Updated at: 05-12-2022 - By: Helen Skeates

It is crucial to know how to refinish a wooden rocking chair in order to protect your family heirlooms. Over time, both parts will wear down, and you’ll need to learn how to make repairs. First, you’ll want to examine the worn wooden chair, then do the standard prep work, and finally, coat it in varnish.

Keep your grandparents’ heritage alive by remembering them fondly. Taking a trip down memory lane isn’t mandatory; you can do it whenever it’s most convenient for you. There are only 5 simple steps involved.

Put on your working clothes, load your brain with memories, and sharpen your tools!

7 Benefits of Rocking Chairs to Improve your Life

1 – Benefits for Nursing Mothers

There’s a good reason why retailers like Babyletto and Delta Children have a wide variety of rocking chairs suitable for use in nurseries. After all, nothing brings home the sensation of the womb more than a nice, gentle rocking motion, especially for a newborn. Therefore, it makes him or her feel secure and comfortable, which increases the likelihood that he or she will settle down and nurse.

In order to nurse comfortably, a mother should have a rocker nearby. Rocking them on a rocker can help calm them down when infants get fussy or hungry, which is especially helpful after a C-section.

How about a rocking chair for the baby’s room? Please take a look at our fine collection of nursery rockers and gliders. If you’re interested in reading more articles like this one, please visit our nursery rocking chairs category.

How to Refinish a Wooden Rocking Chair | The Patio Chair

2 – Soothing and sleeping your baby allows for better rest

The baby will feel calmed by the rocking action and fall asleep more easily. If your child is difficult to go to sleep at bedtime, try this strategy.

Most babies are calmed and comforted by the steady, repeating motions because they remind them of their mother’s heartbeat. Plus, a rocking chair’s ergonomic design puts your baby at eye level with you, easing any strain on their neck or back while they suckle and latch on.

They will feel calmed and soothed by the chair’s vibrations, which may prevent you from having to get up several times during the night. It helps working mothers maintain a healthy work-life balance.

In sum, a rocking rocker improves the parenting experience and helps you form a closer emotional bond with your child.

3 – Reducing Stress of everyday life

Stress is inevitable in daily life, but using a rocking chair regularly is a terrific method to cope with it. When you need a moment of calm after a long day at work or in the middle of the day, just take a seat and rock yourself. If you’re feeling stressed out, rocking can help you unwind enough to take some deep breaths and focus on something other than your worries.

If you suffer from anxiety, sadness, or even dementia, a rocking rocker may be your best weapon against the stresses of daily life. The little rocking motion will assist divert your attention away from the negative thinking that exacerbates anxiety and, in turn, can lead to bowel trouble.

When it’s been a long day at the office and you’re struggling to keep your nerves in check, a rocking chair can be a lifesaver.

Reading a good book, knitting, taking in some fresh air on the porch or patio, listening to music while gazing out the window, and spending quality time with loved ones are all great ways to unwind in a rocking chair. Spending more time with the people you care about has been shown to increase levels of the feel-good hormone endorphin and promote emotional stability.

4 – Benefits of Rocking Chairs on Your Back and Knees

When recovering from surgery or experiencing chronic pain in the back or knees, a rocking chair can be a lifesaver.

John F. Kennedy frequently used rockers due to his chronic back ailment and several back injuries. His doctor prescribed them for him as a therapeutic measure to help him avoid and cope with back pain. Therefore, rocking chairs could be found in each of the principal rooms of the White House.

The gentle, regular rocking motion is a good way to stretch muscles that have been tight from sitting for long periods. It’s because of this why rocking chairs are preferable to conventional chairs.

The small motions are analogous to those we produce when walking, which helps to stretch out our muscles more completely than sitting still would.

5 – Rocking in a chair increases blood circulation in lower body parts

By gently rocking back and forth in your chair, you can improve blood circulation in your legs and return blood to your heart more quickly and efficiently. People with low blood pressure can benefit from this because it helps keep blood moving vigorously from the extremities toward the body’s centre. In fact, it is estimated that an hour of rocking in a chair burns around 150 calories.

Rocking in a chair has been shown to improve metabolic rate and circulation.

People who sit for long periods of time have decreased blood flow to their legs and feet. As time goes on, this illness also increases the patient’s risk of blood clots and cardiovascular disease (Mayo Clinic).

Rocking frequently on a rocking chair has been shown to improve blood flow, thereby alleviating this prevalent health issue. The combination of the smooth feet and the leg pushing motion actually increases blood flow to the legs.

If you’ve ever had a blood clot, rocking in a chair can help get your blood flowing again. It keeps your blood moving more actively and without pauses, which reduces the likelihood of future clot development.

6 – Rocking is positive for mental health

Although rocking chairs have been around for quite some time, not everyone is aware of the potential cognitive benefits they can offer. Rocking while doing other activities, such as working on a project or reading, might be therapeutic for those with mood disorders.

The rocking motion helps you find your center by relieving stress and triggering the production of feel-good endorphins in the brain.

Recent research suggests, however, that rocking in a rocking chair may have significantly more beneficial effects on both physical and mental health. Rocking chairs can be helpful for those with a wide variety of physical and mental health issues, including but not limited to: arthritis, back pain, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and many others. Rocking is a gentle kind of physical activity (Seniors Rocking to Good Health, March 1989 American Journal of Sports Medicine).

7 – effortless exercise for seniors strengthen joints and relieves arthritis

Arthritis, inflammation, or soreness in the joints, especially the knees, can make it difficult for older people to exercise. Instead of sitting or lying down, elders can get more exercise by rocking in a rocking chair, which encourages a modest, repetitive pushing motion.

Bone density is increased by this sort of exercise, unlike with jogging or running, which can cause damage to the spine and joints due to their high impact vibrations.

While relaxing in a rocking chair, senior citizens can benefit from the low-impact exercise that is flexion and extension of the lower body. They may also like doing anything else while rocking, such knitting or reading.

Physical therapy performed in an appropriate chair may also hasten recovery for patients who have undergone lower body surgery procedures.

For the elderly who have difficulty sitting for extended periods of time due to conditions like arthritis, muscular dystrophy, or a specific disability, rockers come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and designs.

Between3Sisters | Refinishing A Rocking Chair

When’s The Best Time To Revamp Your Rocking Chair?

Despite their delicate appearance, wooden rocking chairs are very sturdy. However, this is subject to the material from which it was constructed.

The sort of tree from which it was made can affect its final appearance. In that case, you’ll have to think about what went wrong for the poor thing.

Oak, cedar, and wicker are all examples of extremely durable woods that can be used in construction. In most cases, the chair will not last as long if left out in the rain or exposed to direct sunlight.

It’s advisable to refinish your rocking chair when it’s past its prime. Signs that it’s time to refinish your wooden rocking chair include peeling paint, wobbly legs, and a lackluster color. Don’t fret, though; once you’ve finished the procedure, your chair will be as good as new.

Steps On How to Refurbish A Wooden Rocking Chair

Step #1. Basic structural repairs

Success in the last stages of a surgery depends on good preparation. It’s imperative that you inspect the chair for damage before proceeding. Check to see if the chair can support a person’s weight.

Then, to test its durability, give it a sideways shake. If it wobbles, you may need to use some heavy-duty glue.

Keep your hands as close as possible to the joints. It’s fine to pour the adhesive in slowly. Dedicate a few hours to drying it in the sun.

The next step is to secure the wooden antique by drilling holes in the weak spots.

Step #2. Remove hazards

The following procedure is crucial to your continued safety. An injury from a protruding nail in the frame could lead to tetanus. So, be on the lookout for any accidental defects.

To remove a rusty nail, hold the hammer at a 45-degree angle across the pin. Extract it using brute power.

Rocking chairs made of wood are tolerable. But when we discuss babies, another story begins to emerge.

Although this second process is more time-consuming than the first, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Step #3. Sand it down

What could be more rewarding than cleaning off the old, scuffed paint and starting over with a fresh coat? Two enjoyable methods exist for removing old paint from a wooden rocking chair.

The first stage in sanding a chair involves using a paint scraper, which is a handy tool. Next, we reach into our toolboxes and pull out the sandpaper by hand. If the chair’s fabric has not worn through to the wood, your palms will do the trick.

In contrast, if you need to move quickly, an electric sander is your best bet. If you’re in a pinch, this is the gear you need.

Step #4. Apply first coat of varnish

Before beginning the painting process, it is important to determine if an oil-based or water-based primer is more suited for the wooden rocking chair.

New installations and simple repairs often only require water-based materials. On the other hand, oil-based primers are utilized for more substantial work preparations, including as doors, cabinets, windows, and chairs.

The enamel found in oil-based compounds is superior than that found in water-based products at protecting wood. Wear protective gear, as varnish fumes are hazardous to your health.

Step #5. Add another layer of finish

To put it another way: you’re almost there! This final stage is the easiest of the lot. You’ll need to apply another coat of varnish if you want it to be sturdy.

It’s important to apply an even coat of paint when painting. You don’t want water to get in through cracks in the wood of the rocking chair.

Finally, set it free in a well-ventilated area to dry completely.

How To Make Your Wooden Rocking Chair Last Ages

You shouldn’t leave your chair outside in the rain or snow because it can shorten its lifespan. Unlike indoor seats, which simply have to deal with dust, outdoor furniture can become tainted by exposure to the elements.

By protecting your chair with a cover, you can keep it looking new for much longer. It’s easy, so you can keep pests, dust, and filth at bay. Instead of worrying about where to get new chairs, investing in chair covers is a great way to save money and time.

Keeping your chair clean is a simple task that will pay off in the long run. It may use the occasional vacuuming.

How to clean wooden rocking chairs?

You must first accept the fact that your rocking chair has been well-used over the years and perform regular maintenance on it by sanding away dirt and old filth from the arm and other elements.

Step 1: Use Cleaning Solution

Now that you’ve sanded away the grime, you should whip up a cleaning solution for the chair.

Combine the flax oil, water, and turpentine. To make a turpentine and flax oil mixture, combine 1 tablespoon of each with 1 tablespoon of warm water (1ltr). Wearing protective gloves, apply the solution to the seat.

When cleaning the rocking chair, it’s best to do so in a well-ventilated, open location, like a yard or garage, due to the resin’s smoke.

If you soak the furniture in the solution too long, you risk damaging the finish and the way it feels.

Cleaning solutions should not be left on wooden chairs for extended periods of time. Therefore, make sure that all cracks and crevices are thoroughly cleaned and that any excess solution is wiped away.

Be patient and give yourself plenty of time to thoroughly clean the antique seesaw at this stage.

Step 2. Leave it to dry

Your rocking chair needs to dry completely in a well-ventilated place after you’ve finished cleaning it.

The final cleaning will require tung oil, a fresh rag, and a fresh pair of rubber gloves.

Clean the chair frequently

Maintaining the wooden chair’s pristine condition is as simple as establishing a regular cleaning routine.

Light cleaning only requires a mild soap, some warm water, and a clean towel.

Refinish a Rocking Chair for the Nursury : 4 Steps - Instructables

Prevent Mold From Growing On the Chair

Mould thrives in damp conditions. Light regular cleaning is essential for eliminating this irritating issue.

Molds, however, tend to rapidly progress, so you may need to wipe down the chair with a moist cloth to eliminate any mold spores.


Mastering the art of refinishing takes a great deal of time and persistence. You definitely have this, so you can give obscure antiques a modern makeover that looks even better.

Learning how to refinish a wooden rocking chair will take you on a nostalgic journey. Follow the instructions to the letter, and you should be fine.