Saturday, May 12

DIY Rocker Refinish

This chair needs love! | Family heirloom

Can this chair have new life?

Grandpa's Chair

I love the story of this chair. It belonged to my husband's grandfather. When he became unable to live alone, he stayed with his children. The plan was that he would stay with one for a while, then another. But you know what they say: Make plans and God laughs!
After staying with my husband's family for a term, he then went to stay with a daughter. The very next day, they brought him back! I can just imagine what my mother-in-law might have been thinking. I know what I would have been thinking!
His beloved rocking chair was tied to the vehicle carelessly (Were they in that much of a hurry to ship the poor man out?), so that it was too close to the exhaust pipe. That's why the upper corner of the back is burned.  For sure, I want some of that mark to stay—it's the stories that give value to family heirlooms.

This chair rocks! | Family heirloom refinished and recoveredRefinish and Recover

I used Formby's Build-up Remover on the right side of the chair (the right side of the picture above) before I took the picture. You can't really see a strong difference, but it did clean off a lot of gunk. Still, there is dark staining on the chair back.
I am so happy with how this chair turned out. I finished using the build-up remover on the whole chair, having removed the seat cushion. Then I sanded the whole thing. (I know, the build-up remover was pointless.) I finished with a couple of coats of varnish.  It's clean and shiny, but still has that burn mark.
The seat got new foam padding and was covered with home dec fabric I had picked up at JoAnn's—staple gun upholstery, is there any other kind? I'm happy with the way this turned out: pretty, but not too girly.

I wonder if grandpa would like it.


Kate said...

looks good!

Anonymous said...

Great redo! Looks good.

kristen hetzel said...


Carol Mesimer said...

Thank you for the compliments. This rocker really gives me a feeling of connection with family, and it deserves a sense of honor.