Thursday, January 31, 2013

Thursday DIY: Stained and Painted Bar Stools

This is a DIY project I did a little while back in the fall. I had these bar stools from Wal-Mart since I got my first apartment 3 years ago. They were definitely bland but have always served their purpose. I have, however, developed a love for dark-stained wood. 

Bar Stool DIY: Before and After
Stools are a really nice place to start experimenting with staining because typically no one notices them while their butts are on them. So I had seen a number of really cute looking tutorials on sprucing up bar stools and took a shot at my own style. 

Bare with me on these horrible pictures, I did this project well after midnight and took pictures on a Blackberry.
First off you will want to sand at least the top of the stool to take off the thin varnish it comes with.

Spray down and wipe off the sanded areas to remove any dust. If you don't do this you will end up with clumpy stain and you're gonna have a bad time.

I used Minwax finish on mine. I chose a dark stain with an ashy tint, as opposed to red.

A little bit of style comes in to play at this point. I really wanted the top of the stools to be dark, so I did 2 coats, applying with a rag. After the second coat had sat overnight for maybe 5 or 6 hours, I went back with my rag and created a rougher texture.

I really liked the way the top turned out. It has a lot of grain texture in it and a nice rubbed look. After the stain had fully dried, which probably took around 2 days, I then applied a few coats of ModPodge to seal it all up.

Finally, I painted the legs white with just one coat of acrylic paint (that's what I have lying around so that's what I used).

Happy crafting!

Action and reaction, ebb and flow, trial and error, change - this is the rhythm of living. Out of our over-confidence, fear; out of our fear, clearer vision, fresh hope. And out of hope, progress. - Bruce Barton 


  1. Did you sand the legs of the stools or not before painting?

  2. Did you sand the legs of the stools or not before painting?

  3. Hi Caroline! I did not sand the legs, mostly because I got so tired of sanding haha. Sanding the legs would definitely give some grip for the paint, though. Almost 3 years later, though, the paint has held up well! I hope this answers your question.


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