An Update for a Very Special Rocker

little-boy-rocking-chairI have a confession: I’m not great at saving things. I have an intense desire to purge things that aren’t being used in our home, and I’m constantly battling to have a more minimalist approach to material possessions.

My mom is the complete opposite. She saves soo many things (some might say too many) that have sentimental value, and she’s always pulling out gems from my childhood.

This rocking chair is one of those gems.

When we started thinking about things we’d like to have in Em’s big boy room, I realized that while the new baby would definitely need our glider in the nursery, I still wanted to have a rocker in Em’s room for bedtime cuddles and book-reading. I was at the lake with my mom this summer chatting about this very thing, and she casually mentioned she had an extra wooden rocker in the basement. My DIY antenna went up, and I went to check it out. Then she let me know that it was the very chair she’d used in both my brother’s and my nursery when we were little… and I was hooked. So much for not being sentimental. I had to bring this chair into Em’s room and find a way to make it work!

I’ve been wanting to try a ‘paint dipped’ look on a piece of furniture for a while, and this little guy was the perfect opportunity! Check out the details below of the ‘before’, ‘during’ and ‘after’, and some of our tips if you’re looking to attempt a ‘paint dip’ yourself!





The original chair was structurally sound (it had been re-glued at some point in the last 35 years) and had been well loved. The honey tones in the stain and the gold stencil details were classic 80’s, but weren’t going to work in Em’s new monochromatic room (more to come soon on that!).

Sooooo, we took a quick trip to Canadian Tire (not sponsored – we just love them), and picked up some supplies:

  • 2 colours of Rust-oleum Chalked Ultra Matte paint (Charcoal and Linen White)
    • This paint goes on over most furniture surfaces with minimal sanding and no primer required – perfect for a quick DIY solution!
  • a new set of paintbrushes (we love the Premier brushes from Canadian Tire, and they come in every size you could need)
  • some painters tape
  • we had some chalk paint finishing wax already, so we didn’t buy that, but definitely used some as a finishing touch on the chair to seal the paint (especially on surfaces that will get lots of wear, like the seat)

The key to executing a paint-dipped look is 1) choosing colours with enough contrast, and that work for your space, and 2) deciding where to tape off your paint lines so the paint-dip look is consistent across the piece.

We did some light sanding to prep the chair and remove and high-gloss coating (very light – like 20 mins of work tops), and then got to work on the paint.

We painted the majority of the chair white, and then taped off roughly the top 1/8 and bottom 1/8 of the chair to be painted in charcoal. There’s no magic to the exact ratio of paint colours, other than it typically ends up looking best if you allow one colour to have a dominant share of the piece (white in our case), and let your second colour play an accent role.

Small tip: find a natural architectural point on your piece if possible to create the break (on the legs for example we chose a spot just above some of the turned details that felt right).

I promise the taping process is the hardest part. After that it’s all just a quick paint job! We ended up doing a few coats of white, and a couple of charcoal to get the effect we wanted, and the finished it off with some furniture wax to seal the paint.

And that’s it! Taaa-daaaa! A brand new (yet adorably sentimental) rocker for our big boy to love in his room.

And every time we rock in it, I think about my mom doing just the same 30 years ago… it doesn’t get any better than that.



#, #, #, #, #, #, #