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Sounds like a VOC compliant alkyd. Dries slow. Xylene may have been too aggressive a solvent. Perhaps acetone may have evaporated quicker. Coatings thickness, surface and air temp, and where the patio furniture was painted and stored could contribute too. If its painted indoors, the solvent escaping takes longer. 20 minutes between coats with 10-15% Xylene may have softened each coat? If you are in a compliant area, if practical, buy quarts of alkyd enamel as quarts usually have a higher VOC content. Just some thoughts. It may cure out and harden over time.
 
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