Southern Cypress' web site has great information on caring and restoring your cypress. I highly recommend you to visit this site to get professional advice on finishing and restoring your furniture or other outdoor cypress goods.
Handling your Furniture
Under normal use, your piece should hold up just fine. Here are some suggestions for handling and setup...
When you move them, it is best NOT to drag them across the ground or pavement. Have someone help you pick them up to prevent damage to the bottom of the legs.
Find a smooth and level surface for your furniture where all four legs are flat against the bottom to prevent a twisting effect on the frame which could stress the fasteners and work them loose.
If you choose to place your pieces in direct contact with soil it would help to seal the bottom of each leg to prevent absorption into the capillaries of the wood.
You may also wish to check out the Southern Cypress Web Site for finishing tips - Their site is loaded with information on Cypress.
A customer (Tim B.) from Charleston, SC used this product and sent me a pic. See the review page. His photo was scanned in but the chairs look great. This was recommended by chips woodworking, see the referral page. (Thanks Chip!) I surfed the web and found this product in many retail outlets. My customer got it from his local Ace Hardware store. Good job Tim!
As mentioned above, I'm also trying out the oil-based Stain from Lowe's called Olympic Elite. This stain seems to work quite well - it spread evenly when I applied it with a sponge. I put a coat on a set of chairs and a swing in my yard, and they look great!
This stain/sealant was recommended to me by a customer who is a contractor. He has used it on the same material these chairs are made from. He told me that the golden hue remains in tact for many years when you apply it properly of course. I have since ordered a gallon of Extreme Weather Wood Sealer from a stain supplier online: http://rymarstain.com
You can also order it thru your local SWP store.
When cared for, outdoor furniture can maintain its beauty for many years to come. Cypress is easy to care for. In fact, unfinished products fade to a beautiful antique gray yet do not rot or decay. If you wish to stain or paint cypress, there are some things to understand about the wood.
Cypress wood (TAXODIUM) is excellent for outdoor use because of its durability, beauty and stability. Mature Cypress contains its own oil called cypressene a natural preservative making it resistant to insects, chemicals and rot. Cypress is stable and usually doesn't split or crack easily. For this reason, it is used in many outdoor applications such as siding, dock piling and some utility poles and much more. Cypress also has a golden hue making it a top choice for some builders to use on cabinets and furniture. My furniture is built using southern cypress with a moisture content near 17% or less.* The wood is harvested from strict managed forests in the southeastern U.S. NOTE: Jimmy's Cypress offers great detailed information on cypress. Visit his FAQ page here.
Cypress is friendly to the environment because it requires only saw mill work and in some cases, a kiln to cure it. Unlike pressure treated lumber, no dangerous chemicals are used for preservation. It is also recyclable and biodegradable.
This wood readily takes clear stains or paints and can also be left natural.
In my yard, I have two experiments going on, one is a natural unfinished bench I made back in 2012 which has turned an antique gray and looks beautiful. I pressure washed it carefully to see what would happen and it looked new again! I also have 3 pieces that I stained using oil-based Olympic Elite from Lowe's. I chose mountain cedar and as of December 2014, 6-months after the coat, they look fantastic! See the photo below w/two chairs & table.
The name is registered and cleverly comes from two words: Penetrating Finish. This is the best product I believe you could get for staining your cypress. They have plenty of information and how-to articles that will help you prepare, stain and keep your pieces beautiful for many years. I haven't tried it yet, but plan to order some. Based on what I've read on their site, it looks like a great product.
Check out their web site www.penofin.com.
Hand Crafted Outdoor Adirondack Furniture
Most of the pieces I deliver were built within few days or weeks of delivery and have a low moisture content near 17% or less. Therefore, you could dust them off and apply stain or if you want to really prep them, use a wood preparation cleaner recommended by the stain manufacturer you purchase & follow directions. If your piece has started to blemish (gray or darken) you can still clean the wood and apply stain. The pieces in my yard had some dark spots that developed in the wood but the stain covered them enough to make them look just fine.