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.
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!! Likewise, you can see what I did to a matching footstool in this post.
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!
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.
Of course, my littlest was smitten with this chair and was eager to help me nail in some wooden plugs.
Then, after we got it all tightened up, it took nearly my entire tub of wood filler to get it done right. However, it looks kinda like a spotted cow, doesn’t it?
Next, 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.
I give the chair 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.
Additionally, 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.
Finally, no more ugly polyester upholstery and whole lot more fun. Yay! Not only do little people get to have their own spot to sit and read or play, but it also truly makes them feel special.
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 online shop.
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!
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.
- Confessions of a Serial DIYer
- Just the Woods
- Petticoat Junktion
- The Interior Frugalista
- Girl in the Garage
Jeannie Wallace says
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.
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!
Queen of Rods says
I have a few jewelry box updates that I would use the Zibra brushes on 🙂
Cute! I just recently bought & used a Zibra brush, and now I’m hooked!
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!
Lori Sawyer says
We had that living room set! Love it
I think my parents did for a time too when they were building our home and needed something temporary. Fun!
JILL NELSON says
I have 2 large cabinets I use as pantries They are in need of a good paint job 🙂
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!
Thank you, Shelly. Yes, all the damage from whomever tried to make repairs pretty much deemed it needing paint. Glad you like it!
That is darling! The red is perfect. I have a dresser to paint. 🙂
Thank you, Melissa.
Mary Barber says
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.
High five, Mary! 😀 Yes, just makes one wonder sometimes. haha! So glad you’re here to join me on my adventures.
Claudia Hughes says
Love this piece!! Our house had the big wood furniture pieces and the fabric! Such a fresh change.
Yes! I think we had something similar for a time as a kid. Funny!
Sheila DelCharco says
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!
Thanks, Sheila! This was fun to do. You can do it…I know you can! Feel free to email with questions. 🙂
Alicia H says
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!
Totally funky, right? haha. Thanks, Alicia!
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.
haha…so true! It held up awesome though. Thanks for the love!
Alison S says
I have a dresser I would like to make over, so I would use them on that!
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
See…it was so sad! 😀 Thanks so much for being a kindred spirit, Denise.
Janice Sexton says
You always manage to make the “ugly ducklings “ pretty!
I’m so happy you think so! Thank you, Janice.
Leigh Lewis says
Perfect for a boy or a girl!
Yes! I tried to make it work either way. Both my boys and girls love it.
Sue Pagels says
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!!
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!
Tammy Shelton says
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!
Literally!! haha! Thank you so much, Tammy. 😀
SONJA HANSEN says
You rocked this fun rocking chair. Great job.
Great pun! So fun to give it a new look.
SONJA HANSEN says
i have a vintage Singer Machine and cabinet prepped and ready for paint. I am certain these brushes will be a great help.
Joan Ness says
So cute, Larissa! You always amaze me with how you can make something beautiful out of some of the most forlorn pieces!
That completely makes my day because sharing with you is why I do what I do. Thank you!
Debra A Wise says
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.
Wasn’t it awful?! I just had to give it a try. Thanks so much for making what I do fun!
Angela Moreau says
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.
Wonderful! Well, let’s hope you win, shall we? Yay!
Marcie Lovett says
Truly redeemed! That was not an attractive piece before. Now it’s going to add a bright spot to someone’s home.
That chunky pine just isn’t my thing. But making it new is! 😀 Thank you, Marcie.
Kathy Earp says
My children really enjoyed their rocking chairs when little. This is so cute in its updated look.
I know I loved mine till the finish wore out even more. I still love it! 😀 Glad you like it.
Nice job, the ticking material sets it just right. I would paint my old sewing cabinet
Gotta love what ticking can do. Classic and timeless, isn’t it? Thanks, Mary!
kandice kullmann says
wow, what a lot of work , but totally worth it. Such a great save and I love your little helper 😉
When I started it, I was like…umm…why did I bring this home? But, it was a fun challenge. Thanks!
Fun to try! 🙂
Marie-The Interior Frugalista says
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.
Red for the win and the ticking is the cherry on top for me. wahoo!! Thanks so much, Marie!
Kim M says
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!
Amen to that! haha! It sure works wonders on saving a piece. Glad to hear you’re a kindred spirit too!
Lezlie adams says
Love it….I see these all the time and always pass them up. The color choices were great. Love the ticking fabric.
Time to grab one next time, right? 😉 Thanks so much, Lezlie.
That’s beautiful! Never saw those chunky pieces look so well! Lol
bwahahaha!! Love your use of “chunky”!! 😀
You have such an eye for the hidden potential in a piece of furniture. You’re an inspiration to DIYers!
Aww…you just made my day, Tammie. Thank you!
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!
For real tho…it was! Had to give it a fresh new look. Thanks for the smile, Kimmy!
Mary Milnarich says
Another fantastic project! Love the red color and the material choices you used.
Wonderful to hear – thank you!
Karen U says
What an adorable chair! I always love your makeovers! The thing on my list needing done is my little kitchen hutch!
I’m delighted to hear that as I try to bring things that most everyone encounters. Thanks!!
the chair is darling! Furniture makeovers are my favorite.
They are fun to do and share. Thank you, Amy. 😀
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!
Hooray!! Red was just the right touch it needed. Thank you, Kaycee.
Patti E says
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!
aww…that is so sweet! That will be such a treat. Here’s hoping!
Lisa Wilson says
Absolutely love the red and the cushion and the blue pillow and just the whole thing!
Had to make it spunky to make up for all the years it was brown. tee hee! Thank you, Lisa.
Deborah L Mildenstein says
Love seeing the results of your visions!
Your words truly mean much as it why I do what I do. I hope to inspire. Thank you, Deborah.
Larissa this turned out absolutely adorable. The red really makes it special!
Next to blue, red is so fun! Thank you, Mary.
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.
Thanks! Sounds like you are an awesome mama. That’s a great idea!
Bonnie Hipps says
I honestly didn’t think nothing could make this chunky mess pretty but you sure did nail it ( pardon the pun) lol beautiful job.
tee hee! They are chunky for sure! 😀 I love your take on it. Thanks so much, Bonnie!
Linda Loiseleur says
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.
My little guys sure liked giving it a test run. So fun to have them around.
That is just adorable.
Thank you for saying so, Eleanor. 🙂
Amy Francis says
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!
You’re a fun gal, Amy! Thank you for the smile. It’s my absolute pleasure to share.
Julia Harting says
What a great idea! New inspiration for the clunky big wooden furniture of that Era.
Barbara Mitchell says
Love this red! I have an old dresser that I would love to brighten up with red!
It’s such a nice deep color. Sounds like fun! 😀
Jen @ Girl in the Garage says
I love the red, white, and blue makeover, Larissa! So fresh and full of farmhouse charm.
Thank you, Jen. This little thing needed brightened up.
Rachel @ Monday Family Farm says
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.
So glad you found me (and my family) Rachel. Feel free to email with questions. 🙂
Charlene Paugh says
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 !!!!!!!!!!!!
Aww…what a fun vision that is! 😀 Thank you, Charlene.
September Whisenant says
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.
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.
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!!
Hooray!! 😀 That is awesome! Thank you for the smile and encouraging words that what I do is inspiring you to try. Hugs!
This turned out so cute, Larissa!! I love the red with the ticking…such a fun combination for a child’s piece! XO
It had to be red for fun and make up for all those years it had that upholstery. haha! Thanks, Christy!
Love ticking also!
You are a gal after my own heart. 😉
You made that poor little chair into a delightful piece of furniture for some blessed little guy or gal. The red is so happy!
It makes me smile to see it look so fun. I’m so glad you like it! 😀
Mary Kaiser says
It turned out so beautiful! The colors are perfect, some little child is going to be so lucky to have it.
Thanks, Mary! I can’t wait to see who gets it.