Reupholstering an Antique Rocking Chair (Part 1)

My latest procrascreation started on a whim. I am in the process of having a house built and was going by to see the progress when I spotted a secondhand store.  While there, I found this chair.

Chair Missed opportunity

It was love at first sight, so I started texting people to see if anyone knew of someone who could reupholster it for me. I thought about it all night, watched some videos on reupholstering chairs and decided that I could do it myself.

Needless to say, I went back to the secondhand store the next morning and was over the moon when I saw it still sitting on the sales floor. My joy was quickly overshadowed by devastation when I realized it had a red sold tag on it. How could this be happening? After I got over my heartbreak I searched the store for more chairs and end up purchasing several chairs. While picking up my finds a wonderful couple was dropping off a one-hundred-year-old rocking chair. They offered to give it to me. Just like that, I was over the moon again. What does that say about me? I don’t want to think about it. I just want to share with you my new procrascreation project.

Rocking Chair Before

Yep! It’s dirty and old but once I get it in my head that I can do something, I do it. Sometimes I am successful, sometimes not so much.

The first thing I learned was that I needed several items. Your list may be shorter depending on what you already have at home. The links to Amazon are included.

 ·  Dropcloth

·  Air compressor


·  Fabric ·  Jute Webbing

·  Staple remover

·  Glue gun

·  Trim · Polyurethane stain


·  Staples ·  Glue Sticks

·  Dust cover

· Brushes


·  Mallet


·  Face mask ·  Tacks

·  Webbing Stretcher

· Hammer · Scissors · Staple gun (pneumatic)

The fabric was held onto the chair with tacks.

Before Chair Back

I started removing the back fabric panels and bottom dust cover with the stapler remover, exposing the jute webbing underneath.

Rocking chair dust cover


Rocking Chair Bottom Webbing

I completed the same process for the front of the chair

Rocking Chair Front

There was a hole in the middle of the seat due to springs that had started to poke through.

Rocking Chair Seat Before

I learned that chairs were stuffed with different types of materials including straw, excelsior, moss, horse hair and cotton. It was gross and interesting.

Rocking Chair Springs

The springs were tied down and the bottom was filled with debris from years of use. Initially, I decided to stop here and rebuild leaving the old springs intact.  As I watched a few more videos, I decided to give it a try and removed all of the springs (not pictured).You want the time to paint or stain at this juncture, so before removing the springs I added a coat of polyurethane to the chair.

Rocking Chair Poly

This completes the breakdown process of the chair. My next post will document the steps I took to bring this gem back to life. So excited!!! To see a quick video of this process, visit my YouTube channel 

See you soon!




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