Emily / Relentless Furniture
Emily / Relentless Furniture
  • Tutorial Team
  • South Milwaukee, WI

Rocking Chair Makeover: Chalked Paint and Upholstery

8 Materials
$30
6 Hours
Medium

I found this old rocking chair at a local thrift store. It was in decent condition but had one lose arm and needed a new seat and back.

rocking chair makeover chalked paint and upholstery

The first thing I did was give it a good scrub. I want to make sure I have all the dirt and grime off before I start painting. Then I used Rustoleum chalked paint in the color, Coastal Blue.

rocking chair makeover chalked paint and upholstery

The chair needed a new seat so I traced the old seat on a new piece of mdf board, cut it out, and sanded. Now it's ready for upholstery.

rocking chair makeover chalked paint and upholstery

The back of the rocking chair was fairly worn so I needed to get rid of it. Since it was so old and some of the nails had fallen out, it was flimsy enough that I was able to use my hands to pull it off. I did have to remove a few nails that remained in the chair.

rocking chair makeover chalked paint and upholstery

I had pieces of foam from an old project that I didn't want to waste, so I cut them to fit the shape of the seat and glued them to the board. I then cut out a piece of 1/2 inch foam to lay over the top. (the pieces of foam had been rolled up and sitting in the sun for a while, creating the discoloration)

rocking chair makeover chalked paint and upholstery

I started the upholstery process by pulling the fabric around one side of the seat and stapling it down. I turned the seat around and stapled the opposite side before I began stapling around the perimeter of the seat. This helps keep the fabric tight.

rocking chair makeover chalked paint and upholstery

For the back of the chair, I used a solid color instead of the patterned fabric. When stapling the back, I start at the top center with a few staples and then I pull the fabric tightly down and add a few staples at the bottom. Then I staple around the rest of the back and cut off any excess fabric. I also used upholstery webbing to give it a sturdier back. Since this is a rocking chair and people will lean back on it, I wanted to make sure I made it as sturdy as I could.

rocking chair makeover chalked paint and upholstery

To finish it off, I placed a piece of 1/2 inch foam over the upholstery webbing and cut fabric to fit around the back. For this layer, I folded the edges of the fabric under, so hide the rough edges and give it a cleaner look. I also used the same process of starting at the top of the chair with a few staples, then pulling the fabric down and stapling the bottom in place. And then I continued stapling around the rest of the back.

rocking chair makeover chalked paint and upholstery

Before and After

rocking chair makeover chalked paint and upholstery

Final product!

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Have a question about this project?

2 questions
  • Carol Cole
    on Apr 8, 2019

    I love everything,you did a wonderful, beautiful job. The color are great both the paint and material.

    1 question ,why didn't you follow up with the fabric on the back?

    • I guess it's a personal preference. I did a set of dining chairs a few months back and while I was looking around for inspiration, I found a set of chairs that had a patterned seat and back rest with a solid colour for the back of the back rest. I thought it was stylish and I've kept up that look.

  • Igor
    on Apr 8, 2019

    How did you anchor (or apply) the cording? Love the look, btw!

    • Oops, I forgot to mention that in the post! I used hot glue. (you can watch how I applied it in the video - it's about 7 and a half minutes in)

Join the conversation

2 of 22 comments
  • Debbie
    on Apr 11, 2019

    you sure did a nice job on it. love the color.

  • Carolinagirl
    on Apr 15, 2019

    Outstanding Job! You sure know how to see around corners.


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