It’s time for our monthly Thrift Store Decor roundup! This month I’m doing a makeover on a thrift store doll rocking chair. Well, in all honesty, I didn’t buy this doll chair at a thrift store. It was given to me by a neighbor.
I think you’re going to love this easy project.
Vintage Doll Rocking Chair
I’m pretty sure this sweet little rocking chair was handmade by someone’s dad or grandpa! I suppose the little rocker could be used for a wee toddler, but a hefty little guy might be too much for this chair to handle. Do you notice it’s missing a piece on the back? The lower slat was already gone when I got it.
I chose a scrap piece of wood from my woodpile and proceeded with the repairs.
*this post contains affiliate links, read more here*
Using a Paint Scraper as a Pry Bar
Normally, I would use a pry bar to remove the broken pieces and nails. However I found that this 6 in 1 painter’s tool was thinner and slid under the broken slat much easier. If you don’t have one of these, put it on your wish list!
Vice Grips are the best way to remove nails of any kind! Just lock those puppies down and lean them over and they do all the work for you. MUCH better than a pair of regular pliers.
Perfect is Overrated?
Uh oh! It’s a little crooked! I have excuses…. a) it was really hot b) I have been wearing a wrist brace for a couple of weeks c) I lined the slat up with the original lines on the back of the chair.
So, even after putting away the tools, I knew I should fix the situation.
As I was removing the crooked piece, I noticed that the middle slat was bent and nearly broken as well. So, I decided to replace all three of the pieces on the back.
Wood Glue Adds Strength
For extra sturdiness I chose to use my favorite Gorilla Wood Glue.
Make Sure Slats are Straight and Equidistant
A Kreg Multi-Tool was very helpful in spacing the back slats. What did I use for the new rocking chair back? I used a scrap piece of thin plywood and my table saw. However, you could easily use a piece of narrow craft wood from the store. It’s thin enough to use a handsaw or even an exacto knife.
Because I used the wood glue AND the nail gun, the slats are very secure! I am sooo glad I took the time to fix the doll rocking chair all the way, instead of just halfway. Do you ever do that? Just do “good enough”. I sometimes think I can, but rarely follow through with it.
There was a little issue with the wood glue oozing out, baby wipes are great for wiping projects and hands to remove wood glue and more!
Time to Paint Doll Rocking Chair
But! Before you can paint, you must clean your thrift store project. Many times I use TSP for this task, but I felt like this little doll rocking chair only needed a good dusting or wiping down with a damp paper towel.
I chose Dixie Belle Paint in FLUFF for this project. It’s a very flat paint that needs waxing or sealing when finished.
Because of the extreme heat I chose to paint the doll chair in the kitchen. It was going pretty well, until I started juggling the paint brush and it landed on the floor. It’s hard to juggle with just one hand!!
This is after two quick coats of the chalk paint.
Pretty! But, I can’t really do any waxing and buffing right now with a bum wrist . . .
Glazing Rocking Chair
So, of course I used my smoked glaze and my favorite chip brush. This brush has been used on so many of my glazed projects. You can see more details about how to glaze painted furniture by clicking that link. You can see that I did a very light glazing on this rocking chair by just barely dipping the brush into the glaze.
I wanted the doll rocking chair to look “aged”. To do that, I used a damp paper towel to wipe back some of the glaze on the edges, making it look worn.
In addition, I used the emery board trick to reveal a little hint of the original color of the chair.
To smooth out the paint and glaze, I used some brown paper—you know the kind that comes in those Amazon packages. It gives the final project a really smooth feel and is much easier (in my opinion) than waxing.
All in all, I love the look!
My grass has gotten a little out of hand! I’ve been mowing it with one hand for a couple of months . . . But it’s been too hot to mow with that brace on. Side note—I had started painting the DIY picket fence when the dr. recommended the wrist brace, so that’s on hold for now.
Repair & Paint Doll Rocking Chair
awww, isn’t he cute?
Or maybe you prefer Raggedy Ann? She reminds of Edith Ann sitting in her oversized rocking chair!
Okay, this has been a very long post for such an easy project. Did you forget we have more inspiration from our Thrift Store Decor Team?
Thrift Store Decor Projects
Farmhouse Craft Organizer Domestically Speaking
Old Birdhouse Makeover Petticoat Junktion
Horse Statue Makeover Our Southern Home
Bumble Bee Inspired Makeover House of Hawthornes
American Flag Decor in Buffalo Plaid Sadie Seasongoods
Thrift Store Doll Rocking Chair Makeover My Repurposed Life (You are Here)
I can’t wait to see all the great projects this month! My friends never disappoint! Thrift store shopping will be back soon, and I believe they will be full of lots of good stuff. Have you done some purging during quarantine?
Gail Wilson is the author and mastermind behind My Repurposed Life. She is obsessed with finding potential in unexpected places and believes that with a little hard work and imagination, any old thing can be made useful again, including herself!
Gail reinvented herself during a midlife crisis and has found purpose again. She hopes you will find new ideas for old things and pick up a few tools along the way.