How to Paint a Wooden Rocking Chair

Are you looking for a weekend activity to spice up your home décor? Painting wooden furniture is easy and fun to spruce up any room.

Whether it’s an old rocking chair, stool, or table, painting a piece of wooden furniture is a great way to add color and style to your home without breaking the bank.

How to Paint a Wooden Rocking Chair

In this blog post, we will be providing step-by-step instructions on how to paint a wooden rocking chair so that you can get started right away! If you have never painted furniture before, don’t worry! This guide is designed to provide helpful tips and guidance so that even a beginner can paint a rocking chair like an expert.

So grab some brushes, paints, and sandpaper –it’s time to give that old chair in the corner a new look!

What Will You Need?

Before you start, make sure to have the following supplies on hand:

  • Sandpaper
  • Paint of your choice
  • Paintbrushes
  • Primer
  • Drop cloths (to protect your floors and surfaces)
  • Painter’s tape (optional)

Once you’ve gathered your supplies, it’s time to begin prepping the surface of your rocking chair.

8 Easy Steps on How to Paint a Wooden Rocking Chair

Step 1: Preparing the Chair for Painting

Before you start painting, you must prepare the surface of your rocking chair. Begin by sanding down any rough patches and areas with splinters using sandpaper. Then, use a damp cloth to wipe the dust away and let it dry completely before you move on to step two. Be careful not to rub the cloth too hard, which may damage the wood.

Step 2: Applying Primer

After ensuring that your chair is completely dry and free from dust, it’s . The primer will help the paint adhere better to the chair, ensuring a smoother and more durable finish. Using your paintbrush, apply a thin, even layer of primer all over the chair, including the underside. Remember the nooks and crannies! Allow the primer to dry thoroughly before moving on to the next step.

Step 3: Painting the Chair

Once the primer has completely dried, you’re ready to start painting. Choose a calm, wind-free day to paint if you’re doing this outside to prevent dust and debris from sticking to the wet paint. Stir your paint thoroughly before you begin. Apply a thin, even layer of paint to the chair using smooth, long strokes.

It is Time to Apply the Primer

Be sure to coat every part of the chair, paying special attention to the crevices and corners. Once you’ve painted the entire chair, allow it to dry thoroughly. This may take several hours or even overnight, depending on the type of paint you are using.

Step 4: Applying a Second Coat of Paint

After the first coat of paint is thoroughly dry, it’s time to apply a second coat. The second layer helps to ensure complete coverage and more vibrant color. Once again, stir your paint well and apply it to the chair in smooth, long strokes, covering all the nooks and corners.

Remember to paint in the direction of the wood grain for the best result. Let the second coat dry completely. This might take several hours or overnight, similar to the first coat. Once dry, assess the chair to see if a third coat is necessary. If the color looks solid and even, you’re ready to move on to the next step.

Step 5: Sealing the Paint

After the second coat of paint has completely dried, it’s time to seal the paint to protect your rocking chair from scratches and wear over time. Begin by choosing a suitable clear sealant, either water-based or oil-based, depending on the type of paint you use.

Apply a thin, even sealant layer using a clean brush, covering all painted surfaces. This includes the nooks and crannies! If your chair is used outdoors, consider using a sealant with UV protection to prevent fading. Allow the sealant to dry thoroughly, as per the instructions on the container, before using the chair.

Using a Sealant With Uv Protection

Step 6: Inspecting the Chair

After sealing the paint and letting it dry completely, take the time to inspect your rocking chair closely. Make sure all surfaces are covered evenly, and all corners and crevices are well-sealed. If there are any missed spots or if the paint appears thin in any area, feel free to spot paint and reseal as needed. This step is crucial for ensuring your rocking chair’s refined and professional finish.

Step 7: Final Touches

Once your chair has been painted, sealed, and inspected, it’s time for the final touches. If you like, you can add decorative elements to your chair to give it a personalized touch. This could include stenciling a pattern onto the backrest, adding a monogram, or attaching a cushion to the seat for added comfort. Remember, this is your chance to make the chair your own.

Step 8: Enjoy Your Newly Painted Chair

Now, your new and improved rocking chair is ready for use! Whether you’ve chosen a bold, vibrant color or a soothing, neutral shade, your freshly painted chair will add personality to any room. Don’t be surprised if it becomes your new favorite spot for reading, relaxing, or simply rocking away a lazy afternoon. Remember, with the right materials and a little bit of patience, you can transform any piece of old wooden furniture into a stunning centerpiece.

By following these 8 easy steps on how to paint a wooden rocking chair, you can now add personality and flair to any room in your home. So what are you waiting for? Get ready to give that old chair in the corner a brand-new look!

5 Additional Tips and Tricks

  1. Use Painter’s Tape: Painter’s tape can be a lifesaver when painting wooden rocking chairs, as it helps you create clean lines and prevent your paint from going over the edges.
  2. Choose the Right Paint: A good quality paint designed for wood furniture will give your rocking chair a smooth and durable finish. Consider a paint with a built-in primer for excellent coverage.
  3. Use the Right Tools: Brushes, rollers, or spray paint can all be used to paint a wooden rocking chair. Brushes work well for detailed areas, while rollers or spray paint can cover large areas quickly and evenly.
  4. Apply Multiple Coats: To achieve a solid, uniform color and protect the wood, apply at least two coats of paint. Allow each coat to dry thoroughly before applying the next.
  5. Seal Your Work: After the final coat of paint has dried, apply a clear sealer to protect your chair from scratches and weather damage if it will be used outdoors. This will extend the life and beauty of your freshly painted wooden rocking chair.
Painter Tape Can Be a Lifesaver

With these tips and tricks in mind, you’ll be ready to start your own rocking chair restoration project. If you have any questions or need more help, just contact a local painting expert for advice and assistance.

5 Things You Should Avoid

  1. Skipping Sanding: While jumping straight to painting is tempting, don’t skip the sanding step. This is essential for helping the paint adhere properly to the wood and for achieving a smooth finish.
  2. Using Cheap Paint: Avoid using cheap or low quality paint. It may not provide the durability or finish you desire and could lead to more work in the long run.
  3. Rushing the Drying Time: Take your time with the drying process between paint coats. Let each layer of paint dry thoroughly before applying the next, or you risk creating uneven layers and a poor final finish.
  4. Ignoring the Weather: If painting outdoors, pay attention to the weather conditions. High humidity, dust, or strong wind can affect your painting result negatively.
  5. Not Cleaning the Chair Beforehand: Remember to clean the chair before painting. Dust and dirt can get trapped under the paint, leading to a bumpy and uneven surface. Always clean the chair thoroughly before you start painting.
Avoid Using Cheap or Low Quality Paint

Avoiding these common pitfalls is key to success when painting a wooden rocking chair. With the right supplies and knowledge, you can give your chair a brand new look that you will love for years to come.


This tutorial has helped you understand the basics of painting a wooden rocking chair. Now, you should feel confident enough to tackle this project by yourself! Don’t forget, preparation is key, so take your time to sand, prime, and paint the rocking chair before putting it up for sale or displaying it proudly in your home.

Who knows, you may even want to gift it as a present for a loved one – they’ll surely be delighted with the effort!

With the right skill set and patience, painting a wooden rocking chair can become an enjoyable hobby or pastime for anyone. So roll up your sleeves and create beautiful pieces that could soon become conversation starters in people’s homes.

After all, having homemade furniture that stands out is truly something special and will never go out of style.

Hopefully, the article on how to paint a wooden rocking chair was helpful and you are now ready to start working on your own project. Good luck!

Happy Painting! 🙂 

Photo of author

Adrian Green

Adrian is a woodworking hobbyist and has loved Woodworking since he was 10 years old. Back then in childhood, his father used to have a furniture shop. He used to help his dad and learned a lot from him about how to fix woodworking furniture, basic carpentry knowledge and also about how to work hard and take care of business. He enjoys woodworking as a hobby. He loves the feeling of creating something with his own hands, and the satisfaction that comes from seeing his finished products used by others.

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