Barstool Makeover

What happens when you move across the country and you leave all your furniture behind, even though you’re moving into a house that is 3 times the size of your downtown high-rise apartment? I don’t know about you, but I go into DIY overdrive to get it done on a dime.

It’s so refreshing to start with a clean palette. I didn’t have to figure out how to create a unified aesthetic from a hodgepodge of old hand-me-down furniture that has moved with me through various chapters of my life. I got to start from scratch, but that can also put a huge dent in your wallet if you’re not thrifty about it. It’s also terribly wasteful to just buy “new” of everything when there are amazing treasures to be found secondhand via thrift stores, craigslist, and yes, sometimes even things left by the curb, free for the taking.

And so I present to you, my found, free bar stools! It seems only fitting that these found their way into my life about a month after we gave away three similar barstools upon moving away from Minneapolis. A full circle… a completed loop.

01 Before

But with a vintage, blue velvet chesterfield sofa paired with the brightly colored throw pillows I made, this drab black and beige color palette was NOT working for me. That’s nothing a few coats of spray paint and reupholstered cushions can’t fix!

To start, I unassembled the stools and used a gold spray paint to coat the metal parts. The spray paint I used was a 2-in-1 paint and primer, so I didn’t have to prime it first. I sprayed two coats on each barstool, and used three cans of paint, so about one can per barstool. Remember to tape up any parts that shouldn’t be painted… for example, I covered the rubber foot protectors on mine.

I let the paint dry for a few days before I put them back together.

Next, I recovered the cushions with an emerald green microfiber. (Though, I’m seriously considering recovering them again, but with a rose pink velvet instead.)

First, you’ll want to cut your fabric so there’s enough to fold over the edges and secure it to the bottom. This does NOT have to be perfect… we’ll trim the excess fabric in a later step.

If you have a staple gun, this would be a great time to use it. I do not have one, so I resorted to my handy glue gun. Because of the way the metal base screws on to the bottom of the cushions, I feel positive that the glue secured the fabric enough.

I started with folding over and gluing a small section on one side of the cushion, and then doing a section on the opposite side. I repeated this process, alternating opposite sides to keep the fabric taught, until all the fabric was secured to the back. Make sure you aren’t gluing or stapling the fabric over the holes that you will screw the base into.

Next, trim away the excess fabric and screw the bases back onto the bottom.

Finally, reassemble your barstools.

13 Assemble

What a difference, right? These would-have-been landfill destined barstools have just been given a new life. And are the perfect [free] addition to our space.

16 Before and After with text

15 Stools with Sofa

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