Thing I learned this weekend. Rocking chairs have lots of nooks, crannies and curves. They are not easy to paint. : )

Here’s a sneak peek of my progress on the Rocking Chair Project. My goal is 7 chairs — one for each member of the family. So far I have 5. They were all found locally on Craigs list at prices from $10 to $40 each. (I found #6 on Craigs List this morning and will pick it up this evening. Yay!)

I had lots of green-tinted primer left over from the piano, so I used it on the rocking chairs. I’m such a brat about wasting things like perfectly good primer. It bugs me to no end. When I realized the colors I was using on the chairs were bright enough to cover the green primer, I was delighted to use it up instead of buy more.

At the paint store, I inquired about polyurethane and how I should handle painting these indoor chairs for outdoor use. They recommended using a high-quality exterior paint and skipping the poly. They also warned that the intense colors I was picking were sure to fade in the sunny Colorado sun. But I went for it anyway. I can always repaint if they get too faded. I bought quarts of exterior paint in red, orange, yellow, green and blue. (#6 and #7 will be turquoise and magenta. I think.)

Warning: the intense colors take several coats of paint. In fact, none of the chairs pictured here are finished. If you could look closely, you’d see they all need an additional coat (or two). In fact, the green one has only been primed. This project will take at least another weekend. Probably two. Plus, I’d really like to add bright cushions and pillows…



But what I’m loving about this project is: you kind of can’t go wrong.
– Almost any style of rocker would work in this eclectic mix so it’s easy to add more — for guests, or if your family grows. Wouldn’t a couple of child-size ones be cute in the mix?
– If a chair gets worn out (they are bound to, being left outdoors), it’s easy to replace. And you’ll have plenty of paint leftover to transform the new addition.
– When painting, if you don’t do the best job ever, it’s okay. They’re outdoor chairs and will be used pretty roughly. Mistakes won’t matter. These don’t have to be refined. I’d say only 1 of the 5 I have so far would be worthy of stripping the paint and refinishing — meaning, these aren’t heirloom chairs, you don’t have to treat them like they are.
-To save money, you could paint or stain them all the same color. I was tempted to go royal blue for my whole collection. Instead of buying 7 separate quarts of paint, I would only have needed one gallon. And I think they would have looked equally cool in all one color.



A note on budget. I planned on $50 per chair ($350), plus painting supplies. But I’ve been able to score on chairs, so it looks like the whole project (7 chairs plus paint) will come in at about $320. Not bad. You like?