Steps In Rocking Chair Restoration

Home Improvement


Instead of spending a huge amount of money to buy or replace a rocking chair, you might consider repairing it. Restoring it will help you preserve the original look of the rocking chair. This is true whether you have a family heirloom or just found an antique piece. You can do this task by using basic tools and with novice woodworking experience.

Before working on your project, remember that thinners, paints, and varnishes contain chemicals that can be harmful to your body. As such, it is best to wear gloves to prevent direct skin contact that can cause burns and other reactions. When working on these chemicals, you can also wear a mask and work on well-ventilated areas.

Think of Safety First

First, make sure to use the right tools for the task. This will make the task easier and keep you and your family safe. Make sure to wear protective gear like gloves, eyewear, and long sleeves to protect your body from burning from the splattering of the chemicals.

To avoid inhaling the dangerous chemicals, work in a well-ventilated area. Preferably, do the job outdoors. To keep your home safe from fumes, store the oily rags. Beware of older paint finishes that might include lead. If you think that there is lead-based paint on your wooden chair, you have to use a proper ventilator. Do this when stripping the material. If you are unsure of it, you can send it to a professional for stripping.

Clean the Rocking Chair

In rocking chair restoration, one of the most important steps is to give it a thorough cleaning first. This is true for pieces that have been in storage for a long time. If you don’t know exactly where the rocking chair came from, it might be covered with dust and dirt. As such, clean it up.

For many people, they believe that using a heavy-duty cleaner is the only way to clean the piece. However, the simplest way to do the job is by using a mixture of soap and warm water. Scrub the surface of the chair with gentle strokes with a sponge. If there are moldings or carvings that you need to get into, you can use a paintbrush. When you are done scrubbing the surface clean, you can rinse it off with fresh water with the use of a sponge. Pat the surface with a towel once the soap is cleared away.

Refinishing the Rocking Chair

If the rocking chair has brackets or bolts that you can undo, take it apart. Do this before refinishing to avoid getting the primer or paint on these parts. However, in rocking chair restoration, if you cannot remove these parts, you can use a painter’s tape to cover them. If there are any damaged areas, fix it first before continuing.

With the use of a sponge, apply the varnish stripper to the rocking chair. Coat all surfaces evenly. Let the stripper sit for 5 to 15 minutes. Then, sand the varnish until smooth. After smoothing out the surface, wipe it using a clean and damp sponge.