decorating,  DIY,  Makeover

Barstool Make Under

Maybe you remember 137 years ago when I posted this photo?

It was more like 3 weeks ago, but who’s counting?

That was a chalk paint fail.

I was trying to make over these barstools, which I loved 8 years ago. What do I feel now? Definitely not love, but I don’t detest them. That would require too much energy.

The wood base was actually in good shape on all three of the stools. The faux leather tops, however, were looking like they’d been mauled by a pack of animals used by small children for the past 8 years.

The barstools had admirably served their purpose, but it was time for them to go. While I made up my mind about what new stools to get, I thought I would try my hand at making the stools over with a little chalk paint. Kindly reference the first photo in this post to see how that turned out.

Yes, yes. You said chalk paints are not all created equal. I’ll have to take your word for it because I’m never painting with chalk paint again. Ever. Until I forget this painful experience and decide to try it again. Coincidentally, that’s also how I ended up with two children.

Thankfully, I only attempted the chalk paint makeover on one of the three barstools, but the mistake still had to be sanded off. Last week I decided it was high time I crossed that chore off my list.

Here’s the part of the story where I’m not entirely sure if I actually did something cool or if I loathed this project so much that I just convinced myself it turned out cool so I could be done.

It could go either way.

That’s right…

I started ripping into the base of the barstools with 40-grit sand paper and it was just eating the finish off the stools in glorious fashion. Adios chalk paint. Sayonara to the cherry stain. It was really quite enjoyable.

That super rough sandpaper was making some seriously lovely gouges in the wood too.

I fully intended to sand these stools down to bare wood and smooth them out the correct way with finer and finer grit sandpaper.

Really, I did.

Then I stepped back and looked at my bar stools and decided they were freaking magnificent all beat up and kind of rustic looking. I was definitely digging their “made under” state.

Delusional on my part?

Don’t answer that.

I wanted a wipeable material to recover the tops of the stools, but I didn’t see anything online or in the fabric store that I was over-the-moon crazy about.

Instead, I found this duck cloth at Hobby Lobby that felt fresh and springy to me. I’m sure it will feel Christmasy after my 5-year-old wipes spaghetti sauce on it too.

I only spent $7 on the fabric though, so I figured for that little money, 10 minutes and a few staples later, it was totally worth the result.


That’s the story of how I “made under” my 3 barstools. Anyone else do a make under and were you happy with the results?

Thanks for being here today. If you have more time, check out one of these posts next. 

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

Mutli-tasking Fail and a Rope Planter

DIY Geometric Mirror Using Children’s Blocks


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