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The Best Paint for Outdoor Rockers

Heide Braley

Sitting on a porch during a warm evening is perfect with a comfortable rocker. Knowing how to care for your rocker is critical in keeping the wood in good condition. Using the right paint will protect it from the harmful effects of radiation from sunlight and from water damage from rain.

Rocking chairs last for years when covered properly.

Of course, you want to use a paint that will stand up to hours and hours of someone sitting in the chair rocking the time away.


Many companies sell rocking chairs in unfinished wood. Some woods like teak and mahogany will age into a deep gray as they weather and don’t require any finishes to protect them from the elements. However, other woods like pine or maple need to be sealed before you paint them, or the paint will not adhere to the wood properly. See if the wood absorbs any moisture before applying paint, and seal again if necessary.


Although for some, color might not be an important part of determining what paint to use to cover a rocking chair, you will have to decide. Sometimes choosing a color that accents your home, like the same color as the shutters, makes the rockers fit into the color scheme. Other choices include a classic white or a forest green or maybe a brilliant red to cheer up your porch. Paint stores will have paints in any color for almost any application, including rocking chairs.

Porch Paint

Oil-based enamel paint like porch paint is a very tough paint, made for standing up to the elements of winter and summer combined with the scuffing of shoes. If you apply it to your rocking chair, you can be sure that it will dry to a hard finish that will take years to roughen up. Apply the paint when the air temperatures are well above freezing so that it cures soundly. Apply five or six coats for a solid moisture-proof finish.

Spray Paint

Rocking chairs have plenty of places for paint to collect and drip if you are using the traditional brush-and-can method of painting. Find the paint that you like in a spray can. You can coat the chair from all directions, one light coat at a time, until it has a smooth glossy finish. Although you can't mix a custom color for spray painting, there are plenty of colors from which to choose.