Rocking chair redo

I haven’t been working on a lot of furniture lately, because, well…I’m lazy. And it’s hot. But there’s nothing like a gift for our adorable niece Avelea to get me going again! A few months ago Andrew and I stumbled upon this little rocking chair at a garage sale in our neighborhood.


It was $12, which is a little more than we usually spend on things at garage sales, but where Avie is concerned, I’m beginning to think I won’t be able to say no! And it’s an antique that the previous owners got from a pricey antique store for quite a bit more. After checking with my sister-in-law to make sure they’d have room for it and actually want it (don’t want to be those annoying relatives that buy things the parents would rather not have), we snatched it up!

It was already primed (someone must have been planning to redo it before) so that made it easy on us! We just sanded the primer coat and then used my HVLP gun to spray on a few coats of white chalk paint…specifically Bejamin Moore’s Intense white turned into chalk paint.


I make my DIY chalk paint by mixing Plaster of Paris with a flat or satin latex paint. It’s super easy and much cheaper! I still can’t bring myself to spend $35 on a quart of the real stuff since I love the results with the DIY version!


I like using a natural bristle brush with chalk paint most of the time, but all those spindles looked like drip heaven so I opted for the sprayer this time. After a couple of coats of paint we gave it one last sanding. The finish is very smooth when brushed, but sometimes the sprayer leaves a rougher texture. I didn’t sand enough to distress it, though, because I figured it will get enough distressing on its own with the little miss! Then I waxed it with Minwax paste finishing wax in clear for a little protection.

I prefer to wax using cheesecloth instead of cut up tshirts (like a lot of places recommend) because the cheesecloth leaves no lint and can buff the wax to a shinier finish if desired.

I still wanted it to have character and look a bit aged, just in a more purposeful way than before. I thought about waxing with a dark wax, but used over white paint it sometimes looks too dirty for my taste. I like it better over medium to dark paint colors. I also find it a bit annoying to work with, so I decided to use glaze instead. I use Valspar Clear Mixing Glaze and just add latex paint to create my desired color. You can also add stain.


I didn’t want it to be too dark or obvious that it had been glazed, just enough to add some dimension and make the details pop a bit more. I added black paint to the glaze to make a dark grey. I’ve found that with glaze it’s best to make it a little darker than you want it to appear on the piece. You end up wiping off quite a bit and you only see such small areas of it that it appears lighter.

Working in small sections, I apply the glaze with a cheap chip brush, let it sit for a few minutes, and then wipe off the excess using clean rags. Don’t go back over areas that have begun to dry as it will take off the glaze. I do the flat sections, too. Not as much stays there, obviously, but I do think it stains the paint just the tiniest bit and helps the color look more consistent over the whole piece. Here’s before glazing…


And after. What did I say? It’s very subtle.


But I think if you look closely you can tell that the details pop a little more. And you can definitely tell in these up-close before and after pictures.



It’s really just enough that it looks like shadows, but not so overdone that it looks like a new piece of furniture painted to look old. I wanted it to be subtle since her room currently isn’t really a “distressed” or antique theme, and neither is her parent’s house.


This pictures is a good representation of how the glaze is just enough to add some dimension to the chair.


And now on to the pictures I know you’ve all been waiting for…it’s Avelea in her “seat”, as she calls it.

Avelea and seat 1

Isn’t she so adorable?? These pictures were actually before, but they’re just so cute I had to share! She decided at one point she wanted the kitty in her seat and tried to pick him up to put him there. But then she wanted to sit in it again!

Avelea and Chaucer

And here she is with her seat after it arrived at her house. She was pretty sick that day, but she was a trooper and smiled for the camera anyway! I don’t think she has any clue that her “seat” was painted, but she still likes to sit in it and rock away!

Avelea and seat 3Avelea and seat 2


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