Refinishing a Rocking Chair

My wife’s aunt, Tía Cecilia, asked me if I could refinish her rocking chair recently. She bought it in 1984 and the stain is starting to wear off of it.

Have any of you ever refinished a rocking chair?

It takes some time, but the end result will be worth it. The steps involved include:

  • Stripping the original stain off
  • Sanding
  • Applying wood conditioner
  • Applying the stain
  • Applying a protective varnish

So far, I’m still on step #1 – stripping off the original stain! This part takes lots of elbow grease, by means of a putty knife and steel wool.

"rocking chair refinishing", "refinish rocking chair"
Stripping Stain off of Rocking Chair

I’m trying to be as eco-friendly as I can. For the stain stripper, I’m using a biodegradable, no-VOC product. For the conditioner, stain and varnish, I’m using all water-based products, instead of oil-based, which have to be cleaned up with mineral spirits (which I’m sure you can also get eco-friendly versions of!).

Whenever I finish this project, I’ll post a photo of the newly finished rocking chair!


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