Child's Rocking Chair

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Project by paxorion posted 03-15-2013 11:59 PM 1537 views 1 time favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My wife found a beat up old child’s rocking chair at an antique store for $5. She insisted that it would be a wonderful addition to our daughters room and picked it up. The chair sat in our basement for a good 2 weeks before Get Woodworking Week 2013 gave me the excuse (motivation) to get to it.

I don’t have any photos of the original state of the chair. when we picked up the chair, it was horribly weathered and starting to fall apart. The construction was mostly nails and/or drywall screws. Also, 1/8” plywood that served as the back slats and seat base was already crumbling and de-laminating. The seat base also had 2 fairly large chunks missing, as a results of knots falling out of the pine that was used for construction.

My refinishing adventure started with dismantling the chair into the 4 main pieces for the two sides, back, and seat base, and sanding everything across the grits to 220. I replaced the 1/8” plywood with 1/4” MDF I had lying around, and completely rebuilt a new seat base with some spare 1×3 #2 pine I had. A few new wood screws and wood filler allowed me to re-assemble the chair. The chair was primed and painted with General Finishes milk paint that we picked up at Woodcraft the same day as the chair. We still need one more coat of paint, but I thought I’d post my first project since joining LJ sooner rather than later. Total cost of the project…$5 for the chair, no cost for the pine and MDF (scrap material i have horded), and marginal usage of my wood screws and GF milk paint.

Lessons Learned: This project was a good one for me to test how well I had tuned me bottom-grade Skil table saw and miter saw. All cuts were performed on pieces no more than 10” in length/width. While my table saw didn’t impress, I was very happy with how square the cuts on the miter saw was. I did realize how important it is to be patient with the painting. When priming the piece, I used too big a brush and didn’t exercise the due diligence in fully smoothing out all the parts. My wife who has far more experience with finishing wood projects ended up spot sanding my errors and did the paint job.

-- paxorion

4 comments so far

View mbs's profile


1657 posts in 3086 days

#1 posted 03-16-2013 03:42 AM

Nice restoration project. My Grand daughter would love it.

-- Sorry the reply is so long. I didn't have time to write a short reply.

View NormG's profile


6252 posts in 3150 days

#2 posted 03-17-2013 01:36 AM

Great job

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 2322 days

#3 posted 03-19-2013 02:37 PM

Great build and great color, very lucky grand daughter. Well done!

View Roger's profile


20949 posts in 2950 days

#4 posted 05-11-2015 06:58 PM

Looks like a gr8 job to me.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

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