How to Refinish a Wooden Rocking Chair

How to Refinish a Wooden Rocking Chair
Spread the love

Are you planning to buy a new piece of furniture to replace your old rocking chair? Have you thought about refinishing the old one rather than buying another piece?

Refinishing your old rocking chair will not only save you a lot of money but also gives you a sense of achievement. Wouldn’t you feel great sitting on a rocking chair that you refinished yourself?

Well, there is nothing stopping you from doing just that.

In this article, you will learn how to refinish a wooden rocking chair. You will not only restore it to the original condition but also give it a modern look.

Let’s take a look below.

How to Prepare the Wooden Rocking Chair

If you have not been using the chair, you probably need to clean it properly before refinishing it. Use a cloth or vacuum cleaner to suck up all the dust.

You can also use a wet cloth to clean it. Remove all dirt before you move to the next stage.

Most wooden rocking chairs have brackets and metal bolts. Before you start the refinishing process, it is advised to remove those parts, as you don’t have to paint or prime these parts.

However, if your chair is built firmly and you can’t remove these brackets or bolts, you need to cover them with painter’s tape. In fact, you need to cover all the areas you don’t want to paint.

Repair the Wooden Rocking Chair

In order to finish the chair properly, you need to make some structural repairs. Exposure to the environment may have damaged some of the parts or areas of the chair.

You can use a screwdriver to tighten the bolts and fix the legs. You can also use wood glue to secure any loose parts.
However, you shouldn’t do anything to change the design of the chair.

Fill any holes you find in the chair. Also, check the corners and use sandpaper to straighten them.

If you want to remove any part or add a modern touch to your chair, it is recommended to take it to a carpenter. Otherwise, you might damage the rocking chair.

How to Use Paint Stripper

First of all, you need to remove the previous finish by applying a paint stripper.  Use a sponge to apply it to the wooden rocking chair.

Buy any paint stripper from a paint shop that will do the job, and make sure to apply it all over the chair. Leave the chair for 15 minutes, and it will loosen the old finish.

Now, you can move to the next step.

How to Remove the Old Finish

To clean the rocking chair, you need a drill with a wire brush; you will use the wire brush on the surface of the chair.

Make sure you have some paint stripper while you are doing this part of the process. You may need to apply some paint stripper to the brush to clean it.

Get a clean cloth and wipe down the finished areas. This will allow you to check if you have missed any part of the chair.

Use Sandpaper

Get some sandpaper and revisit the whole chair. You need to sand the entire chair, regardless of whether there is any old paint left or not.

Use 220-grit sandpaper if possible. Once you clean the surface, use a clean cloth to wipe down the dust.

How to Apply New Finish

Now, it is time to begin the real operation. Get a spray paint can of your choice and color, and start the refinishing process.

Hold the can at least 7 to 10 inches away from the chair. Apply the paint smoothly without overdoing it.

Remember, this is the first coat, and you are just preparing your chair for the final finish, so you don’t need to completely cover the chair. Once you finish this coat, allow it to dry for at least an hour.

How to Refinish a Wooden Rocking Chair

How to Apply Second Finish

When the first coat is dry, use the sandpaper to sand the chair gently and try to even the surface. Once you are done with that, apply the second coat of finish.

Leave the chair for another hour before you sand it again. You need to give it at least an hour, even if you find it completely dry.

How to Apply Final Finish

Next, let’s apply the final finish and get your chair ready to be used again. Sand the chair one last time, apply the third coat of finish, and let it dry before you do anything else.

Look over the paint and do any touching up if needed. Don’t use the chair for a few hours to ensure it is completely dry and doesn’t stain your clothes.

To add a modern touch to your chair, you may need to buy a couple of pillows for it. When buying a pillow or two, you need to consider the color of the chair and the overall style of the living space.

After all that hard work, it is time to sit down and relax in your rocking chair. Take a deep breath and enjoy the moment.


An important thing to remember is that paint and primers contain chemicals. They could be harmful to your skin, or you might be allergic to them.

In any case, you should always wear gloves to avoid direct contact.

It is a great idea to read the instructions and take precautionary measures to avoid any accidents. Furthermore, you should opt to wear a painter’s mask and work in a ventilated area.


Restoring your wooden rocking chair is an excellent idea. Whenever you sit in the chair to relax, you will feel a sense of achievement. It will also save a lot of money that you would have spent on a new chair.

When it comes to finishing a chair, you don’t need to be an expert in painting. All it takes is a few hours and a commitment to refurbish your old piece of furniture.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below

Leave a Comment: