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Vintage Rocker Makeover

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And we aren’t talking about Mick Jagger 🙂

This beautiful vintage rocking chair belongs to a client. She wanted the chair to look a bit more modern and to use in her new baby girls nursery. She wanted the chair to be solid white – no distressing. We were up for the challenge and got to work!

The chairs original finish was a bit orange/yellow. We presumed this was from the shellac coating that was added many years ago. Age can turn shellacked  and other glossy finishes this orange color and it really no longer resembles wood.

A vintage rocker gets a makeover. By adding chalk paint and clear wax it modernized the chair, but get the integrity of the age of the rocker intact. We love the slats and detail of the chair…

A vintage rocker gets a makeover. By adding chalk paint and clear wax it modernized the chair, but get the integrity of the age of the rocker intact. Because of the shellac coating, we needed to prime and seal the finish. If not – the shellac and old stain color will bleed through our new finish. This is definitely not pretty and creates a lot more work if it happens. I sprayed on two coats of our favorite primer – Zinsser Gold. This is a wonderful bonding agent that locks in old finishes, stains, odors and paints.

A vintage rocker gets a makeover. By adding chalk paint and clear wax it modernized the chair, but get the integrity of the age of the rocker intact.

A vintage rocker gets a makeover. By adding chalk paint and clear wax it modernized the chair, but get the integrity of the age of the rocker intact. After the primer was completely dry, we lightly sanded all surfaces. This way we knew that we had a smooth surface.

A vintage rocker gets a makeover. By adding chalk paint and clear wax it modernized the chair, but get the integrity of the age of the rocker intact. Jennifer and I wiped down the chair completely – making sure all of the dust was removed.

A vintage rocker gets a makeover. By adding chalk paint and clear wax it modernized the chair, but get the integrity of the age of the rocker intact. We then added two coats of homemade chalk paint in bright white and got busy. Even though we weren’t distressing this piece of furniture, we felt that chalk paint was a great finish for a vintage piece. It will wear naturally over time, which our client was happy with.

A vintage rocker gets a makeover. By adding chalk paint and clear wax it modernized the chair, but get the integrity of the age of the rocker intact.

A vintage rocker gets a makeover. By adding chalk paint and clear wax it modernized the chair, but get the integrity of the age of the rocker intact. We don’t know if you have every hand painted a chair – especially one with slats like this chair. We are here to tell you it is a lot of work. Jennifer and I felt like every time we declared we were “finished” there was always a part of the slats that we missed. We had to be patent and take our time.

When the paint was completely dry, we added two coats of clear paste wax for a smooth finish.

A vintage rocker gets a makeover. By adding chalk paint and clear wax it modernized the chair, but get the integrity of the age of the rocker intact. Right about here is when I had dark thoughts of keeping this rocker 🙂 Doesn’t it look great on my deck?

A vintage rocker gets a makeover. By adding chalk paint and clear wax it modernized the chair, but get the integrity of the age of the rocker intact.

A vintage rocker gets a makeover. By adding chalk paint and clear wax it modernized the chair, but get the integrity of the age of the rocker intact. Thankfully, I came to my senses 🙂 I packed the chair up and delivered it to our client. She was very happy with her “new” chair and has more furniture for us to makeover for she and her family! In fact, we are picking up a piece from her tonight!

A vintage rocker gets a makeover. By adding chalk paint and clear wax it modernized the chair, but get the integrity of the age of the rocker intact.  What do you think of the new finish? I have a couple of rockers in my basement. I think I’m going to paint one of them with this exact same finish 🙂

Chalk painted furniture - vintage rocking chair makeover

We can’t wait to see what we are working on next!

XO~Vicki and Jennifer

10 Comments

  1. You girls are so brave! Oh my word I’ve had first hand experience with that fake tan orange so I appreciate how difficult this process was. But you know what? You two are champs and this is amazing!

    1. Hey CoCo – yes – the finish and the spindles were a test to our experience. Thankfully it all worked out in the end!

  2. Beautiful and, yes! It looks great on your deck! I can appreciate the time it took to paint these slats….not a quick task. Great job! I know she’ll love it!

    1. Hi Angie – thank you so very much! Our client did love her “new” rocker – now we have a a dresser to paint for her 🙂

  3. It’s so amazing how some great paint can take an outdated piece of furniture and totally transform it. This looks amazing and very relaxing too. Great job ladies, xo Lisa

    1. Hey Lisa – thank you! We both love rocking chairs and were so happy to paint this one – we were very pleased with the new look…so was our client 🙂

  4. It looks wonderful! Great tip about how to get rid of the orange tint. You ladies do such beautiful transformations!

    1. Beverly – you are so sweet! We love to paint and transform furniture pieces. We are always amazed at what a little bit of paint can do! Thanks so much!

  5. You did a great job, ladies! Looks perfect… I love all-white and I’m sure your client will love it! Hope you both have an amazing Mother’s Day weekend! xo

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