I'm totally not ashamed to pick something out of the trash. I like to think I "have vision" and if there is even an inkling of rehab and potential, if the cost is $0, I'm likely to throw whathaveyou in the back of my Jeep. Such is the case of my most recent acquisition. Behold:

What? Looks like trash to you?

I spotted this beauty (yes, beauty) while trolling the Free listings on Craigslist. The Free listings are my oasis, and sometimes I get on kicks wherein I check it constantly. Not sure why I do this. Avoidance? Probably. And usually, a total waste of time. But I have had some recent scores, this being one of them.

After a little research I learned I did, in fact, find a gem. A 1963-64 Paoli rocker. You heard me. A rocker. And when it's all done up, it has some value and a whole lot of style. As evidenced here and here. So exciting! But first things first because my Paoli rocker is a mess.

It's obvious the chair has been reupholstered and this bouclé-like nubby fabric has become threadbare in spots, torn in others. Which is to say, it has really taken a beating. I hope to recover it too, sooner than later. I'm actually waiting on quotes from a couple local upholsterers, really hoping it's within my means!

But in the meantime, I'm cool with enjoying as-is. After a serious cleaning of course. The chair was D.I.R.T.Y. So stinky, so hairy, so very dusty. Hence, we set it up in the backyard because as it were, it was not worthy of going in the house.

Determined, I got right to it. First was a serious session with the Dyson. Immediately following was a good dose of steam clean with my Little Green. Then I let it sit outside for two days to get some air.

It still looked shabby but not stinky. And I no longer had concerns about hidden wildlife, ala, Penny's garbage find...

Dying to get to that wood, I brought it to my workspace in the sunroom.

Looks like salad
As all good bloggers do, I referenced Morgan at The Brick House and her tutorial for refinishing wood. Very good tips here but I don't have all of those materials on hand. I had Murphy Oil Soap though so I started there. (In case it isn't obvious, I use old socks for my dust-free cloth.)

Well, actually I started with the light sanding she suggests. Of course the wood had some good scuffs, scratches and paint swipes, etc. I used 220 all over the place. The Murphy Oil was definitely gratifying, nice to see all that dirt come off.

Next, I wiped it down twice with Goddard's lemon oil. I do plan to pick up the Howard's Feed-N-Wax at some point, but I'm happy to end here. It's clean and replenished and good for now.

My terrible patch job. Hilarity. I lucked out with an extra swatch of the fabric. They were using it draped over an arm. I gave it a soak, let it dry, then pinned it over the rip. This is terribly janky but I think it's a decent fix for now. My hope is to prevent further tearing, just until I can get it to the pros.

After all of that, I brought it upstairs to its new spot in our living room. It's filling an empty spot with just the right touch of mid century. I am confident in its cleanliness, enough so that I'll let my daughter sit here.

We can enjoy it as-is and in the meantime, I'll fantasize about what it could be. Do I cover it in a modern pattern, something Skinny Laminx in nature? Or go period with a solid color, be it orange, gold or avocado. I'm leaning toward a greyish yellow in a tight tweed, but we'll see. I don't want to be boring, so nothing too neutral! Save that for the couch.

In all of this, did I mention how comfortable this chair is? The seat is deep and wide, perfect for nursing if I were still doing that. The rocking is the goodness. It's the perfect reading chair with Thora as we can both sit side by side.

I am grateful for this find and for being able to bring back to life a piece of furniture that is over 50 years old. How amazing is that?


  1. Awesome find! I've been looking for a great reading chair but no luck so far. Can't wait to see what fabric you choose. :)

  2. That is a GREAT find! Glad it went to someone who appreciates it and will restore it.

  3. These are awesome chairs; my parents bought 2 of them in the 1960's and I was looking for photos tonight in the original color (this is the original textured surface for the material, but ours were a red color with many multi-colored threads running through it of blue and yellow and others, I think.)

    We ended up having to rebuild the rocking mechanism many times until now I think it has new (harder) rocking wood for the rocking mechanism. There is nothing batter than to sit in one of these on a saturday morning at Chrismas, talking and opening Christmas presents. Enjoy!