Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Retro Rocking Chair Re-Do

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I am so happy to share my recent furniture re-do with all you guys! I have had so much fun breathing some new life into this VERY retro rocking chair!

Here she is in all her glory!!
Where did I find this lovely?? Canton, TX of course. The best outdoor flea market ever.

How much did I pay? $40. Not back considering the potential this chair had! (potential I saw, and the hubby did not. He was like...."ewww". But, he DID let me buy it!)

I LOVE THE LEGS on this chair. It's what first caught my eye!

DO NOT be scared to re-upholster something! It's a "figure it out as you go" kind of thing. Every piece of furniture is different. Just take it apart, and go for it!

First, I removed the seat cushion. It was simply screwed in on the bottom. Remove the screws, and then pull out the cushion.I had to have my hubby remove the seat back. Quite a bit of pulling and yanking was required.
I then lightly sanded the whole chair, with circular sander thingy (I know nothing about tools obviously....)
Sprayed it with some primer. (sanding and priming are optional, but make it look so much more finished!)

I then gave the chair a few coats of Krylon Black Satin (forgot to take a pic. sorry!)

Next I re-upholstered the seat cushion.
Here are the EASY steps to do this.
  • Lay fabric on the floor, wrong side of fabric up.
  • Center seat cushion on the fabric
  • Using a staple gun, staple one edge of the fabric
  • Go to opposite side of cushion and pull the fabric TIGHT and staple that side (ex: if you staple the left side of the cushion first, do the right side next)
  • Finish stapling remaining 2 sides, making sure fabric is tight the whole time
  • When you get to the corners, make sure you neatly fold the fabric
(kind of like wrapping a present)

I then tackled the padded seat back. There is really no right or wrong way to do it I discovered.

Here's what I did:
  • I re-covered the existing seat back using the same steps as above
  • I made my own cording to go around the edge of the seat back using cord
    (can buy at any craft store) and leftover fabric from this project.
  • I stapled in the cording all around the seat back opening
  • I then stapled the backing right below the cording (this chair has an open back, so you can see the fabric)
  • Next, I stapled the seat back cushion in place.
  • I rolled the lining up over the seat back and hot glued it down to hide all the staples (all 4 sides)

Here is the finished product!


(I made the little throw pillow too)

Close up of the fabric (that matches my master bedroom bedding PERFECTLY!!)

I'm in love....................

Just another BEFORE


I'm linking up over @ A Soft Place to Land and Shabby Chic Cottage and Finding Fabulous and Shanty 2 Chic and TidyMom


  1. love it! im debating on what kind of furniture to put on the front porch....on the cheap, of course. my mom did something similar to older rocking chairs and old chairs and she has them on her porch, which i love....but i never can seem to find any at the goodwill....maybe ill have some luck when i tag along with always find gems!

  2. Circular sander thingy....ahahahahaaa!!!!

    LOVE the chair! This is perfect timing! I need to redo my dinning room chairs! They are BAD!!!

  3. Wow, congrats! I am TERRIFIED to upuslstor anything! I am afraid to break it. But with this "tutorial" I might be able to begin.

    Again, Beautiful job! (be proud!!)

  4. You did such a great job! It looks so nice now. Glad you made the decision to buy it.


  5. What a difference! I am in love with that fabric, and am a total sucker for black furniture. Nice job!

  6. your best project yet!! great job - it is lovely!

  7. Holy Moley! This turned out great! You did such an amazing job!!!

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  8. I love it. You did a fabulous job and the fabric is great!

  9. Spray paint and an upholstery are my kind of woman! Great project, loved it, keep it up!

  10. This chair is BEAUTIFUL! I love the fabric you chose! Seriously, gorgeous!

  11. Well done for being brave and giving this a go. Like you said, every piece is different and you learn as you go. Upholstery is my No. 1 hobby. I just love it so much when something old is made to look so beautiful. There's nothing more satisfying.

  12. My-Oh-My! I'm in love! That fabric is stunning and perfect with the black paint. Thanks for sharing again at the Power of Paint Party.

  13. I love this!!! Where do you find all these cute chairs and things to redo??

  14. Your new chair is GORGEOUS! It has so much character yet you transformed into something modern. I'm considering this project a job well done!
    God's blessings,
    Sarah :D

  15. What a fabulous project - I can't believe it is the same chair!


  16. That is way more than just beautiful! It is amazingly gorgeous! I featured your PVC pipe curtain rods at tonight.

  17. *LOVE* it! Absolutely gorgeous! I need to drag my hubby to a flea market around here! :)

  18. It's beautiful! I love the fabric you chose. You really did a wonderful job.

  19. wow, what a transformation! Love the rocker in the black and the fabric you chose is just lovely.

  20. Wow! What a transformation. Your tutorial almost makes me think I could attempt such a project!

  21. I'll bet hubby is not saying "eww" now. Beautiful makeover! Love your blog. Just added my name as a follower. Linda

  22. I really don't need another blog to read but how can I not add you to my reader!!!!
    I LOVE your curtan rods!!!!!! I have been renting for the last 2 years and just haven't been able to justify spending money on curtains but I think I can now!!!!!!!!!!

    LOVE the chair, that had to be hard to see past the original chair ;)

  23. It definitely looks like it cost more than $40 now! Fabulous makeover! Coming over from the Shabby Chic Cottage and a happy new follower!


  24. That turned out gorgeous! I love the fabric you used! I would love you to link this post on Favorite Things Friday!

  25. I thought the chair looked great yellow - but now looks fantastic with the beautiful patterned fabric you used! What a great bargain find. Found you through Jessica's Favourite Things Friday and have signed up as a new follower. Happy Easter!

  26. now that's a real makeover. it looks great. makes me want to look for a rocking chair like that so I can make it over.

  27. Love this chair! So Fabulous!!!

    Bon @ Drab to Fab

  28. this is very impressive!! i want to redo a table/chairs set i have in the back room for my crafting area. did you use upholstery fabric, or just any regular fabric?

  29. Beautiful!! Where did you find the fabric?

  30. Thanks for all your awesome comments! Glad ya'll like the chair as much as I do! I found the fabric at Hancock Fabrics. I'm pretty sure they are a national chain. It was on clearance, but they had the same print with a lime green flower. It was so cool!

  31. This is beautiful Sarah! I have a chair to redo also. I've never redone an upholstered chair, other than a wooden one with a removeable cushion. A little nervous about that one! But I'm gonna dive into it as soon as I can afford to get the fabric!

  32. I love this retro chair. I am excited to see that you can make cording on your own. That's the one thing that stops me from re-upholstering crap. Thanks for sharing!
    I just re-did a stereo cabinet from the 60's to house my weights & yoga mats. If you are's the link:

  33. I came here from a link to your ruffled flag t-shirt and saw this listed in your tutorials. The timing was amazing because we have an old rocking chair that's been in the garage for a few years that I picked up for $20, but had no clue how to do it! Hub JUST asked me yesterday if he could get rid of it. Now I will give him a resounding NO and hop to it. :)

  34. Wowzers! This turned out beautifully! I can't wait to give this a long as no sewing is involved, I think I'll be okay! :)

  35. Gorgeous! Love the fabric choice. And the little pillow is so cool. Great job!

    I'd love for you to check out my blog for a fun giveaway!
    Have a marvelous night!

  36. I really like this chair. You've done a terrific job! I have been made on reupholstering things lately. I look forward to more tutorials! :)

  37. I think the information on chairs written here is quite informative and secondly I like the quality of the content.

  38. I have the exact chair!! I loved it when I saw it in Sears in 1982. I still love it. Mine has a beige material and looks ok but wow you have sparked my imagination!!


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