Are you getting projects and extra cleaning done during this virus quarantine time at home? I work from home, so not a ton has changed for me in that regard. I’m pretty sure I will always have more projects, chores and things I want to get accomplished in a day than I have time or energy for! The thing that has been super hard for me is not being able to see my grandkids. Yep, that is for sure the very hardest part of this ‘Safer at Home’ quarantine. I miss my people!!
Last week I veered away from my normal DIY post style to share a very personal post. If you missed that, you can read it HERE. (Our 2 year old granddaughter got very sick. Through it I was reminded how much we don’t have control over. She is doing so much better now. So very grateful!)
I really do have piles of projects I’m working on here at home…
- I am still finishing projects from our whole house renovation, (you can read about that here). By the time I get done, it’ll be time to re-do it, right?! Jeez… I can’t believe we started this whole house renovation the fall of 2017 and I’m still not quite done.
- I am constantly adding more projects on my ‘to do’ list because I love to create, (if you’re creative, you totally get it!).
- Update, I’ve finished the Frame and Frills studio shop and it’s stocked with Fusion Mineral Paint and wonderful DIY supplies online and in person! You can check it out here: FrameandFrills.com
When this post was wrote though, I was having fun working on design details in the space that is slated to become the design studio. It’s the space in our lower level that was the apartment. With it’s own private entrance and being outfitted separate from the house it is a perfect fit for a studio. I can work from home, but still have a totally unique space from the house. Here is the gorgeous wallpaper mural I installed.
Since this was built as an apartment, there is a kitchen area, which will be great to have as part of the studio to serve coffee and snacks from. This post is showing you part of the kitchen space… namely the stools at the island. My hope in sharing this simple stool re-do with you is to offer encouragement that with very basic skills a piece of boring furniture can easily and simply be transformed into your own personal style.
All shopping links for this project are at the end of this post.
These seriously were such ho-hum stools. They completely lacked personality! Actually I have found in re-doing furniture, sometimes the ones that lack style are the best ones to work on. Their neutral style leaves the door open for the statement to come from the paint, fabric and pattern embellishments you put on it.
Last fall, on the secondhand market, I found a kitchen island for the apartment-turned-studio. The gal threw in the stools. Even though they weren’t much to look at, they did fit well under the island counter.
I considered re-selling them and buying new, (but in their current condition, I would be lucky to get $10 for the pair… then I’d have to buy new ones that either would be much more $$$ if I wanted style, or at least $50 for a boring pair that I’d then want to re-do…. So, long story even longer, I realized that it was better to just keep these for a simple stool re-do. After all, they were very sturdy, they fit really well under the island counter, it was just the style that was lacking… I can fix that!
First thing was to remove the seats so I could paint the wooden legs. Unfortunately I couldn’t see the screw head, to know what tool I needed to unscrew it with. (phillips head? allen wrench?)
Never underestimate the power of your tools… namely your cellphone. I took a picture with the flash on and enlarged the pic…
Ta-da! it was a phillips head screw.
A handheld screwdriver worked best to reach down in the hole and feel when the screwdriver slid into the grooves of the screw.
Simple to remove the 4 screws and pop the seats off.
For painting projects, like these hardwood stool frames that came with a slightly glossy varnished finish, I highly recommend a good bonding primer. HERE is my favorite bonding primer! It’s water based, which means easy cleanup, goes on really smooth, and will adhere to just about anything!
One coat of primer.
I also used my favorite brand of paint. Did you know you can get your exact paint choice delivered to your door? Isn’t that fantastic?! During this quarantine shutdown, it’s good to know the home projects can continue even if the store fronts aren’t open… they’re still filling orders to be delivered. (Link at end)
Two coats of paint, allowing several drying hours in-between coats.
Here’s a tip:
- Cover your paintbrush with foil in-between coats to keep it ready for the next coat. Make sure the bristles are straight and flat while it’s wrapped. There is nothing worse than trying to paint with a brush that wasn’t stored properly and has bent bristles! I’m not kidding… bent paintbrush bristles sends chills down my spine like fingernails on the chalkboard!
Now, on to the stool seats.
I finally invested, (not that much money) in a new staple gun! My old stapler was electric and a piece of something!! It acted like it was possessed! I’d squeeze the trigger to put a staple in, and something like 20 staples would rapid fire out.
I had a friend borrow it one time. Seems to me, she had never used an electric staple-gun before. She was convinced they were doing something wrong and was going nuts trying to use it… in desperation she finally called me. When I explained it was the stapler, she wasn’t sure if she should laugh or cry.
I don’t know what my issue was in the delay to get a new one, but after 30 years, I finally did. Yippee! This simple stool re-do would be the first time to use the new stapler! (Exciting times during the pandemic!)
Speaking of that old electric stapler, did I ever tell you how it almost killed me!? Years and years ago, like 8 house ago, we were starting our very first ever addition on an old Victorian we owned. That afternoon the carpenter had knocked down the old garage addition that had been hobbled on the back end of the house. I don’t know why he didn’t put plastic up before he left that day, but that evening the skies opened up! Crazy thing is it hadn’t rained in literally weeks up until that evening, and then it poured! With the missing back wall of the house there was absolutely no protection from the threatening rain to come in and flood our basement. As my small children watched, I’m sure in a mix of wonderment and horror, I went out in the rain armed with a roll of poly, a ladder and my electric staple-gun, (plugged into a long extension cord) to save my house! I remember fighting the wind, the rain drenching me, trying not to slip off the ladder with my mud-covered shoes as I held the blowing plastic on the roof and stapled it to the shingles or anything I could find to help hold it. Every so often I got a shiver-tingle-zap sort of feel down my arm when I pulled the trigger of the electric staple gun. I was so focused on saving my house from the rain, it didn’t dawn on me I was nearly electrocuting myself! I don’t even know how I survived that… You know, now that I think of it, maybe that’s what happened to make that old electric staple-gun so crazy!!
Armed with a new manual stapler for this project, I started to work on the stool seats.
The fabric I found for them looked great with the newly installed studio wallpaper mural. I love the vintage look and the nubby linen texture of the new fabric. (Link at end)
When I cut the fabric out, I made sure the piece was big enough to wrap around the sides and still have plenty to staple underneath.
First I stapled the 4 corners in place.
Pulling the fabric taut, but not so tight it wrinkled or puckered.
Next I neatly folded the corner on each side and stapled it in place. Doing opposite sides to help keep it even.
Having a stapler that put in a single staple was so nice to work with!! Funny how sometimes we put up with dumb stuff so long.
Using the same screws I took out, the recovered seats were easily attached back on the newly painted bases.
What do you think? Kinda fresh and cute now, right?!
It was such a simple stool re-do too! No special skills. Think how a different fabric and paint color could change this basic stool to suit so many styles.
I love how these now coordinate with the wallpaper mural, repeating a bit of it’s bright bold color.
Yay! One thing checked off my ‘to-do’ list!! Okay, on to the next project…
- Stix Primer
- Behr Paint
- Staple Gun
- Fabric I used on Stool Seats
- Another Vintage Style Print Fabric
- One more Vintage Style Print Fabric
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Here are more painting tips: