Asked on Nov 14, 2019

How can I make over this rocking chair that I found in the garbage?

FreeYourMindJessica VanderVeenMomofivejsOR


I'm thinking of putting a pillow or fabric strips

10 answers
  • Unique Creations By Anita
    on Nov 14, 2019

    This will look great painted up white with a slash of colour on the seat and back.

  • Michelle Leslie
    on Nov 14, 2019

    She's a beauty Mia. Here's a lovely video that will give you some helpful tips on how to refresh her -

  • Rose/Miros
    on Nov 14, 2019

    If the woven wicker part is in good shape and not saggy, use it like plastic canvas with some bulky yarn!

  • Kathy Gunter Law
    on Nov 14, 2019

    I would clean it up and paint it white. It looks like there is a bit of damage. You can fill it in with Durham's and smooth before priming and painting.

  • William
    on Nov 14, 2019

    I would remove the cane. It's beyond repair. Paint the frame. Make some cushions with a plywood back/bottom for the seat and back. Screw them to the frame.

  • Dee
    on Nov 15, 2019

    Clean the chair and remove all ripped caning from the seat, taking care to pull out the spline and cane from the groove in the seat frame without damaging the frame's wood.2

    Strip the old varnish, paint or stain off the wood chair frame. Apply commercial stripper, and follow manufacturer's instructions for letting it penetrate the old finish to loosen it. Scrape the old finish off. Use a plastic putty knife to avoid scratching or gouging the wood. Use the knife edge to get into tight seams. Reapply stripper to any areas that still show old finish.3

    Lightly hand-sand the wood with fine-grade sandpaper. Pick any remaining bits of glue and cane out of the groove in the seat. Wipe down the rocker to remove dust and bits of fiber. Mask the cane back with painter's tape, if you are not replacing it, so no new stain or finish will mar it.4

    Stain the rocker all over. Or, for a natural look, protect the stripped and sanded wood with a coat of clear matte or glossy polyurethane. If the first coat of stain produces the color you want, let the stain dry, and then apply the clear protective finish. Carefully apply a second coat of stain to deepen a too-pale rocker to the color you prefer before finishing with the final protective clear coat.

    Fix the Seat


    Cane the rocker seat using a piece of machine-woven cane from a craft supply or woodworker's shop. Purchase a length of reed spline to secure the woven cane at the same time. Get larger pieces of woven cane and of reed spline than you need for the area of the seat and the perimeter to be tamped down.2

    Soak the cane in hot water for about 30 minutes to soften the stiff fibers. Lay the pliable cane over the chair seat. Use a caning wedge and a hammer to gradually tap the cane into the groove that runs along the perimeter of the seat. Once the cane is wedged securely into the groove and is taut across the seat opening, trim the excess with a box cutter.3

    Squeeze a line of wood glue around the groove holding the cane, and tap the reed spline into the groove to secure the cane and neatly finish off the seat edge. Wipe any excess glue off the chair frame and let the glue dry. Wait a day or so before putting your refinished rocker back into service, to be sure the seat is strongly bonded to the chair frame.

  • MomofivejsOR
    on Nov 15, 2019

    I did exactly what William said. It was much more comfy than cane. Rocked all 5 of my babies, then I gave it to a new Mom.

  • Jessica VanderVeen
    on Nov 15, 2019

    I had a chair just like this that I painted. yOu may have to replace the rattan, it looks pretty beat up

  • FreeYourMind
    on Nov 16, 2019

    Just to say what a lovley chair!!.. One lady says a beauty i must agree. William sounds very helpfull as do all the rest..please upload a pic a your finised sure you will make it even more beautiful. :)

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