Rocking Chair Trash to Treasure Makeover

12 Materials
$50
10 Hours
Medium

It was solid, homemade and it still rocked but it wasn't a rock star, that's when I entered the picture. It was thrown to the curb, free for me to bring it home, it may have been weathered and worn but I saw potential underneath that old finish.

rocking chair trash to treasure makeover

First, I wanted to remove all of the old finish, it was a very dark, uneven lacquer finish. Not knowing for sure what it was and what I was going to finish the rocker with I decided to sand it down to bare bones!

rocking chair trash to treasure makeover

I'm not a fan of stripper before you say it, I've used it in the past and I wanted no part of it ever again. I used an 80 grit sandpaper first to remove the old stain then I switched to a higher grit of 120 to give the bare wood a smoother finish.

Disassembling the Rocker
Disassembling the Rocker

The problem I encountered while sanding was the rockers crossover frame and so on made it hard to get into all of the crevices. Luckily, my husband disassembled it so much which made it much easier and faster to sand the arms and rockers.

Arms and Rockers Sanded
Arms and Rockers Sanded

The frame of the rocker took much longer to get into all of the little nooks and crannies. I patiently made progress sanding outside when the weather was very nice so I didn't mind.

Sanding Rocker Frame
Sanding Rocker Frame

Next I primed the seat and the back, I'd need a light base for what I had in mind to do in that area.

rocking chair trash to treasure makeover

The rocker was assembled once more and I painted everything with black chalkboard paint, I've used it in the past as a dark primer and it covers great! The white edges of the seat and back were kept crispy clean by using painters tape.

rocking chair trash to treasure makeover

Once the black paint was dried well I switched over to my colored chalk paint, a tropical blue color called "Treasure", ironically enough. So I dipped my brush into water first and squeezed out the excess before dabbing it into my chalk paint. This made for easy gliding of the brush along the furniture.

Applying Color to the Rocker
Applying Color to the Rocker

I gave all of the black area on the chair a thorough coat of the blue, let dry and coat again to give it full coverage. I left the chair to dry overnight before starting the next step....distressing! The video gives you some tips on how I accomplished this a little easier.

Here is the chair with the distressing finished and I'm beginning to decoupage the seat and back with these nautical themed napkins. Using Mod Podge and thin napkins required a very delicate hand and a lot of patience. I had to join in an extra piece to cover the width of the seat which meant pattern matching. I matched and cut the additional strip before gluing it in place. Measure twice and cut once is the golden rule to go by!

Creating a Napkin Join
Creating a Napkin Join

Onto finishing the back, it went better than I was expecting, even little rips I made I was able to match and patch with more napkin pieces. Brush on a thin layer of mod podge, carefully and slowly place your napkin down on one end and work you way to the other end ensuring it it as flat as you can spread it. Apply another layer of Mod Podge over the top and gently spread out any wrinkles or bubbles along the surface. Let dry and you are done with this step.

Decoupaged Napkins
Decoupaged Napkins

I created a rocker and footstool set, by set I mean mismatched items that I painted and finished them in the same manner.

Footstool Makeover
Footstool Makeover

Here they are sitting pretty before getting waxed as the final step to protect the finish.

Rocker and Footstool Completed
Rocker and Footstool Completed

They are now rock stars in my guest bedroom along with an additional tray I made from a picture frame, it will be covered in my next tutorial.

Rock and Read Set-up
Rock and Read Set-up

They add such a nice pop of color and you'll likely find me here often from now on with my coffee enjoying the morning sunlight.

rocking chair trash to treasure makeover

Thanks for viewing and never look past the trash again, take it home and turn it into a treasure!

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3 of 13 comments
  • Dee
    17 hours ago

    Love it! What a great look. I love the coastal/nautical vibe. I am always looking for new tings to do!! what a great idea!

    I can never get my napkins to go on without wrinkles, when I am working on a flat surface. Any tips on doing that? Thanks

    Here is a pic pf a crab on a rock, which is not a smooth surface and it easy to hide any imperfections.



    • Sea Trace Creations
      16 hours ago

      That's so beautiful, is that a napkin too? I know there are folks now doing decoupage with the dry iron method. Apply thin layer of podge, let dry then position napkin, place brown paper over top and with a med heat iron you iron on. The heat reactivates the glue....who knew? Thanks so much and you'll find that most of my projects are beach, coastal style. I so enjoyed your comment and your project! I hope this helps....maybe a few practice runs and you'll have it!

  • Dee
    24 minutes ago

    Yes, it is a napkin that I absolutely love, since I live in Maryland and crabs are plentiful here! I will try the dry iron method on the decoupage. I had not heard of that one yet! Thanks so much.

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