DIY Outdoor Front Porch Rocking Chair Makeover

16 Materials
$200
6 Hours
Medium

It's outdoor living space season and we were determined to take in the beautiful weather on our front porch in two comfy farmhouse-style rocking chairs, so instead of buying expensive new chairs, we gave two old chairs that were headed for the dump a stunning makeover with a little reinforcement and some pretty paint!


And voila - our finished product! They're even more beautiful than we'd hoped for and the color and finish totally works!

We scored these beat up old rocking chairs when we spotted them set out on a neighbor's curb for trash pickup. Though they were in rough shape, they just needed a little bit of love!


Using a 3/8" inch countersink drill bit, we  dril led holes to countersink screws wherever reinforcement was needed. If you're not familiar with countersinking a screw, this just allows you to reinforce something really well while hiding the screw head and give it a clean, untouched look. For our chairs, we reinforced each arm on each chair, the runners where they met the chair frame and each side of each seat. So we drilled one countersink hole into each arm, one countersink hole into the bottom of each runner and one countersink hole into the side of each chair seat. Once the countersink holes were drilled, we drilled two pilot holes inside those for the screws. This probably goes without saying, but the pilot holes should be slightly smaller than the size of the screws you're using for a nice, tight fit. Then we drilled our screws into the pilot holes. The screws we used were: 1.5" long #8 wood screws in the arms. 4" long wood screws on the runners. 1.5" long #8 wood screws on the seats.

On the arms and the seats (we didn't do this on the runners - unnecessary since you won't see that part), we applied Elmer's Wood Glue to the end of 3/8" dowel rods and inserted that end into each countersink hole. We then sawed off the end of the dowel rods that were sticking out using a flush cutting saw so that our dowel rod sat flush with the wood around it. See the photo below for reference of what that looks like. We then sanded any remaining "nub" of the dowel rods down so that we could achieve one perfectly even, flat piece of wood. Good as new!

We also repaired a couple of large, long cracks in the wood using Weldbond All-Purpose Glue and a couple of spring clamps. Also, using brad nails we reinforced our slats wherever they were loose. On these there were loose slats on the chair backs and seats.

To prepare for painting, we first sanded the tough stuff with an orbital sander and some 60-grit sandpaper. Then we used a wire brush to scrape the flaky paint off of those hard-to-reach corners like between the slats on the chair back. After that we smoothed all of those surfaces out using a finishing sander and 150-grit sandpaper.Next we brushed all of that dust off with a soft brush. We then wiped it all clean with a damp cotton cloth. Don't use paper towel - debris is your enemy!

Then we used an airless sprayer to paint our chair quickly and easily! An airless sprayer can be a little bit tricky (it's what the pros use to tackle their paint jobs quickly and get that perfect finish), so for tips on using an airless sprayer head to our blog post and read all about it!

After looking through swatch after swatch in search of the perfect muted, rich seafoam/teal color that had a little bit of a richer, deeper hue we found "Mossy Bench" by Behr which was from their Marquee exterior paint line in a semi-gloss finish. And I'm not kidding when I say that this may be my favorite paint color we've ever used! We're always in search of that perfect, rich, slightly retro seafoam/jadeite/teal hue, and don't love it when we end up in seriously bright, minty territory, so this color nailed it! Don't you just love when you step back from a paint project and say, "Well... couldn't love that color more!" That rarely happens to us because paint is a tricky little devil, so this was a huge win.

Ready for front porch sippin' and sittin' all summer long!

Another look at the Mossy Bench by Behr color. Do you love it as much as we do?


Resources for this project:

Using a 3/8" inch countersink drill bit
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Have a question about this project?

1 question
  • Kim Compo
    on Jun 6, 2018

    My rocking chair is cracked where the back connects to the arm, suggestions on how to repair it and make it sturdier??

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1 comment
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