Barstool Makeovers

Monday, September 19, 2016

I'm excited to share a little makeover today.

These simple, but boring, barstools are inexpensive and readily available from most department stores.  They typically come in a couple of heights as well, which makes them nice for multiple purposes.  I have seen these used as end tables or nightstands.  Mine are actually going to be barstools, but you know how I feel about oak and pine finishes.  Blah.

I had the majority of a gallon of paint leftover from my entertainment center and console table, and the gel stain from my banisters, so I put them to use to make matching stools.

The process was really similar to the banister project.  If your stools have been used prior to their makeover, make sure to give them a good cleaning before you begin.

Give the stools a light sanding by hand just to scruff up the finish a bit.  If you are using a different type of stain you will need to do some heavier sanding.  That is why I am a big proponent for the gel stains, 'cuz ain't nobody got time for that!

Apply stain to the entire stool.  It's not necessary to get it completely even, we just want a general base.  I used a rag to wipe the stain all over the stool and it took only a few minutes.  The only place I was careful with the evenness of the stain was the actual seat where the stain is going to be fully exposed in my final product.

After the first light coat dried, I added a second and third coat, to the seat only, to get a richer color to match my other furniture and floors.

After the seat had completely dried (I allowed it extra time to fully cure so that I wouldn't destroy my beautiful newly stained seat!), I taped over the entire seat area with painters tape.  In hindsight, I would probably have cut a circle of newspaper to cover the bulk of the seat and only taped the edges.... but oh well.  (I didn't get a picture of it all taped up, but I think you get the idea.)

Then I got out the paint sprayer and sprayed the entire base of the stool.  If you don't have a paint sprayer, you could use a can (or two or... I don't know how many it would take...) of spray paint instead.  Again, I wasn't really that careful with getting an even coat of paint.  Since I was going to distress them anyway, it was fine that I had a few heavier and lighter places.  I even have a few places with the spray splatter showing through.  We're calling that character.

Allow the paint to fully dry, remove the tape/cover from your seat and then lightly distress the paint with fine-grit sandpaper.  Distress to your hearts content.  I chose to distress the areas where I did the worst with the sprayer, and the areas that seemed like they would naturally distress, like the foot rails for instance.  This is where our base layer of stain really shines through.

Once you are happy with the distressed look of your stools, then spray the entire thing with a few coats of clear sealer.  And that's it!

The only real drawback here is the drying time, these require very little active work time and are actually quite simple.  My favorite part is that you could use any color you want without paying a small fortune for custom furniture.  These would also be great if you are nervous about adding a piece of large, colorful furniture to your room.  A small pop of color can make a big impact!

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