How to Make an Upcycled Rocking Chair

Use an old chair, repurposed wood rockers and a fresh coat of paint to make a one-of-a-kind rocking chair.
Upcycled Rocking Chair

Upcycled Rocking Chair

Make a stylish rocking chair using an old chair and a fresh coat of paint.

From: Danmade

Materials and Tools:

  • wooden chair
  • wood saw
  • 3/4" hardwood dowel
  • paintbrush
  • clear satin polyurethane
  • primer
  • semi-gloss paint
  • painter's tape
  • orbital sander
  • 220-grit sandpaper
  • (4) 1/4" washers
  • (4) 1/4" x 1-1/2" bolts
  • tape measure
  • drill
  • 3/8" drill bit
  • 3/4" spade bit
  • pencil
  • (2) repurposed wood rockers 

Cut Dowel

Measure and mark the hardwood dowel at 1" with a pencil. Cut the dowel on the 1" mark using a hand saw. Repeat these steps to create a total of four 3/4" x 1" dowels.

Insert Dowels

Apply wood glue, and insert dowels to fill previous holes in reclaimed rockers. Using an orbital sander and 220-grit sandpaper, sand the dowels down flush with the wood rocker piece.

Create a Countersink

Remove the feet from the chair legs. Lay the rocker and the chair sideways on a flat surface, and mark where the legs line up on the rocker with a pencil. Drill a centered hole using a 3/8” drill bit on each of the pencil marks. Flip the rockers over, and use a 3/4" spade bit to create a countersink that is approximately 1/2” deep.

Secure Legs

Insert a bolt with a washer attached into the countersink hole, and secure the legs to the rocker with a drill. Stand the rocker up, and ensure that everything works well before proceeding. Disassemble everything, separating the rockers from the legs and the seat from the legs. Note: The chair feet are threaded 1/4" bolts, so we used 1/4" bolts to secure the rockers to the legs.

Sand and Paint Wood

Tape a stripe down one side of the wooden seat with painter's tape. Lightly sand the rockers and wooden seat (avoiding the taped area) with 220-grit sandpaper. Apply primer, and allow ample time to dry. Apply a coat of paint, and allow ample time to dry. Slowly remove painter's tape, and apply clear polyurethane to all pieces to preserve and protect the finish. Allow to dry.

Reassemble Chair Pieces

Assemble rocking chair pieces back together.

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