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An Outdated Rocking Chair Gets a Timeless New Finish

Graphite chalk paint on rocking chair.

I love rocking chairs of all sorts! But I especially like this one because it's comfortable to sit in (even without a cushion) and the runners on the bottom are not particularly long which gives it a smaller footprint.

The original finish was a walnut stain with an American eagle design on the top of the chair.

Outdated rocking chair

American Eagle motif on rocking chair
Close up of original American Eagle motif.
The original stained finish was wearing away and the top layer was chipping. I sanded the areas to get a smooth surface before painting.

Damaged finish on rocking chair

The label underneath the seat reads, "Wayside Inn". The style of the label is reminiscent of the 1950s or 1960s, so I estimate the chair dates back to that time period.

Wayside Inn label underneath rocking chair seat
Wayside Inn


I gave the chair a timeless finish in black. There is light distressing throughout to accentuate its age.
Rocking chair painted in a timeless finish

Light distressing applied to rocking chair seat

Graphite Annie Sloan Chalk Paint on rocking chair

Rocking chair leg and runner

As I mentioned previously, the chair is comfortable without a cushion, but I wanted to show how pretty the finish is against a red pillow. I think I might put the chair next to my fireplace until I have room for it in the booth.

Black rocking chair with red pillow

Thanks for stopping by The Black Sheep Shoppe.

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This old rocking chair found at a thrift store was given a new timeless finish in graphite chalk paint.


  1. Wow, what a difference black paint made on this rocking chair. Would work with any decor! Inspired me to rethink the one I have waiting in the workshop. Pinned

    1. Thanks so much Marie. I have a few rocking chairs in my stash which will get a variety of finishes, but I think the classic black is my favorite.

    2. I am interested in possibly using this idea to refinish a chair I have. I would like to know how you got the gold tones on the chair?

    3. There was some gold on the original finish that was revealed when I sanded back the paint. However, if your piece doesn't have gold, an alternative is to use Rub-n-Buf to add touches of gold. There are a variety of colors but either Antique Gold or European Gold looks nice. You can buy it by the tube on Amazon, Hobby Lobby, etc. It's easy to apply after your paint is sealed. If you apply too much then you can wipe some away with soft clear wax. If you haven't used it before then I recommend trying it on a test board first. The following link is a project I used the product on. http://theblacksheepshoppe.blogspot.com/2017/02/vintage-pedestal-table.html
      Best of luck with your project!


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