How Long Can a Well Maintained Wooden Adirondack Chair Last?

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Can a Wooden Adirondack Chair Last?

Are you looking to buy a new Adirondack chair but feel a little worried after seeing the price tag? You want to spend your money wisely when investing in your lawn, pool, and patio furniture. One common question that comes to mind is, how long can well maintained wooden Adirondack chairs last?

It is almost impossible to answer that question because there are many factors at play when it comes to your wood Adirondack chairs. For example, what kind of wood are they made of? What is your cleaning routine for the wood Adirondack chairs?

The majority of Adirondack chairs are made from inexpensive but nondurable wood that might not last five years, while other wood Adirondack chairs are manufactured using more expensive wood that has been found to hold up well for twenty years.

Apart from that, there are lots of other factors like weather, environment, and frequency of usage. On average, we can say that strong wood Adirondack chairs can easily last 10-12 years with good maintenance and a good amount of care.

The Value of Wood

When you choose wooden outdoor furniture like traditional Adirondack chairs, you will quickly find that wooden Adirondack chairs are one of the more economically sound choices when properly cared for and well-maintained. You want to make sure you choose furniture that is weather-resistant and can stand up to the elements in your outdoor space.

Wood chairs are always a more ecofriendly option to choose for your outdoor space and do not detract from nature as much as plastic Adirondack chairs can. A lot of wood varieties are actually less susceptible to bugs, fungi, and decay, while others may be able to resist warping. With that being said, wooden outdoor furniture holds just as much, if not more, value as plastic outdoor furniture and can be incredibly long-lasting when properly maintained.

Which Type of Wood Lasts the Longest?

Depending on the type of tree, their wood has different characteristics. Here are some examples:


Teak Tree and Ruins, Ratu Boko, Prambanan, photograph by Anandajoti Bhikkhu

015 Teak Tree and Ruins, Ratu Boko, Prambanan, photograph by Anandajoti Bhikkhu

This one is the most suitable materials for Adirondack chairs. It costs more, but it also lasts longer than the majority of wood types available. However, teak wood forests are being decimated and deforested at an alarming rate. Personally, this writer doesn’t want this to happen to this magnificent tree.


Chairs made from high-quality oak can easily last a decade if they do not come into too much contact with rain and sun. Oak forests in many, if not all cases, are managed to last for years.

Red Cedar

Red Cedar is a good durable option that works well in wet areas. Moreover, it is known to have incredible resistance against insects. It is lightweight; however, it is susceptible to nicks and scratches. Red Cedar is a popular choice for building and other outdoor structures. It is a natural termite repellent as well because of its soft and earthy smell.


Pine trees grow fast, so they are popular for many uses. The wood is pretty inexpensive, and it is easy to work with. Plus, it is lightweight, so that makes it easier to lug around if you want to move it. However, it is not resistant to weather and can mold, too. For indoor furniture it is ok, but for outside furniture, not so much. It takes careful maintenance to protect it.


thousand year old redwood tree

A man stands next to a thousand-year-old redwood tree

Redwood is both attractive and lightweight and can last a long time. However, 90% or more of the magnificent redwood forests have been cut. We need to preserve them. Also, the older trees provided tough wood, but the younger trees used nowadays require more maintenance.

Douglas Fir

Douglas Fir wood is a very popular wood. It has nice grain and looks good. However, it is not as long-lasting, especially if it is outside subject to the elements. It is wise to treat it with varnish, paint, or polyurethane.

So, what wood lasts longer, you ask? Because different woods have different attributes, this can be tough to determine. To understand which one has the best longevity, you need to understand the differences between each of the different wood types as we have outlined above.


Mahogany is a hard and tight-grained wood. It has a very deep, reddish-brown color to it. It is very resistant to shrinking and splintering, which makes it the ideal candidate for wooden Adirondack chairs and other outdoor wooden furniture. When left in the elements outdoors, mahogany may develop a silvery gray patina and can last up to 25 years when well maintained.


Ipe is another wood that is very weather resistant. Its feel and appearance hold up well in outdoor weather which makes it another ideal choice for outdoor furniture. It is popular in the outdoor furniture industry and is one of the top choices people also ask about when it comes to their decking as well.

How to Increase the Longevity of a Wood Adirondack Chair

Several things can be useful to increase the longevity of your Adirondack chair for your garden or other outdoor space.

Proper Cleaning

If you wish to maintain the grace and appearance of your Adirondack chair, then you must clean it at least a couple of times in a year. You can either use a brush & a wood cleaner, or pressure washer will also be a job option for this job.

When you fail to clean your wooden Adirondack chairs, the spills, dirt, and other debris that land on the chairs can easily cause staining and can ultimately cause the wood to rot when left unattended to. These spots are also the invitation for mold and mildew growth.

Winter Storage

The best thing to do is keeping your chair in the garage or shed in winters. Before storing your Adirondack chairs for the winter, make sure to clean each chair thoroughly and allow them to air dry completely. When storing the chairs, use a tarp or other furniture covering for some added protection before they are safely placed in storage.

Timely Painting

The third most important thing that you can do for extending the life of your Adirondack chair is painting or finishing, especially if it stays outdoors. It not only protects from harmful UV rays but makes sure insects cannot damage it. Adding on a protective sealant after the cleaning the chairs is also good for protecting the wood and is great to help against moisture when it comes time to store the chairs for the winter.

Signs of Wear

If you begin to see any signs of wear in your Adirondack chairs, pause before you scramble around trying to replace them. Some people find that they actually love the look of weathered Adirondack chairs. If you purchased chairs made of teak wood, you would also find that they can take care of themselves during this wear process and will not require any finishing.

As wood ages, it begins to turn a dull gray tone and sometimes has dark streaks running through it. You may also find that aging wood begins to crack as it ages as well. However, keep in mind, these cracks do not necessarily mean that the chairs are damaged and will fall apart. It just further adds to its overall newfound character.

If you notice that your wooden chairs are beginning to hold moisture though, however, you should immediately remove them from that environment and allow them to completely air dry. Once they are dry, apply a water-resistant finish to the wood and allow that finish to dry before you put the chairs back outside. If not, you will find that the wood can begin to rot. Moisture breeds mold and mildew.


Adirondack chairs are an excellent choice for relaxing outside. If you are to decide that you want to use wood, then choose wisely which kind of wood. Then, by following these maintenance tips, you can rest assured that your wood Adirondack chair will stay in good condition for years to come.

Eric Arnow