My rocking chair was looking a little jaded after twelve years parked in a corner of the conservatory, so last weekend, I decided to rejeuvenate it with a splash of colour and some good ol' fashioned elbow grease!
Fortunately the rocker was unvarnished and the wood was lovely and smooth, so I launched straight at it with a pot of Zinsser Cover Stain primer.
I had several sample pots of Annie Sloan's Chalk Paint tucked away in the depths of our garage and as I am a far from perfect painter and have a rather slap happy approach, I thought this would be the perfect paint for my chair. Annie Sloan's chalk paint is very easy to use but best of all for the messy painters among us, it is extremely forgiving! This lovely paint also comes in the most beautiful complementary colours. I chose 'Provence' and 'Arles' because they reminded me of holidays spent in the South of France and Kefalonia... the colours also happily complemented the oilcloth covering on my Grandchildren's painting table!
The first coat of paint went on easily and once dried, I enthusiastically slapped on a second coat. I should probably have watered the paint down a little first though, as it was rather thick in places but I didn't worry too much because I had complete faith that everything would remedy when I gave it a good rub over with a medium sand paper. What I had learned from my bedroom furniture renovation last year, was that chalk paint sands to a smooth finish perfectly and all lumps and bumps soon disappear with little effort and a keen eye. Also, it is a very satisfying (if dusty!) process.
My two sample pots were enough to cover the top of the rocking chair with two coats of paint, but I ran out before I could complete the rest of the chair, so left it overnight, then dragged my rocker back out to the patio next morning for sanding of the top half, while I waited for the Annie Sloan website to dispatch more paint for the bottom half. Incidentally, the dust really flies when you do the sanding, so I'd recommend using a dust mask and wearing old clothes. I didn't have a mask handy so spent the afternoon coughing heartily ... !
Sanding the chalk paint to a smooth finish lightened the colour to a lovely soft shade and revealed white primer in places ... which will be perfect for the shabby chic, waxed finish I hope to achieve. I wiped my chair with a damp cloth after sanding, then popped it back in the corner until I can paint the whole thing over, re-sand gently and finally wax. It's a labour of love, but I am enjoying my rocking chair project and so far, am delighted with the result! I will share the finished result when I'm finished and my chair is ready to receive a nice new cushion.
By the way, if you haven't yet tried chalk paint, why not give it a go ... it is so versatile and really fun to use. I have found it really rewarding to bring my tired wooden furniture back to life, as I don't particularly enjoy change or trying to buy new furniture. I would much rather revitalise and personalise the furniture I have shared my life and my family with. Now it makes me smile whenever I see it!