Restoring a classic wicker rocker.


I found this chair at a local roadside antique shop. While the paint and seat were mostly gone, the wicker was not rotten and the chair begged to be brought back to life. I made them an offer and took the chair home as a birthday gift to myself!
I removed the remaining cardboard seat backing and bits of old fabric. (I was thrilled to find, on the old cardboard, a postage stamp from Paris, IL, dated January 18, 1950, giving me a possible place and date of origin.) I then used fine steel wool to remove the remaining bits of paint.  A wire brush was utilized for the more stubborn and hard to reach areas. This took a remarkably long time!
I then applied 2 coats of Rust-Oleum 2X Primer in White, over all the wicker surfaces, allowing dry time between coats. I chose Rust-Oleum, Hammered, "Dark Bronze" for the color coat, to update the chair and create a beautiful finish. (The color is a rich brown-gray, but I could not get my camera to capture the color correctly!) I applied 3 coats with 12+ hour dry times between.
For the seat, I replaced the seat base (covering the existing springs) with a durable, dark brown, upholstery fabric. The fabric was attached using upholstery tacks. I fashioned new cushions with a striped upholstery fabric I had been saving for just such a project. The bottom cushion is removable, reversable, and washable, while the back cushion is permaneant and attached with upholstery tacks.
During the summer months, the wicker rocker sits on my front porch along with a wooden rocker. My husband and I sit and enjoy the mountain evenings together, watching the sun set or the stars come out one by one. 

Rust-Oleum Products

Rust-Oleum, Painter's Touch 2X Primer White (2 cans)

Rust-Oleum, Hammered "Dark Bronze" (2 cans)

Other Products

Rhodes American Steel Wool

Hillman Cut Tacks 3/8"

Upholstery tacks-reused, original to the rocker

Upholstery Fabric (My Own)

Thrift store pillow ( Recovered for seat cushion)

Morning Glory Premium Polyester Fiberfil