Let me preface this by saying I would most happily paint a rocking chair again. For friends? For family? For myself? Without question! Would I ever consider trying to paint one for profit? Probably not. Here's why...
As beautiful, timeless and comforting as a painted rocking chair may be, they are a PAIN to paint! This particular rocker, painted for good friends of mine who are having their first baby, was a labor of love [and not just in the figurative sense!].
I had to work on it a little bit each day, for over a week, lightly painting coat after coat of Annie Sloan's Old White. Perhaps with a darker color it could have gone faster? But the real trick is getting complete coverage on every nook and crevice of the rocking chair. And believe me, there are A LOT of nooks!
Like any other chair, I had to turn it over to ensure I painted every angle possible. The extra challenge of a rocker is that whole rocking motion when it's right side up. I had to use one hand to steady the piece and the other to work the paint into all the spindles and surfaces.
The best thing I did for this rocking chair was opt to lightly distress it in the end. The white was looking a little flat in a solid coat, and I wanted to bring some interest to the turned spindles of the base, along with the curvature of the arms.
These up close shots of the distressing give you a better sense of what some sandpaper can do. Exposing some of the original wood acts as a lowlight contrast to the white surface, making everything more dimensional and interesting.
Distressing also distracts from the fact that despite multiple coats of paint, the white didn't cover as uniformly as I'd like. It doesn't look unfinished by any means, but I discovered quickly that rocking chairs really do lend themselves to that worn, rustic farmhouse style. If I was trying to get a super solid coat on a piece like this in the future, I'd consider spraying the paint on. It would still take quite a few coats, but I imagine a solid finish would eventually take shape.
I delivered this guy to my friends last week and they loved it! The room it's going in has mint walls and a gray crib and changing table [also painted by me!], so I think the white of the rocker will accent the room nicely. Once the room is all pulled together, I'll share photos of the space!