Somewhat Simple

My Red Rocker


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Want to see the fun transformation of my red rocker?

This rocking chair is something I snagged off of craigslist for $15.00. I couldn’t wait to get it home and turn it into something I LOVED! I’ve wanted a bentwood rocking chair since elementary school, our librarian had one and I always thought all the curves in it were so cool! I’ve hesitated to get one because even though the curves are cool, the colors aren’t.


What I Used:

  • one yard of fabric (I used Heather Bailey Pop Daisy in Red)
  • 5/8 yard of coordinating fabric for backing and bottom of chair
  • chair padding (most fabric stores sell this)
  • sand paper
  • spray paint (I used krylon gloss, cherry red)
  • staple gun (surprisingly cheap)
  • tacky glue
  • liquid nails glue (I used the “for small projects” kind)

What I Did:

  1. First, I had to pry off the seat cushions, they were just glued onto a small rim (really well) so I used a flat head screwdriver and shoved it between the seat and the chair until it came free. Then, I tore off all that horrendous fabric!
  2. The chair didn’t have a ton of cushion left, so I added to it. I traced the wood base of the seats onto the foam and cut it out. Tip: While you have the wood base free, trace the shape onto your backing fabric and cut it out (I saved this for last and was sorry!)
  3. I laid the fabric face down, and put the new cushiony seat on top. I stapled the top, pulled really tight, then stapled the bottom. Then I put a staple on the left and right, making sure it was pulled tight on all sides. I stapled my way around the seat, pulling tight all along the way. When I got to the corners, I would grab a fist of fabric and pull it all while I stapled, to reduce puckering. For me, I needed another pair of hands for the stapling, I think it’s doable by yourself, but much easier with some help! Once I had the fabric stapled on, I cut off the excess fabric.
  4. Now I was ready to do the backing. I squirt some Tacky Glue on the wood and smoothed it out with a foam paint brush (I ended up using a lot more than shown in the picture) then I put the backing fabric on top and smoothed it out.
  5. I put a border of glue all around the edges and smoothed that down too.
  6. And the cushions are done!



  1. Once I was done with the cushions, I sanded the base of the chair. I used a power sander on some spots, but hand-sanded the intricate spots.
  2. And then I painted it and let it dry overnight. I found I needed quite a few coats of paint to get a really glossy, smooth finish.
  3. I glued on the seats using liquid nails. I just put a strip all along the rim of the seats and carefully put the cushions on. I did them one at a time, giving 30 minutes between to dry. FYI: This glue does not dry clear, so be careful where you get it. If you do accidentally get it on something, it wipes off easily with water before it dries.
After about 1hr total dry time, it’s ready to go!

This post originally published on Crazy Domestic in July 2010rocking chair makeover

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