DIY / Tutorials Furniture Upholstery

Reupholster & Paint a Rocking Chair, Part 3

Welcome back to those who have been following along.  For those who are just joining in, you will want to check out Part 1 and Part 2 to get yourself up to speed. Time to reupholster and see our work firsthand.

Ready to finish?  Here we go!

How to Reupholster & Paint a Rocking Chair by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpieces

Remember the batting, padding and old upholstery you saved for later?  Well, you’ll need to grab your stash now.

My rocker needed 2 yards of upholstery weight fabric and 6 yards of

DIY / Tutorials Furniture Project Gallery

How to Reupholster & Paint a Rocking Chair, Part 2

Join in as we learn how to reupholster and paint a rocking chair from being only an oldie to a goodie.  If you’re just joining the 3-part series, be sure to check out part 1 here.

How to Reupholster & Paint a Vintage Piece of Furniture by Prodigal Pieces |
Time to paint!I decided to use CeCe Caldwell’s Vintage White chalk paint.  I’ve used it on this table with great success.  You can always make your own using this recipe:

1 1/2 c. paint (you can use flat, eggshell, satin, semi-gloss)

  • 1/2 c. hot water
  • 1/2 c. plaster of paris
note: I use this recipe all the time and it works great, but plaster of paris will leave a grit in your paint that will need to be lightly sanded off.  You really do not want to use this recipe long term, as plaster of paris should not be inhaled.  I am looking into Websters Chalk Paint Powder, which allows you to mix your own, just like plaster of paris, but is not toxic.  Be sure if you use the plaster of paris, to wear a mask.

When putting the paint on there’s no need to worry about being neat, all the haphazard extra touches will be hidden by the upholstery.  So have some fun!reupholster a rocking chair part 2 via Prodigal Pieces

This is typical for furniture that has had either a mahogany or cherry finish.

reupholster a rocking chair part 2 via Prodigal Pieces

Nothing that a little stain blocker, like Kilz, can’t handle.   (I love this stuff!) I went ahead and coated the whole chair just to be safe, and then went back to the chalk paint.

After two coats of chalk paint, I used Minwax paste wax, using a little of natural and dark to give it a time-worn effect.  Make sure to do this in a well-ventilated area and use gloves suited for chemical use.I am in the process of finding a cost-effective (or at least less stinky) wax that will give me the finish I so love. I have my eye on a couple products, but if you have any suggestions, I’d love to hear about them!
reupholster a rocking chair part 2 via Prodigal Pieces
Typically, I like to distress my pieces, and if you distress chalk paint in the raw it tends to come off a little too easily.  I like more control, so I distress after my first coat of wax has set for about 10 min. and I’ve buffed it with a soft cotton cloth to a wonderful lustre.
Last, I added a second coat of wax to more durability to the rocker.  You could even do a third, which I’ve done on some pieces.
Now comes the upholstery in the next post, Part 3, when you can see your chair is really coming together!  Don’t miss out, become a follower to get the last of this 3-part series.
reupholster a rocking chair part 2 via Prodigal Pieces

Any questions on how to reupholster?  Please feel free to ask. To get these DIY tips & tricks in your inbox, be sure to sign up for my newsletter. PLUS, you will get your FREE Furniture Buying Checklist and special discount to my shop. Until next time!blog signature


More projects how to reupholster vintage furniture:

$3 Garage Sale Channel Back Chair Gets Deconstructed Makeover by Prodigal Pieces

Knock-Off Pottery Barn Bench | Prodigal Pieces |

DIY / Tutorials Furniture Project Gallery upholstery

Upholster & Paint a Rocking Chair, Part 1

I hope everyone had a better Independence Day than we did.  4 out of 5 of my children had a very high fever over the holiday weekend, so we basically stayed home and missed everything.  Big bummer – no fireworks, no picnics and no sleep.  But at least, at last we are back on our feet! One thing I did get accomplished was to give an antique rocker a face lift.  I will not claim to be a professional, but am a self-taught furniture upholster fanatic.  My great uncle and grandfather were in the business, and although I never was able to glean from him, I just claim it’s in my blood.

I found this lovely curvaceous chair at a garage sale and the lady told me it was her grandmothers’ chair.  She hated to part with it because it was so comfortable, but as a newlywed consolidating furniture, only so much could stay.

The existing tapestry fabric had sort of a tribal flare it, but it was old, dirty and the wood finish needed some love.

Follow along as I take this chair…

reupholster a rocking chair part 1 via Prodigal Pieces
 …and transform it into this (sneak peek).

Espresso & Chevron Reveal!

Do you ever have those days when you feel like your waited-forever-for project just isn’t going as planned?  Life throws at you work schedules, crummy weather, and even a dead vehicle (the only one your family of 7 can fit in).  Did I mention we are pretty handy mechanics too? (sigh)That’s the point we’re at right now.  Some of you have asked to see our progress, and here it is at it’s stalled point.

Yes, that’s my hard-working husband! 
So…our project is on hold, but will hopefully be finished by the next weekend.  While I am waiting to finish the stone veneer and exterior painting, I was able to complete the art deco waterfall dressing table I was working on for my client that I mentioned in this previous post.

I ran into the typical waterfall hang-ups that I’ve encountered on every dressing table I’ve done.  You can see the others in my portfolio or in my shop.  The veneer is aged and brittle and if you even think about touching it with a sander it will begin to lift off. 

See the two worn spots on the bottom-left?

Ugh.  Well, after double-checking with my client, she agreed to go ahead and sand away the remaining veneer and left a nice wood-grain, which in the end was a nice oak piece.

espresso & chevron waterfall vanity via Prodigal Pieces

The choice of stain she chose was the Minwax Espresso.  I love the deep dark color you get, and it took 3 coats to achieve the color you see on the finished piece.

The drawers already had gorgeous brass pulls, so those were kept, but the paisley upholstery on the bench had to go.  What better than Cream and Mint Chevron?  Don’t they look great together?

I really do enjoy staining old pieces to see the fullness of wood come back to life again, but I think my favorite method is painting (mixed with stain too!).  Little less elbow grease and less stinky too.

What’s your favorite….stain or paint?

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Espresso & Chevron

We are up to our eyeballs in painting the exterior of our home, plus adding a stone veneer – yikes!!  It’s just me and my husband and our 5 kids looking on.  Needless to say we are exhausted.  One bright moment is that the new rose bush I planted in honor of our daughter (she was born too early and too little to survive – Gabriella Rose) finally bloomed!!

See the chippy paint in the background?  I told you we were busy!

My latest project is a small table that I plan to show you (if I ever get it finished), but I am also working on a art deco waterfall vanity for a client.

This should be a fun project because the client wants an espresso stain and the matching bench to be reupholstered in a chevron print.  I love the contrasting wood grain and gorgeous brass pulls.

What do you think of the paisley print on the bench…hmmm…chevron…much better.

Ever hear of too many irons in the fire?  I have a tendency to take on too much at once, but I do well under pressure too.  I will post pictures of the finished piece – hopefully by next week!


Thrifted Coffee Table Makeover

Who doesn’t love peonies?!  A gorgeous bloom with a glorious fragrance.  Can you tell they are my new-found love?  I was blessed by a local freecycler who wanted to part with all of their pink peony plants last fall.  I grabbed them all up along with some chrysanthemums, black-eyed susans, and some other yet-to-be-named plants.  What a generous person!  Here are some pictures of my first blooms.

Notice the faded, chippy paint (not going for the shabby look) on our home in the background?  We are currently painting the exterior of our cedar-sided home, and adding stone veneer.  What a job!

As if that isn’t enough I just finished another painting project – a lovely coffee table makeover that I found at a local garage sale.  Yes!

This table had some child-enhanced features (doodles on top) and other minor wear, but for the most part, very good bones – solid oak.
The carvings are what made me decide to do a creamy white shabby finish using CeCe Caldwell’s Vintage White chalk paint.  This was not my first time using CeCe’s products and overall I enjoy it – simple to use, natural ingredients, and good coating capabilities.  I also used it on my other piece seen here and my rocking chair redo.
shabby chic coffee table via Prodigal Pieces

One of my favorite ways to accentuate carvings on a piece is by glazing, but this time I went with a distressed time-worn effect, using sanding only. 

shabby chic coffee table via Prodigal Pieces

After doing some distressing, I finished with several coats of a water-based polycrylic so that it would stand up to daily wear and also those loving childhood doodles. ahem.

shabby chic coffee table via Prodigal Pieces
shabby chic coffee table via Prodigal Pieces

This table has sold, but you can still stop by my shop and check out my other antique and vintage treasures.  I would love to hear what you think!  

shabby chic coffee table via Prodigal Pieces
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DIY / Tutorials Furniture

DIY Zinc – A Mini Faux-Finish Tutorial

I like to work on furniture and have a blast finding antique and vintage goodies.  Whenever I’m trying to decide which piece to work on next from my stash (and believe me I always have a stash), I go with my mood.  My favorite style is a potpourri of French, Nordic, Cottage Chic, and Farmhouse style all rolled into one.  (Is that possible?).  But every once in a while, I veer off my norm and like to try something different.  Well…here she is with my DIY zinc finish.

DIY Zinc Faux Finish Tutorial by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpieces

Ta da!  My latest redo of a 1930-1940’s waterfall dressing table/vanity. I seem to have quite the collection of waterfall furniture to choose from in and around where I live.  Maybe the style was such a trend that everyone had to have one…or could it be that it was a more affordable way to go?  Let’s go with the gotta-have-one trend, it’s more fun.

So, to begin with, this piece was in a nearly-ready-to-work on state when I acquired it.  Most of the pulls present, minimal damage to surfaces, complete set (chair included), and that large beveled mirror in divine shape.
Zinc Faux Finish Tutorial via
I do, honestly, have a thing for natural wood and love when veneers are mixed together to make patterns, such as done on this piece.  But, when there is damage that would require replacing veneer and such, I typically head to my paintbrush.  Even though veneer is not that hard to patch, sometimes girls just wanna have fun.  (does that date me or what?)
Zinc Faux Finish Tutorial via
*post contains affiliate links so you can find the products I love to use too. (see full disclosure)
I decided to have a go at a DIY zinc finish, and I must say that like how it came out.  I had viewed the wonderfully detailed tutorial by Freckled Laundry and loved the improvisation of The Salvage Collection tutorial – both full of techniques and information.  However, I decided to try another technique instead that stemmed from previous pieces I had done. Not too hard to do, and gives it a naturally-occurring element look. Almost like galvanized metal as well.
To start out, I painted the whole piece in two coats of Marta Stewart’s Metallic Silver Paint.  Next, I thinned out Martha’s coffee-colored metallic glaze using a 1:1 water to glaze ratio.  Then, using a soft cotton cloth (t-shirt) to dip in the glaze and “pounce”, working in small sections. Immediately after I applied the wet glaze, I then took a dry cotton cloth and pounced back over the wet glazed area.
* note: By going back over the wet glaze with a dry cloth allowed the extra glaze to be picked up and leave the subtle flecking.
The matching vanity bench, on the other hand, just needed some refreshed padding and new fabric.  I love the fabric, called “Antique” by Berne.  It really helped to tie-in those amber Bakelite and brass pulls (I was able to find an exact match to replace the missing one on eBay…woo hoo!)
Zinc Faux Finish Tutorial via
Zinc Faux Finish Tutorial via
  Zinc Faux Finish Tutorial via
I’d love to hear what you think of my DIY zinc finish.  The dressing table has sold, but stop by and check out my other pieces currently available in my shop. Stay tuned for my next project and receive my FREE furniture shopping checklist, and get a discount to my shop by signing up for my newsletter via the sidebar or bottom of this post.

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More makeover goodness like my DIY Zinc tutorial:

Art Deco Glam Makeover by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpiecesOutdated 1980's Dining Set Gets Farmhouse Makeover by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpieces