Child’s Rocking Chair Makeover ~ Farmhouse Style

One of my favorite posts each month is our Furniture Fixer Upper time. Nothing better than doing what you love with those of the same mind. Better yet, I get to share it with you! This month’s project is this totally dated child’s rocking chair I found at the thrift store.

Vintage Child's Rocking Chair Before Makeover by Prodigal Pieces |

I literally laughed out loud when I saw this and then went, “awww…poor thing”. I kid you not that I believe every 80’s kid I know had this upholstery in their home at one time or another. Am I right?! hahaha!! You can see what I did to a matching footstool in this post.

Awful Vintage Upholstery on Child's Rocking Chair |


Well, this little thing is about to be relieved of it’s fuzzy polyester coat once and for all. This thing was even dangerous. Somewhere along the line it must have started to come apart and someone thought it a great idea to knock in some super long nails. They stuck out and were rusty!

Rusty Nail Sticking out of Child's Rocking Chair |

*post contains affiliate links so you can find the products I love to use too. (see full disclosure)

You know I love me some rust, but not on a child’s rocking chair right where they would put their feet. Yikes!

So, I basically had to knock apart this whole bottom of this chair and put it back together the right way. The simplest fix was to reattach it all with countersunk screws using my drill and drill bits.

Repairing Vintage Child's Rocking Chair by Prodigal Pieces |

Of course, my littlest was smitten with this chair and was eager to help me nail in some wooden plugs.

Toddler Helping Mama with Furniture | Prodigal Pieces |

Then, after we got it all tightened up, it took nearly my entire tub of wood filler to get it done right. Looks kinda like a spotted cow, doesn’t it?

Child's Rocking Chair Prepped for Makeover by Prodigal Pieces |


Once the filler was cured, my sander came out to play making it all nice and ready for paint – the fun part! At first I couldn’t decide between a couple ways to go with this. In the end, my kids and I thought it would be perfect in a rustic red.

Zibra Fan Brush to Paint Barn Red Paint on Child's Rocking Chair by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces |

Using my Fan Brush to give it two coats, letting it cure in between. It’s starting to look mighty spiffy now, isn’t it? While the paint cures, I reupholstered the seat and made a coordinating pillow. woot!


My child’s rocking chair is now relieved of its awful nails and upholstery. It’s ready to some little one very happy.

Vintage Child's Rocking Chair Makeover with Red and Ticking Stripes by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces |

Vintage Handmade Child's Rocking Chair with Americana Style by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces |

The red is the perfect shade for a happy spot to be. Plus, you can’t go wrong with ticking stripes, right? I LOVE ticking. I used blue ticking on the seat, and then made a denim pillow with a star cutout backed with red ticking.

Handmade Denim Pillow with Ticking Stripe Star by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces |

Americana Kid's Vintage Rocking Chair with New Upholstery and Paint by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces |

No more ugly polyester upholstery and whole lot more fun. Yay! When little people get to have their own spot to sit and read or play, it truly makes them feel special.

Rustic Red Farmhouse Style Child's Rocking Chair Redo by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces |

I know the feeling because I still have my own rocking chair from when I was a wee child. Since we don’t need two rocking chairs, this one is now available in my shop. (SOLD)

Shop Prodigal Pieces |

Farmhouse Red Child's Rocking Chair with Ticking Stripe Upholstery by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces |


Now, you know I’m all about getting you to give DIY a try, so I’m going to send a boxed set of my favorite brushes right to your door.

Set of Zibra Paint Brushes for Furniture, Home and Anything DIY | Prodigal Pieces |

Easy entry – just fill out the widget below for as many entries as your like (daily even for extra entries). Giveaway open to U.S. residents 18 years of age or older. Winner will be notified via email and will have 24 hours to claim their prize, so be sure to check your spam.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This was totally fun for me to do and hopefully inspires you to see past the worn down look and envision the new. In addition, pin and share so others can be inspired too!

Oh my...I think every 80's child had that upholstery in their home! This vintage child's rocking chair needed an update and some TLC. Get the DIY details by Larissa at Prodigal Pieces at | #prodigalpieces #furniture #homedecor #handmade #kids

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. Now let’s see what our Furniture Fixer Upper ladies have for you below.

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Furniture Fixer Uppers July 2018 |

  1. Confessions of a Serial DIYer
  2. Just the Woods
  3. Petticoat Junktion
  4. The Interior Frugalista
  5. Girl in the Garage

Also, more projects like this child’s rocking chair:

Oh my sweetness! Just look how cute this little child's tea cart is! Made from a repurposed side table by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.comLooking for a fun way to get your kids involved in a DIY project? Head to the thrift store wood section. This wooden doll cradle got a Farmhouse Style makeover. Come see at Prodigal Pieces |

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  • Jeannie Wallace

    This piece is absolutely adorable. I love the choice of color and fabric. I’m very patriotic and love children’s furniture. My daughter has a bench and doll bed that needs redone and that’s also the first things I would paint with new fabulous brushes. Thanks so much for sharing.

    July 26, 2018 at 6:29 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Red for the win! 😀 Thank you, Jeannie. We did this style for my oldest son when he was little with flags from around the world. He loved it!

      July 26, 2018 at 7:20 am Reply
  • Lo

    Love it!

    July 26, 2018 at 7:02 am Reply
  • Queen of Rods

    I have a few jewelry box updates that I would use the Zibra brushes on 🙂

    July 26, 2018 at 7:18 am Reply
  • Denise

    Cute! I just recently bought & used a Zibra brush, and now I’m hooked!

    July 26, 2018 at 7:28 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thanks! That’s exactly how I felt the first time using them too. I am a brush snob and took me over a year to find the perfect match after my favorites were no longer carried in the U.S. Yay!

      July 26, 2018 at 7:29 am Reply
  • Lori Sawyer

    We had that living room set! Love it

    July 26, 2018 at 7:33 am Reply
    • Larissa

      I think my parents did for a time too when they were building our home and needed something temporary. Fun!

      July 26, 2018 at 7:36 am Reply

    I have 2 large cabinets I use as pantries They are in need of a good paint job 🙂

    July 26, 2018 at 7:33 am Reply
  • Shelley

    This is one of my favorites of your projects. I usually cringe when furniture made of beautiful woods are painted, but this one cried out for a new life and you chose the perfect color. The cushion and pillow are the cherries on the cake!

    July 26, 2018 at 7:36 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you, Shelly. Yes, all the damage from whomever tried to make repairs pretty much deemed it needing paint. Glad you like it!

      July 26, 2018 at 7:42 am Reply
  • Melissa

    That is darling! The red is perfect. I have a dresser to paint. 🙂

    July 26, 2018 at 7:47 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you, Melissa.

      July 26, 2018 at 7:48 am Reply
  • Mary Barber

    I, too love being a furniture fixer upper. I can totally relate. So many pieces I have gotten to work on have been ‘repaired’ by previous owners with big ole nails. What were they thinking? Lotsa taking apart, re-gluing or screws, wood filler and paint breathes new life into apiece that was just a heart-beat away from the land fill.
    Love your posts and look forward to them every day.

    July 26, 2018 at 7:53 am Reply
    • Larissa

      High five, Mary! 😀 Yes, just makes one wonder sometimes. haha! So glad you’re here to join me on my adventures.

      July 26, 2018 at 7:57 am Reply
  • Claudia Hughes

    Love this piece!! Our house had the big wood furniture pieces and the fabric! Such a fresh change.

    July 26, 2018 at 8:16 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Yes! I think we had something similar for a time as a kid. Funny!

      July 26, 2018 at 8:42 am Reply
  • Sheila DelCharco

    Well done bringing new life tonthat tired rocker! I need to paint my bedroom furniture!! I was going to buy new but all you DIY bloggers have me convinced that I can do it!

    July 26, 2018 at 8:19 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thanks, Sheila! This was fun to do. You can do it…I know you can! Feel free to email with questions. 🙂

      July 26, 2018 at 8:42 am Reply
  • Alicia H

    When I saw the before picture in your newsletter, I just had to see what you would do to this one. I have to say you totally Rocked it! WOW! soooo cute!

    July 26, 2018 at 8:33 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Totally funky, right? haha. Thanks, Alicia!

      July 26, 2018 at 8:43 am Reply
  • Elaine

    It is so adorable now!
    And yep, I remember several homes that had that furniture, and even back then I was like- ugh! I love seeing it made over into something so cute, and that someone can now treasure.

    July 26, 2018 at 8:45 am Reply
    • Larissa

      haha…so true! It held up awesome though. Thanks for the love!

      July 26, 2018 at 6:49 pm Reply
  • Alison S

    I have a dresser I would like to make over, so I would use them on that!

    July 26, 2018 at 9:10 am Reply
  • Denise

    I thought awww…poor thing when I saw the before pic too…lol. What a great makeover. It’s so sweet and charming now Larissa! xo

    July 26, 2018 at 9:14 am Reply
    • Larissa

      See…it was so sad! 😀 Thanks so much for being a kindred spirit, Denise.

      July 26, 2018 at 6:50 pm Reply
  • Janice Sexton

    You always manage to make the “ugly ducklings “ pretty!

    July 26, 2018 at 9:14 am Reply
    • Larissa

      I’m so happy you think so! Thank you, Janice.

      July 26, 2018 at 6:50 pm Reply
  • Leigh Lewis

    Perfect for a boy or a girl!

    July 26, 2018 at 9:25 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Yes! I tried to make it work either way. Both my boys and girls love it.

      July 26, 2018 at 6:50 pm Reply
  • Sue Pagels

    Looks oooooh so much better! My sister in law had a whole set of that furniture….I didn’t like it even way back when! The rocker is very cute now! I sure would love to win more brushes too, those things are amazing! Thanks for the chance!!

    July 26, 2018 at 9:35 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Yay! I’m sure glad I gave it a try because I actually left it there in the store and continued shopping, and then went back. I felt bad for it. haha!

      July 26, 2018 at 6:51 pm Reply
  • Tammy Shelton

    You Nailed it!! So cute! I could use some new brushes on a batch of jewelry boxes waiting to be brought back to life. Thanks!

    July 26, 2018 at 9:47 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Literally!! haha! Thank you so much, Tammy. 😀

      July 26, 2018 at 6:51 pm Reply

    You rocked this fun rocking chair. Great job.

    July 26, 2018 at 10:12 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Great pun! So fun to give it a new look.

      July 26, 2018 at 6:51 pm Reply

    i have a vintage Singer Machine and cabinet prepped and ready for paint. I am certain these brushes will be a great help.

    July 26, 2018 at 10:16 am Reply
  • Joan Ness

    So cute, Larissa! You always amaze me with how you can make something beautiful out of some of the most forlorn pieces!

    July 26, 2018 at 10:27 am Reply
    • Larissa

      That completely makes my day because sharing with you is why I do what I do. Thank you!

      July 26, 2018 at 6:52 pm Reply
  • Debra A Wise

    That poor thing was just plain ugly before you gave it a new, beautiful facelift! The ticking is just the icing on the cake. Your little one is just so precious helping and learning how to do things like her mama! I have several pieces I need to paint and could definitely use some good brushes instead of those cheapo’s I use.

    July 26, 2018 at 10:28 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Wasn’t it awful?! I just had to give it a try. Thanks so much for making what I do fun!

      July 26, 2018 at 6:52 pm Reply
  • Angela Moreau

    Love how you see treasure from others trash. I have so many projects to work on but have no brushes! 🙁 This set is amazing! God Bless.

    July 26, 2018 at 10:50 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Wonderful! Well, let’s hope you win, shall we? Yay!

      July 26, 2018 at 6:52 pm Reply
  • Marcie Lovett

    Truly redeemed! That was not an attractive piece before. Now it’s going to add a bright spot to someone’s home.

    July 26, 2018 at 11:12 am Reply
    • Larissa

      That chunky pine just isn’t my thing. But making it new is! 😀 Thank you, Marcie.

      July 26, 2018 at 6:53 pm Reply
  • Kathy Earp

    My children really enjoyed their rocking chairs when little. This is so cute in its updated look.

    July 26, 2018 at 11:37 am Reply
    • Larissa

      I know I loved mine till the finish wore out even more. I still love it! 😀 Glad you like it.

      July 26, 2018 at 6:54 pm Reply
  • Mary

    Nice job, the ticking material sets it just right. I would paint my old sewing cabinet

    July 26, 2018 at 12:01 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Gotta love what ticking can do. Classic and timeless, isn’t it? Thanks, Mary!

      July 26, 2018 at 6:54 pm Reply
  • kandice kullmann

    wow, what a lot of work , but totally worth it. Such a great save and I love your little helper 😉

    July 26, 2018 at 12:54 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      When I started it, I was like…umm…why did I bring this home? But, it was a fun challenge. Thanks!

      July 26, 2018 at 6:54 pm Reply
  • Jana

    Too cute!

    July 26, 2018 at 1:00 pm Reply
  • Marie-The Interior Frugalista

    What a fabulous save, Larissa! I love this little rocking chair in red (my favorite color). The cushions add just the perfect finishing touch. Oh my, yes that was the IT upholstery in the 80’s.

    July 26, 2018 at 1:09 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Red for the win and the ticking is the cherry on top for me. wahoo!! Thanks so much, Marie!

      July 26, 2018 at 6:55 pm Reply
  • Kim M

    Never underestimate the power of good wood filler! I never get tired of watching those imperfections & patches disappear under a beautiful, new coat of paint, making a piece look fresh & revived & ready for its next life. 😊 This chair was sooo ugly & now it is sooo cute!

    July 26, 2018 at 1:28 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Amen to that! haha! It sure works wonders on saving a piece. Glad to hear you’re a kindred spirit too!

      July 26, 2018 at 6:55 pm Reply
  • Lezlie adams

    Love it….I see these all the time and always pass them up. The color choices were great. Love the ticking fabric.

    July 26, 2018 at 2:09 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Time to grab one next time, right? 😉 Thanks so much, Lezlie.

      July 26, 2018 at 6:56 pm Reply
  • Danelle

    That’s beautiful! Never saw those chunky pieces look so well! Lol

    July 26, 2018 at 2:29 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      bwahahaha!! Love your use of “chunky”!! 😀

      July 26, 2018 at 6:56 pm Reply
  • Tammie

    You have such an eye for the hidden potential in a piece of furniture. You’re an inspiration to DIYers!

    July 26, 2018 at 3:51 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Aww…you just made my day, Tammie. Thank you!

      July 26, 2018 at 6:56 pm Reply
  • kimmylouwho

    that was the ugliest chair! and now it is so cute! What a great little chair for reading or rocking a baby doll! That box of brushes would be awesome to have!

    July 26, 2018 at 4:01 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      For real tho…it was! Had to give it a fresh new look. Thanks for the smile, Kimmy!

      July 26, 2018 at 6:57 pm Reply
  • Mary Milnarich

    Another fantastic project! Love the red color and the material choices you used.

    July 26, 2018 at 4:33 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Wonderful to hear – thank you!

      July 26, 2018 at 6:57 pm Reply
  • Karen U

    What an adorable chair! I always love your makeovers! The thing on my list needing done is my little kitchen hutch!

    July 26, 2018 at 4:41 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      I’m delighted to hear that as I try to bring things that most everyone encounters. Thanks!!

      July 26, 2018 at 6:57 pm Reply
  • Amy

    the chair is darling! Furniture makeovers are my favorite.

    July 26, 2018 at 6:52 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      They are fun to do and share. Thank you, Amy. 😀

      July 26, 2018 at 9:32 pm Reply
  • Kaycee

    Larissa, I am really smitten with this rocker! I love the Dixie Belle paint color, the ticking and denim fabrics too! I am really loving red lately!

    July 26, 2018 at 7:21 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Hooray!! Red was just the right touch it needed. Thank you, Kaycee.

      July 26, 2018 at 9:48 pm Reply
  • Patti E

    I seem to have collected rocking chairs in anticipation of a grandchild so I have 2 that can use a paint job and the brushes would be a major help! Loved how your chair turned out–very cute!

    July 26, 2018 at 7:41 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      aww…that is so sweet! That will be such a treat. Here’s hoping!

      July 26, 2018 at 9:49 pm Reply
  • Lisa Wilson

    Absolutely love the red and the cushion and the blue pillow and just the whole thing!

    July 26, 2018 at 8:00 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Had to make it spunky to make up for all the years it was brown. tee hee! Thank you, Lisa.

      July 26, 2018 at 9:49 pm Reply
  • Deborah L Mildenstein

    Love seeing the results of your visions!

    July 26, 2018 at 8:49 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Your words truly mean much as it why I do what I do. I hope to inspire. Thank you, Deborah.

      July 26, 2018 at 9:49 pm Reply
  • Mary

    Larissa this turned out absolutely adorable. The red really makes it special!

    July 26, 2018 at 8:54 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Next to blue, red is so fun! Thank you, Mary.

      July 26, 2018 at 9:50 pm Reply
  • Jerr

    This is so sweet. I love the color along with the fabric choices. It would be cute as a photo prop too.
    I have an old dresser I bought at an estate sale. My daughter spied it in the workshop and has “staked her claim”. She wants to use it as an entertainment center. It will be her Christmas present. This is what I would use brushes on. This is all new to me but you girls inspire me.

    July 26, 2018 at 9:19 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Thanks! Sounds like you are an awesome mama. That’s a great idea!

      July 26, 2018 at 9:50 pm Reply
  • Bonnie Hipps

    I honestly didn’t think nothing could make this chunky mess pretty but you sure did nail it ( pardon the pun) lol beautiful job.

    July 26, 2018 at 10:01 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      tee hee! They are chunky for sure! 😀 I love your take on it. Thanks so much, Bonnie!

      July 27, 2018 at 7:01 am Reply
  • Linda Loiseleur

    Such a sweet red chair. Any kid would love to sit in it! If I’d win the brush set, I’d put them to use right away on a vintage chest that was given to me by my sweet cousin.

    July 27, 2018 at 12:00 am Reply
    • Larissa

      My little guys sure liked giving it a test run. So fun to have them around.

      July 28, 2018 at 5:27 am Reply
  • Eleanor

    That is just adorable.

    July 27, 2018 at 12:41 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you for saying so, Eleanor. 🙂

      July 28, 2018 at 5:27 am Reply
  • Amy Francis

    I love a child’s rocking chair! This one is done smartly in red with a ticking cushion! Thanks so much for your patient step by step tutorials. They help those of us just learning, or those who want to expand our knowledge quite a bit!

    July 27, 2018 at 1:13 am Reply
    • Larissa

      You’re a fun gal, Amy! Thank you for the smile. It’s my absolute pleasure to share.

      July 28, 2018 at 5:27 am Reply
  • Julia Harting

    What a great idea! New inspiration for the clunky big wooden furniture of that Era.

    July 27, 2018 at 5:11 am Reply
  • Barbara Mitchell

    Love this red! I have an old dresser that I would love to brighten up with red!

    July 27, 2018 at 11:04 am Reply
    • Larissa

      It’s such a nice deep color. Sounds like fun! 😀

      July 28, 2018 at 5:24 am Reply
  • Jen @ Girl in the Garage

    I love the red, white, and blue makeover, Larissa! So fresh and full of farmhouse charm.

    July 27, 2018 at 11:49 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you, Jen. This little thing needed brightened up.

      July 28, 2018 at 5:25 am Reply
  • Rachel @ Monday Family Farm

    Adorable! I got lucky and picked up a vintage buffet AND a secretary this week. I just found your blog by surfing for new techniques and styles to try on the buffet. Thanks for the inspiration! I’m off to explore more of your work.

    July 27, 2018 at 7:57 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      So glad you found me (and my family) Rachel. Feel free to email with questions. 🙂

      July 28, 2018 at 5:25 am Reply
  • Charlene Paugh

    I love it ! I can just see a next generation little farmer reading up on the latest news for
    how-to farm for success !!!!!! Priceless !!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 27, 2018 at 9:14 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Aww…what a fun vision that is! 😀 Thank you, Charlene.

      July 28, 2018 at 5:26 am Reply
  • September Whisenant

    Simply adorable! I’m so impressed with the improvements especially the cushion and pillow since that’s an area of struggle for me. Thanks for the chance to win the brushes. I would love to give them a try.

    July 28, 2018 at 5:53 am Reply
    • Larissa

      How sweet of you to say. Thank you! I just love making changes for comfort and fun. It was so cute that my littlest kept parking herself in the chair when I was done. My pleasure to share my favorite tools.

      July 29, 2018 at 5:54 am Reply
  • Rebecca

    I have an old dresser that was headed to street when I found your blog. Then I found your blog! You explain how you do things so well, that I am now inspired to tackle it and give it a “Prodigal” makeover with your favorite paint and brushes! Thanks!!

    July 28, 2018 at 7:39 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Hooray!! 😀 That is awesome! Thank you for the smile and encouraging words that what I do is inspiring you to try. Hugs!

      July 29, 2018 at 5:54 am Reply
  • Christy

    This turned out so cute, Larissa!! I love the red with the ticking…such a fun combination for a child’s piece! XO

    July 28, 2018 at 6:52 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      It had to be red for fun and make up for all those years it had that upholstery. haha! Thanks, Christy!

      July 29, 2018 at 5:56 am Reply
  • Kim

    Love ticking also!

    July 28, 2018 at 8:14 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      You are a gal after my own heart. 😉

      July 29, 2018 at 5:56 am Reply
  • Lisa

    You made that poor little chair into a delightful piece of furniture for some blessed little guy or gal. The red is so happy!

    July 29, 2018 at 2:21 am Reply
    • Larissa

      It makes me smile to see it look so fun. I’m so glad you like it! 😀

      July 29, 2018 at 5:56 am Reply
  • Mary Kaiser

    It turned out so beautiful! The colors are perfect, some little child is going to be so lucky to have it.

    July 29, 2018 at 8:51 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Thanks, Mary! I can’t wait to see who gets it.

      July 29, 2018 at 9:33 pm Reply

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