Antique Pressed Back Rocking Chair

There was no question that this rocking chair was a "project piece", but the previous owner did most of the work already, so I couldn't pass it by. It's an antique pressed back rocking chair, which were commonly manufactured between the 1870's and 1920's.


The finish on this chair was poor. And the pressed back design is almost completely worn away. There's a split in the wood on the back of the chair, but it doesn't impact the structure of the chair, and it's a nice sturdy piece.

It was painted at least twice over the years. The previous owner must have spent a lot of time removing the old paint. There was still some paint and residue that needed to be removed, so I can only assume the previous owner gave up in frustration. I can relate as it's a big job and stripping the paint from the spindles is no easy task!

I started by hand sanding the remaining paint off the chair, And then painted the chair in two coats of Cream (Annie Sloan Chalk Paint).


I initially planned to give the chair light distressing. But once that was done it didn't look right to me. The pressed details on the chair are almost completely worn away, and the paint further disguised it. So I went ahead and removed more paint and added heavier distressing throughout the entire chair, It's a little out of my comfort zone, but it seems to fit this particular piece.

Antique pressed back rocking chair painted in Cream (ASCP)

I think the chair would be perfect in a sunroom. Even though it's heavily distressed, the finish is new, clean, and fresh, so I think it would also add a lovely vintage touch in a nursery.

Heavy distressing allows the pressed design to peek through.
Heavier distressing applied to the seat for a consistent look.
The curvy outline of the back gives the chair a feminine look.

A worn distressed look was applied throughout
to compliment the age of the chair,

The next project up is another rocking chair! But it is a child-sized chair and I gave it a sweet finish, and I hope you'll drop by the blog to see it. 


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