Dr. Suess Inspired Rocking Chair

Dr. Suess Inspired



The Before Wood Rocking Chair

Supplies used:

Dixie Belle White Lightening Cleaner
Mister Bottle

220 Grit Sandpaper
Synthetic Paint brushes
Dixie Belle Boss
General Finishes High Performance Top Coat
Oil Paint Pen

Daydream Apothecary Coastal Collection Paint Colors:
Lemon Shark
Sea La Vie

Dixie Belle Mineral Chalk Paint:
Colonel Mustard

Eye Love Hue Goal Digger Metallic Paint

I purchased this Rocking Chair knowing that I wanted to refinish it and give it new life. It is a well worn and loved wood Rocking chair that probably rocked many babies to sleep over its lifetime.


First I had to clean all the years of use and oils off. I used Dixie Belle White Lightning cleaner which will also de-gloss. With its age this rocking chair had very little finish left on it. After cleaning it fully I then rinsed it with water. This step is important so that there is no cleaner left on the chair to cause problems with paint adhesion.


Next, I scuff sanded the rocking chair. This is a step I always take when refinishing furniture to give me the extra assurance that I won’t have problems with the paint sticking. Be sure to wipe off all the sanding dust thoroughly. I use a lint free cloth for this step.


I was designing this chair as I went so decided to prime the chair to give myself a clean slate to help with the design decision process.


I will often prime my pieces of furniture regardless of which paint brand I choose to use. I used  

Dixie Belle Boss on this chair. This is a stain blocking primer and while I did not worry about bleed through on this chair I chose this primer as it is easy to use and leaves a smooth surface if applied correctly.

Primed Rocking Chair
Primer Applied

My inspiration for the color choices and pattern came from Dr. Seuss Book Oh, The Places You’ll Go.


I painted the spindles, arms and back of the chair first choosing the color placement randomly but yet in a balanced fashion. This needed approximately 2 coats of paint with some areas requiring 3 coats and various touch up.

Dr. Suess inspired
With First Coat Painted

Next, using a pencil and the book for my inspiration I marked out the seat. I did not measure precisely but used a ruler to keep my lines somewhat straight. Now I was able to paint in the rectangles with an artist’s brush mapping out the color placement first so I could paint away without the fear of using the wrong color in the wrong space.

Seat Design Drawn on
Dr. Suess inspired
Color Placement

When the seat was all painted I outlined the entire design using a black oil paint pen. This was a good choice for 2 reasons. First I did not have to worry about my lines being perfect while painting in the rectangles and second it made the entire seat and design pop.

For the writing on the back of the chair I used a sewing chalk pencil to free hand the letters. My inspiration was the book cover itself. I then painted in the letters using Eye Love Hue metallic paint in Goal Digger. This took 2 coats to achieve the desired look.

To finish up the chair I sealed it all with General Finishes High Performance Top Coat in Satin. It has at least 3 coats of the sealer to protect the finish.

And here is the completed Chair. This project began as a challenge to paint something inspired by Dr. Seuss in celebration of his birthday in early March and has ended up as one of my favorites.

Dr. Suess Inspired
Dr. Suess Inspired

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