Bar stool: paint and reupholster


September 24, 2012 by istealstuff

I’ve been eyeballing just about everything in my house with the intent to paint. Once I took a closer look at our office bar stool, I had a winner.

We’ve had the chair for about 5 years and you might not be able to tell from the above picture, but it used to look really nice πŸ™‚Β  I liked the leather seat cushion, the detail upholstery nails around the cushion and the fact that it swiveled. At first I thought maybe we should just buy a new chair but after looking around a bit we opted to take another shot with the one we had. It actually ended up being an extremely inexpensive and easy re-do.

Quick look at the inventory for the project:

1 ugly bar stool. check.

1 can of paint. check (if anyone needs paint…come over and take some out of my garage. please. My husband will thank you)

1 can of spray paint. check…seriously, I might have a problem. Maybe I should give up buying paint for awhile.

1 piece of fabric 26 inches in diameter (I measured across the cushion and added 6 inches(that’s 3 per side) to my total). got it.

1 piece of batting. This is optional depending on the state of the original padding. Mine was fine, I just wanted to add some extra cushion to it.

1 hand sander and fine sand paper. check – compliments of my mother in law.

1 staple gun. Also courtesy of my mother in law πŸ™‚

tools: hammer, pliers, screwdriver, Allen wrench. All in my hubby’s tool box πŸ™‚

Now starts the fun! (I apologize for not having very many pictures of this project, my husband needed the camera the day I decided to do the chair…boo)

First thing I did was to head to the garage and disassemble the chair. I flipped it over and unscrewed the 4 screws connecting the cushion and back to the legs. Then unscrewed the back from the cushion. At first I thought maybe I would wait and have my husband do it for me, but within 5 minutes of starting the first screw – I was done!
My mother in law let me borrow her hand sander for the project. OH.MY.WORD. I can’t believe I ever sanded anything without an electric sander before. What have I been doing my whole life without one of these things? Again, sanding proved to be super quick and easy as well. 10 minutes later I was wiping the chair down with a damp rag.
I did NOT prime the chair before painting it. Don’t yell at me, don’t tell me I should have. Just be proud of me for sanding the darn thing alright? I had some black paint with an eggshell finish that I used to cover every visible area of the legs and back. I started painting with the chair upside down, did two coats of paint then flipped everything over and did two coats on whatever areas were left.

The most frustrating part of re-doing the chair was the cushion. Covering it was easy. It was UNcovering it that was a pain. I sat on my couch and started using pliers and a screwdriver to pull out the staples on the underneath side. The seat also had upholstery nails that needed to be removed. I ended up with a dish full of staples and a very sore hand.

After I conquered the army of staples I checked how the original padding was holding up and it was actually looking pretty good. I had already purchased batting and a little extra cushion on the seat wasn’t going to hurt anyone so I went ahead and put more on πŸ™‚ I simply laid the batting over the seat and cut around the edges.

Then I laid the fabric out and placed the seat upside down over the fabric, pulled the edges up to make sure the piece was large enough to wrap around the bottom. I was too nervous to cut the fabric into a circle before attaching it to the seat so I opted to attach it, then trim it. I started stapling the fabric, periodically flipping the seat over to make sure I wasn’t stretching the print on the front. I did the staples the same way you would slice a pie. One staple at the top, followed by one at the bottom(like cutting a pie in half), then quarters(1 staple on each side) etc. This was another step that I almost made someone else do for me, but I had a serious lack of adult company this week which resulted in me doing all of my own work. BOO! That being said, reupholstering the cushion was actually simple and didn’t take more than 15 minutes.

I then re-assembled the chair which was almost as easy as taking it apart. (note I said almost. My husband did have to help me with the last darn screw).

I ended up spray painting the upholstery nails(it was actually a strip with every 5th button having an opening for a nail to secure it) with a can of oil rubbed bronze spray paint. Then I wrapped the head of the hammer with some fabric, secured it with a rubber band and gently tapped each nail into place – being sure not to scratch my new paint job πŸ™‚

Job done. I really do love the finished product. I’m considering taking some fine sandpaper to it. Just around the edges, but I’m going to enjoy the chair the way it is for awhile first. Once it gets that first scratch, I’ll add some wear to the entire chair with the sandpaper.

Before and after


8 thoughts on “Bar stool: paint and reupholster

  1. Nice job. And I really love your makeshift soft-hammer. Do what you can with what you have, right?

  2. Brenda says:

    that looks amazing! Love the fabric, too!

  3. rachellesmom says:

    Incredible difference! You are amazing!

  4. Crystal Pham says:

    Gorgeous! I’m going to be repainting a natural wood buffet … thank you for your tips!

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