Barbara Turner
Barbara Turner
  • Hometalker
  • Chesterfield, VA

Old Family Rocker Gets a New Life After 30 Years!


When I had exited my 1st marriage and had set up housekeeping in my Townhouse apt. I went shopping for some inexpensive furniture and other household objects. One of those was a pine rocker. Just your basic porch rocker. Then I met my 2nd husband, had our daughter, and when she turned about 4 mos. old, my maternal grandmother was coming up for a visit and so my mother and I and her got together for a "generational picture" with Grandmama Karr sitting in the rocker holding our baby daughter! Then, she passed away, we moved into our home, the kids grew, things went into storage, and fast forward, now our daughter is in her early 30's with 2 young children and the last grandchild is 2 1/2 now. So I thought it would be awesome to refinish the rocker, bring it back into the house, gather everybody for another generational picture. Only problem is we are kinda scattered and still trying to get everybody together for it to take place but I'm posting pictures of the first picture, and before and after to get your opinions. HERE's what I did: I completely sanded it down to the bare wood with 60 grit sandpaper. I then lightly wire brushed it to get rid of most of the water stains. I sanded it again with a 150 and 200 grit. I originally had chosen a Golden Pine stain HOWEVER that looked sooooooo orange I had to completely resand it all the way down AGAIN! LOL Then I chose just a simple Natural stain and that was the ticket. I lightly steel wooled it with a 0000 grade, put another coat of the natural on it, re buffed it again with the 0000 steel wool, put a lighter 3rd coat of the natural final stain, rebuffed again with 0000 steel wool, THEN I allowed all of that to seal and cure for 2 weeks, just to let it acclimate it to the house temp, exterior temp, whatever, then I got the Minwax Helmsman Clear Gloss spray and gave it 3 full coats in a period of waiting 3-5 days between coats and very very lightly buffed with the 0000 again, put a very light final spray just to touch up spots missed or whatever and done! It wasn't easy because of all the sanding between all the crevices. Before I started the process, I also had to wood glue a bottom rung back onto a post, allow that to cure and used Loctite for wood on one of the balls at the top of the rocker that was a bit loose. Chair is gorgeous now and tight! Rocks solid and sweet!
My mom, me, my Grandmother and her holding our baby daughter! 1982.
My mom, me, my Grandmother and her holding our baby daughter! 1982.
Rocker after 30 years in our barn for storage.
Rocker after 30 years in our barn for storage.
Rocker after 30 years of storage.
Rocker after 30 years of storage.
I used this instead of a brush on and it's much better for no drips.
I used this instead of a brush on and it's much better for no drips.
And voila!
And voila!

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2 of 10 comments
  • Barbara Turner
    on Jun 1, 2014

    Awwww, thanks! Yeah, she is! She came through and let me know!

  • Rachel
    on Jun 1, 2015

    Hi Barbara - beautiful job! I have an old oak dining room table that I was thinking of finishing with the Helmsman product. Can you tell me more about your experience using the spray version? It seems like it would be a lot less hassle and a smoother finish than the can-and-brush method. Thanks!

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