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Harsh weather conditions can wear down any outdoor furniture, but you can turn an old rusty rocking chair into a gorgeous decor piece. You can make any space in your home easier to enjoy by upcycling a rocking chair. An outdoor painted rocking chair can provide years of comfort and relaxation if properly protected from the elements. Rocking chair paint is more water-resistant, preventing warping and rot. Therefore, you can paint your rocking chair and enjoy it for a long time by using this easy guide.

painted rocking chair

How To Spray Paint Rocking Chair

Tools or Materials Needed

  • Paint Sprayer (I like to use Wagner sprayers for DIY projects)
  • Tack cloth
  • Electric sander
  • Coarse Grit sandpaper
  • Fine Grit (320 grit) sandpaper
  • Primer
  • Cleaner or degreaser (I used Krud Kutter because it is easy to wipe off)
  • Your choice of paint color
  • Wood filler

Step: 1 (Preparation of the rocking chair for painting)

To paint a rocking chair properly, you must thoroughly clean it first. In this way, you can ensure that no residue or dirt will prevent your fresh coat of paint from adhering. In terms of cleaning, you can use TSP or Krud Kutter, which I have used many times for different purposes.

In addition to being a powerful cleaner and degreaser, Trisodium Phosphate is also effective at cutting grease and dust. Ingestion of TSP can be moderately toxic and may cause skin irritation.

If you plan to use this product, don’t forget to wear gloves, eye protection, and long sleeves. However, a popular chair cleaner on the market is Krud Kutter, and I agree that it is the best chair cleaner that has a mild smell. This degreaser works great on rocking chairs. 

Now, take a clean rag and spray the Krud Kutter on the entire chair and wipe off. There is no need to rinse afterward. Now it’s time to sand.

Step: 2 (Repairing & Sanding)

Repair any cracks or deep gauges in your wooden outdoor rocking chair. This can be easily fixed with wood filler. Here you can see that the chair has some cracks in the wood and some faded paint on it.

cracks on wooden rocking chair
cracks and faded paint on outdoor rocking chair

After you’ve patched any affected areas, you can remove rough spots, peeling paint, or cracked paint with coarse grit sandpaper.

Now, wipe the chair with a tacky cloth. After that, sand it with fine grit ( 320-grit sandpaper) to make the surface smooth. Finally, a tacky cloth or damp cloth should be used again to wipe the chair. Other than that, you also use an electric sander.

Step: 3 (Priming)

If you wish to use a paint brush to apply the primer, ensure that you cover the entire chair with one full coat. However, It’s always easy to paint with a paint sprayer, and they also speed up the process. I used Wagner paint sprayer for painting rocking chair.

You can use Rust-Oleum Surface Primer for wooden chairs, while Rust-Oleum Plastic Primer is suitable for plastic chairs. Primers seal wood and provide a smooth surface for painting. Allow the primer to dry for four to five hours and let them dry for at least four to five hours between each coat.

Step: 4 ( The best way to paint an outdoor rocking chair)

how to paint a rocking chair

After priming, you can use a paint sprayer or a paint brush to apply wood paint. Paint should be applied in one direction using short, smooth strokes. You may need to paint multiple coats to get the coverage you need. After each light coat, wait a few minutes before applying the next.

For my upcoming chair painting projects, I plan to use Heirloom Tradition paint. But here, I painted my rocking chair using Sherwin-Williams Regatta, if you like the color there’s the number 6517 as you can see that in the picture below;

using Sherwin-Williams Regatta on rocking chair paint

I applied three coats of paint and was satisfied with the outcome. This is because it was important for me to have a durable finish on these chairs since they will be used outside. After that, allow the paint to dry between coats for superior results.

Before rocking chair paint
After rocking chair paint

Conclusion On Painted Rocking Chair

Doesn’t the rocking chair complete the space perfectly? Oh yes, it turned out beautifully! You can also set up a small reading corner with a rocking chair paint and books. I’m amazed at what Sherwin-Williams Regatta paint has done to my furniture. Awesome blue! So, try it out for yourself and turn your old boring items into something classy.

FAQs On Rocking Chair Paint

Q: Which is the best paint for a rocking chair?

Rocking chairs have a traditional shape and style that makes people think they require a specific type of paint. However, this is not true. The paint you use for a rocking chair can be any wood furniture paint. 

When sanding, priming, and selecting paint for a rocking chair, you should keep its style and condition in mind. You can paint wood with acrylic or latex paint, but you must prime it first. In addition, chalk paint is one of my favorite ways to paint furniture, requiring very little prep. Also, the finish will be smooth and sit well on the wood.

Q: How do you paint a rocking chair without sanding?

There are multiple ways to paint a rocking chair without sanding. People usually prefer milk paint with a bonding agent, bonding primer, mineral paint, and deglosser.

However, deglosser is a wonderful alternative to sanding wood before painting. It is also a great way to remove varnish. If you add this step to priming, your surface will be ready to paint in no time.

Q: Is it better to spray paint or brush paint chairs?

When you want an even finish without brushstrokes, spray paint is an excellent choice. This process is much faster than painting a surface by hand. On the other hand, if you plan to use a brush to paint chairs, spray a light mist of water on the chair and on the brush. In this way, you will achieve a brush-free finish by applying paint smoothly and thinly.

Q: How do you seal paint on a chair?

You can apply multiple thin layers of sealer after painting to protect the freshly painted paint from moisture damage. After that, let it fully dry. It is recommended to apply two thin coats of sealer, but I prefer three to four coats on surfaces exposed to high traffic.

In general, the most suitable sealer to use over painted furniture is a water-based one. They are less toxic and do not alter the color of paint.

Q: What to put on painted chairs to protect them?

The finish paint on your painted rocking chair will last longer if you apply a topcoat. This protects chair paint from scratches and dings. Sealing outdoor paints with clear polyurethane will prolong the life of your painted outdoor chairs.

Rosalie Sanchez-Holapaints writer and owner

Rosalie Sanchez

DIY enthusiast with years of experience in home decor and home improvement. With a passion for educating consumers about DIY projects. Every time, I work with our painting professionals to provide you with the best painting product reviews and how-to advice. You can follow me on Facebook.

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