Pimp My Furniture: Rocking Chair Revival- Part I

By way of explanation, the title of this post (while humorous) is actually something I’m really excited about. I’m starting a brand new segment here on DD, where I’ll be featuring furniture revival projects (You can thank Brett for the segment name, ‘Pimp My Furniture’. I laughed a lot when he suggested it, so it kind of stuck and we ran with it). While this isn’t the first piece of furniture I’ve refurbished (see my last chair here), it’s the first ‘official’ project in this series, and I have big plans for the future. But I’ll get to that at a later date. For now, let’s see this rocker!

When I designed Vera’s room, what seems like forever ago, I was so happy to find this vintage bent-wood rocker at a thrift store for only $25. Sadly though, the rocker has seen better days. And by better days, I mean the ones before my giant husband sat on it.

Clearly this was not going to work for us anymore. But happily, I love refinishing furniture, and this gave me the perfect excuse to upgrade the rocker (my sister previously swore to beat me if I ‘ruined’ its ‘vintage charm’ with an upgrade). Really the only thing I was sad about was the fact that I wasn’t there to witness this when it happened. I have a hilarious mental picture though, and that will have to do, lol.

At first, I thought about leaving the original stained wood finish, but ultimately decided that because of the shape it was in, it needed an update. I didn’t want to mess with trying to strip down the current stain, and I liked the deep rich color of the dark frame, so I opted for my old standby- oil rubbed bronze spray paint. But first, I started by cutting out the broken cane seat and sanding the whole thing down:

After giving it a good wipe-down to remove all the dust, I moved on to spraying it with a few thin coats of Krylon oil rubbed bronze. My best spray painting tip (besides to always keep the can moving) would be to spray the underside of your piece first. That way, if (heaven forbid) you happen to get a nick or smudge on the piece when you flip it to spray the other side (I’m sure none of you are impatient like me, and you always wait til it’s completely dry to flip…), the imperfection will be in a less obvious spot.

Once that was dry, it sat in my kitchen for a few days while I debated leaving it as it was. I liked the look, but something was nagging at me. I really wanted a high-gloss shine on it to accent all the beautiful curves of the wood. Also I was worried that being in a kids room, it would likely need to be ready for some heavy use and abuse. But with all these curves and angles, there was no way I was going to brush on a sealer. Instead, I found this clear lacquer spray pair at Michaels an it worked perfectly.

A beautiful high-gloss shine with no brush work necessary. The difference is hard to see in photos, but here’s a close-up comparison of before and after the lacquer. See how that baby just glows now? In person there really is a noticeable difference between the ORB matte finish and the lacquered high-gloss shine. Love it.

In the downtime between all this, I had been searching for the perfect fabric everywhere. I had a good idea of what I wanted (ok an extremely specific idea) but of course I couldn’t find anything even close at any of my local stores. So I started an online search and found just the thing on a website called Interior Mall (I would link to the fabric, but they don’t seem to be carrying it anymore.)

I am in love with this bright yellow chevron. I had some trouble finding one with these wide stripes I wanted so badly (they all seemed to be skinny stripes!). I’d been wanting to bring a strong geometric print into the room for a while, and I made sure to order enough fabric to have some left over to make a pillow or two, too! :) In case you’re wondering, I ordered two yards and I think the actual chair upholstery only took somewhere around a yard. Tip- if you are planning on using it for upholstery, you need to make sure the fabric is of a heavy enough weight to take some wear.

Once my fabric finally arrived in the mail, I was so excited to start on the upholstery that the hub came home to this:

Right now, I wish I could fast forward to a pretty finished chair, but this is real life and I have a few details to finish up before I can really call this one done. I’ve had to get creative with a few problems I encountered in the upholstery phase, but I think we’ve got them figured out, so back on track to completion. But being that this post is already getting a little lengthy and this seems like a good breaking point, I’ll leave it here for now. Don’t worry though. I’m hoping to have this baby finished very soon (hopefully by Friday!) and you’ll be the first to know. So stay tuned for Part II- the upholstery, coming soon! Cliffhanger, I know. :)



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