause water-based paint to degrade.
When you prepare to repaint your wooden outdoor rocking chairs, remember to clean the chair if you have not done so recently. Let the wood dry completely before continuing. Dont forget to sand the wood and use primer.
Many outdoor rocking chairs may be left unfinished safely. You can also choose to let these same woods weather on a trial basis. If you dont like the silvery gray look, you can finish the rockers at that time. When you are finished painting, store unused paint carefully or dispose of it properly.