Rocking ReDo

4 Materials
3 Hours

I'm a trash-to-treasure visionary. Simply put, that means I'll gather and hold on to anything that has potential. It's a problem, and yet...sometimes it really pays off.

This is a Cracker Barrel rocker that one of my tenants left behind when they moved. I asked her permission to take it and she was happy to oblige. You can see by the photos, it appeared to be in pretty bad shape, but it was very heavy, and not a bit wobbly. It sat in this condition on my front porch for the last four years. I finally got around to sprucing it up because I wanted to sell it. After finishing, it looks like I might just be keeping it.

She's a beauty (not!). The seat and back were totally faded and dry, but were in great shape and still strong. The wood looked as bad as the seat. Still, the chair had a lot of character and "potential".

This was a "zero" cost project. I used stains and paints that I had in my stash. For the seat and back, I coated it generously with a rich brown stain that has poly in it. When it dried, it had a built in protective coating. I got so excited after the first few brush strokes to see the difference.

I made sure to get the underside of the seat as well. This is also important when painting the chair. I flipped it in every possible direction to make sure that every nook and cranny was covered. Even though you don't see many of these areas, the paint and stain act as a barrier to the elements that can ruin the finish.

I began painting with a coat of dark grey chalk paint. It made a great primer but without a poly coat, it is not a good finish for outdoor use. I also did not like the flat wood appearance when it was dry.

I had this color exterior paint that matches some trim on my house. The photo makes it look like a medium blue color, but in fact, it is a dark greenish blue with a semi-gloss finish. I have plans for another project for this space, so it has to go - I am hoping it will fit on my deck. I am so happy with the transformation and even if it doesn't work out for my deck, I know I can sell it for a decent amount. Not bad for a free chair and some leftover paint and stain.

Resources for this project:
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  3 questions
  • Catherine Catherine on May 03, 2021

    Love what you did! Did you sand the wicker?


  • Mary Russell Mary Russell on May 03, 2021

    Great save! I guess the wood was too far gone to sand and clearcoat?Or that wasn't your choice anyway,which is fine,as it is yours to do with as you choose.I three scythes,two of which I have sanded and brought back to brand new looking condition by using several coats of clear varnish.I havent started on the third one yet,but it is actually in better shape than the first two were.

  • Melody Melody on May 04, 2022

    I actually have two of those exact chairs in the very same condition. I love your results, and I definitely want to do this to my chairs as well, however, I’m a little confused. You listed the chalk paint AND the exterior house paint in the resources list above. Do you have to paint with theChalk paint and then cover with the exterior paint?

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2 of 20 comments
  • Eva Eva on May 04, 2022

    Congratulations 👏

    This is a very nice & well-done project 💺 🎨

    I love the blue color 💧

    Thank you for sharing 👍️

  • Carolina's Art Carolina's Art on May 05, 2022

    Amazing what a little paint and stain can do.