DIY,  Makeover,  Paint

Step Stool (from High School Shop Class) Makeover Part 2

We have two step stools that were made during high school shop class. Anyone else have such a treasure?

After all these years, the stools are still super sturdy. Education for the win!

I made over the first stool last year, but the second stool was still in dire need of a refresh. As you can see, it has been lovingly cared for for many years.

I decided to makeover the stool using natural wood and stained wood. That’s how my thought processes start – very vague.

While I was mulling the direction the makeover should go, I dived in and sanded the stool down with my Ridgid Sander.

With the stool freshly sanded, I was committed to the makeover. I went with the “eeny, meeny, miney, moe” approach and decided to go a bit geometric for the transformation.

I made a variety of diamond shapes with computer paper and then traced them onto the top of the stool with a pencil. Pretty low tech.

The only problem with my “fly by the seat of my pants” plan was I didn’t know how to keep the stain from bleeding through into the area I wanted to keep natural. After much Googling, I decided my only chance would be to score a line between the area to be stained and the area not to be stained. What’s the worst that could happen?

In this case, I used a craft knife to score a line right along my pencil mark.

As a further precaution, I taped off the inside of each diamond.

Then I carefully painted the stain onto the stool right up to the score mark. Through trial and error I figured out how far the stain would bleed and how close I could get to my score line. Oh, and yes, I did use the cheapest brush I could find – one of my kid’s watercolor brushes. That was mainly because I didn’t want to clean stain out of a good brush.

I have to tell you, I was shocked at how well the scoring worked.

Now, if you are anal retentive about perfectly perfect lines, this might not be your jam (or your blog), but I thought mine turned out pretty well. They definitely got better as I moved through the project. Practice makes perfect! Or in my case, practice makes close enough!

I stained the remainder of the stool and then sealed it all with one coat of polyurethane – mainly to protect the natural wood.

The stain and poly brought out some of the imperfections in the wood and the stain didn’t take evenly in all areas. Live and learn.

In the end, those imperfections won’t matter as i’m hoping this stool continues to get used and abused – adding to its character.

This makeover had me mulling over my decorating style. Did this geometric stool fit in? Did I care? What is my style? Did I remember to turn the oven off?

Oops, my brain gets easily distracted.


Back to the point. Part of creating a pretty home is surrounding yourself with items that make you happy. The eclectic grouping of items and styles doesn’t have to make sense to anyone but you! Go crazy! And definitely makeover that step stool from high school shop class if you should feel so inclined!

Thanks for reading! Here are some other posts you might enjoy.

Footprint step stool

Step Stool (from high school shop class) Makeover Part 1

Barstool Make Under

How NOT to Make a Book Pumpkin

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