How to Reupholster your Rocking Chair

How to Reupholster your Rocking Chair

Last update: 14 January, 2019

Rocking chairs are really versatile objects. They’ll look great in your bedroom, next to the window, beside the sofa, or in the nursery. You could also use them in your library, or on the balcony.  So, in this article, we’ll give you some advice on how to reupholster your rocking chair to give it a new lease of life.

If you want to reupholster your rocking chair, the first thing you need to decide is where you’re going to place it, and how prominent you want it to be in your room. Then you can get to work restoring your chair just how you like it, so that it looks great in your home.

Before you reupholster your chair…

You might think that rocking chairs are old-fashioned, but they never really go out of style. You can restore them, paint them different colors and use lots of different materials so that they look great almost anywhere in your home.

If you’re considering reupholstering your rocking chair, we recommend that you first think about where you want to put it. Use the following advice to choose the best place for your rocking chair:

1. Next to a sofa or armchairs

In Nordic decoration, it’s common to see rocking chairs next to sofas or smaller chairs, which can serve both as footstools and for holding trays of food and drink.

If you decide to repaint your chair in dark colors, as well as reupholster it, it will give your room a real touch of elegance and style. You’ll almost be able to imagine a dad or granddad rocking in his chair, reading a newspaper…

2. Make it stand out

Your rocking chair doesn’t necessarily need to match the decor in your room… Quite the opposite in fact! This will help break the monotony and make your rocking chair stand out against the rest of the furniture in the room. You can paint it a bright color, a color that hasn’t been used elsewhere in the room or even add cushions with eye-catching patterns.

3. Put it next to the window

There’s nothing better than sitting next to the window with a hot cup of tea, looking out into the garden, watching cars pass by, or reading your favorite novel with bright, natural light shining in. Having a rocking chair next to the window will give you the perfect excuse to have a nice, relaxing break.

4. The nursery

If you’re a new mom, rocking chairs are about to become your favorite piece of furniture. You can put it in your bedroom or in the baby’s room and use it when you’re breastfeeding or rocking your baby to sleep.

A rocking chair will make a great addition to your nursery.

5. They’re also great for exteriors

If you’re thinking about reupholstering your rocking chair, but you’re not sure where to put it in your house… Why not leave it outside? Balconies, terraces or patios can be some of the best places. We would recommend that you use strong, resistant materials and that you treat the wood or whatever material your chair is made of. This will help keep it in good condition for longer.

Tips for upholstering a rocking chair

Now that you’ve decided where to put this beautiful and versatile piece of furniture, you’ll probably want to update its look and give it a new lease of life. Take a look at the following tips on how to upholster your rocking chair:

1. Dismantle your rocking chair

Although it might seem tedious and unnecessary, taking out all the screws and staples around the cushion will make it much easier for you to reupholster it. Plus, you’ll be better able to analyze the condition of your chair and the materials. You might also find that you need to replace some of the parts.

2. Sand and paint the entire surface

If rather than simply reupholstering your rocking chair, you want to restore it completely, this is the time to do it. We would recommend doing this outside so that you don’t put dust and paint all over your house.

First, use sandpaper to take off all the old paint. Once the entire surface is completely smooth, place newspaper or plastic sheeting under the rocking chair and start painting. Give it several coatings of paint to get the perfect look. Then you should leave it to dry (another reason why doing this step outside might be a good idea).

3. Reupholstering

If you’ve bought new foam for your chair, you’ll have to cut it down to exactly the same size as the original. Sometimes just one piece isn’t enough for you to be high or comfortable enough. Some rocking chairs only have foam in the seat, but others also have foam in the backrest as well. In both cases, the requirements are the same.

Cover the foam in your chosen material (this could be a more rustic material, a patterned material, a smooth material, faux-leather…) and fix it firmly in place with staples. Remember, it needs to be quite tight, so it might be useful to use a specially designed stapler. You don’t need to buy a particularly expensive one, but make sure it’s robust enough that the staples will last.

Finally, add the cushions to your rocking chair and fix them into place with the original screws. If they’re not in good condition, you’ll need to buy replacements. And there you have it!