How to Paint A Rocking Chair: Absolute Beginner’s Guide

There’s always one piece of furniture that’s a favorite in everyone’s house, and for most people, it’s the rocking chair.

If you already own a rocking chair but feel like refurbishing it a bit, then this article is for you! As we’ve given details on how to paint a rocking chair and give it your own style.

There are various types of rocking chairs available that one can buy, and if you’re looking for a new one, then check out this list of the 15 best rocking chairs.

What Are Rocking Chairs?

Did you know rocking chairs originate from the early eighteenth century? Well, if you didn’t, then you do now. These comfy chairs come with curvy bands attached to the bottom that allow back and forth movement.

Types of Rocking Chairs

Though you can find rocking chairs in multiple sizes, colors, and designs, the main purpose of it remains the same, which is the backward and forward motion of it to help a person relax. Below we’ve listed some of the widely bought rocking chairs:

  • Traditional Rocking Chair: This is the famous original rocking chair with wooden work, which makes it out to be very durable as well.
  • Platformer: In this design, the base is spring-loaded and often comes with a feature that lets you recline your seat along with a footrest.
  • Glider Rocking Chair: This rocking chair is a modern type that uses the concept of levers and hinges for movement.

How to Paint A Rocking Chair: Tips and Tricks

Don’t want to throw out your old rocking chair because of the memories, but it has gotten weary?

Don’t worry, just repaint it. Repainting your chair, not only will it look brand new again, but it’ll also give it an aesthetically pleasing look that will suit your vibe.

We’ll talk about how you can paint your own wooden rocking chairs; it’s not as hard as it sounds. Just follow the simple steps, and you’ll be good to go!


You know it’s bound to get super messy when talking about paint. So, to prevent your other furniture from getting ruined, move the rocking chair to a safer place. Also, keep newspapers or cloth at the bottom to prevent any paint stains on your floor.

Getting the Tools Ready

The next step would be to get everything you need beforehand; otherwise, it would be annoying running to the shop while painting. The essential equipment you’ll require is:

  • Spray Paint/ brush and paint
  • Newspaper/ cloths
  • Sandpaper
  • Wood Primers
  • Foam Rollers

Selecting the Paint Type

The finishing look of your painted wooden chair will depend on the type of paint you use on it. Generally, the paints that are mainly used include:

  • Latex Paint:  It’s one of the most affordable and commonly used types of paint, providing different sorts of finishing looks such as gloss, matte, and satin. However, it’s not as resistant, causing the extremes of weather to affect it.
  • Oil-Based Paint: This type is known for its resistant quality as it adheres to the surface very easily and smoothly. The downside is that it takes a lot of time to dry.
  • Milk and Chalk Paint: If you’re going for a vintage look, then the milk and chalk paint will help you achieve that.

Cleaning the Chair

An old rocking chair will typically have dust and different kinds of stains on it, so cleaning it is essential before the painting.

You can remove the dust by simply making a mixture of dish soap and vinegar in warm water, spraying it on the chair, and then wiping it off with a cloth.

Then, use sandpaper to remove any rough spots and peeling paint. Get fine-grit sandpaper on the rocking chair so that it leaves behind a smoother surface.

Make sure you do it on every part of the chair so that it’s smooth all over!

Also read: How to Clean Rocking Chair Cushion

Apply the Primer

This is not completely necessary, but we’ll advise you to use it as it’ll help in the prevention of the paint from dulling along with ensuring a smooth surface!

For an easier application, use the primer that comes in a spray can and apply it all over the rocking chair.


Now it’s finally time to do the main thing, paint! Once the primer is dried off and you’ve picked out the kind of paint you want, decide whether you want to use spray paint, roller, or brush.

If your paint is water-based, then a minimum of three layers should be used for wear resistance. On the other hand, an oil-based paint will require about two layers of coat.

The biggest struggle of painting a rocking chair is the spindles! Spray paint will be your savior if you’re looking for a quick and easy way to paint the spindles.

Sealer/Topcoat Application

The last step is to apply the sealer on top of the paint. When the paint has dried off, clean off any dust particles or brush hair present.

After that, put two coats of polyacrylic sealer as it’ll prevent staining, chipping, and wearing of the chair!

And that’s it! These simple steps will make your old rocking chair look absolutely new and classy. In addition, you can now show off your painting skills to your family and friends.

Which is Better; Spray Paint or a Brush?

The question of whether to use spray paint or a brush to paint depends a lot on how you want the finishing look to be like along with time.

Spray paints are relatively easier to paint with. The application and drying process is also pretty quick, so if you’re short on time, then this would suit you. However, color choices are a bit limited.

Whereas with brush paints, there are numerous color options that you can even mix up till you get the perfect one. The disadvantage is that it takes much more time plus may leave hair residues.

We’ve discussed the differences and which one is best for your outdoor rocking chair in this article.

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