The Rocking Chair Project

Rocking chair before fixing it up

Rocking chair before fixing it up

It wasn’t really my idea.

It was my mom’s idea.

Well, it was her chair, actually.

It had been sitting in her backyard for years, probably serving as a perch for some of her plants.

But she was moving it on, and asked if I wanted it before she placed it on freecycle.

Of course I did! I pictured sanding it down and letting my husband varnish it and do the finishing touches.

Then I had a second thought.

What about turning it into a summer project with my daughter?

I knew she’d be more than happy to help.

And she was.

She claimed the seating area as hers to work on.

Sanding in the sun

Sanding in the sun

I showed her how to sand it down as we spent a couple sessions sanding.

Then I showed her that steel wool is similar to sandpaper, in that you still have to follow the grain of the wood as you smooth it down.

The wood burning was my mom’s idea too, and, as Jessica couldn’t help with that part, she had a blast taking pictures of me as I worked on it.

Her favorite part was “painting” the chair with shellac.

After it dried, we smoothed it down one last time with steel wool and brushed it with a second coat.

We presented it to my husband upon his return and she cheerfully informed her dad that she had done part of it “all by herself.”

Painting the rocking chair

Painting the rocking chair

I knew that letting her help with it had been the right decision.

I asked her, a few days later, if she learned anything interesting from the project. “Make sure you know which way the wind is blowing before you start to sand.”

Hey, you never know when information like that might come in handy.

The finished product on our balcony

The finished product on our balcony


About Bonita Jewel

Bonita Jewel is an author and blogger who writes on a variety of themes, including: Literature & poetry Writing Parenting Purpose After living in India from the age of 16 to 28, she returned to California with her husband and three children. She is pursuing a Degree at Fresno State University. Bonita teaches community education at Clovis Adult. Her courses include Blogging Basics, Power Editing, Creative Writing, and Working from Home. She also freelances as an editor, ghostwriter, and writing coach. Her greatest passions are her family, her faith, writing, and reading. Bonita Jewel has been reading since she was 2 ½. Thirty years later, she still loves the magic and mystery of the written word. She is slowly breathing life into roughly 50 novels and nearly as many nonfiction works, depending on which plot or character seizes her interest at any given time. Please connect with Bonita at:

Posted on July 18, 2012, in Activities and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. godsyellowlimo

    Great job! I will be doing a project with Luke. Thanks for the great idea!

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