Simply a Stool


We’ve been remodeling a cabin in the woods we bought a year ago.  As remodels go, the construction process once we replaced the initial contractor with an experienced GC has gone pretty smoothly but challenged the wallet in a big way. Our contractor is beyond amazing and worth every single detailed minute of labor he puts in but clearly the change meant decorating would be a second phase at a date yet to be determined.  And anyone who has remodeled knows that nothing from the pre-remodel phase fits in to the new home, whether it be color, style or the dust it collected sitting in storage that long.

Being the maker kind of gal that I am, I promised myself and my husband we’d have our champagne taste in decorating on a beer budget at the end of the construction rather than wait who knows how long before we could have the beautifully remodeled house look like a home, and we’ve both been pleasantly surprised at the finds on Craig’s List which have helped the decorating phase start to come to life.

That said, when I first came home with 3 of these stools for $15.00, David wasn’t so sure my promise would be upheld but he went along with me anyway as I’ve been know to be pretty stubborn at times.  And he really wanted stools with backs (which I couldn’t find 24″ stools with backs anywhere).

IMG_0241I hadn’t worked with Annie Sloan chalk paint before, but had read about it in a magazine.  I scoured Pinterest, and found a concept piece with the creativity I needed (The Retired Nester).  I wanted the wood to show through a little, which this lady Shari did quite nicely on her Spanish Moss debut piece ( so I took a lesson from her site and went to work (really LOVE what she did with her piece).

I removed the seats and sanded them down using a belt sander.   Using a tree template I had on hand and a leaf template from my stash of stencils, I painted a tree onto each sanded seat using Annie Sloan Barcelona pain. Once that dried, I painted the leaf over the tree using Annie Sloan Graphite paint (for one stool, I did opposite, using Graphite for the tree and Barcelona for the leaf stencil).


Once the stenciled art was dry, I applied two coats of MinWax Early American to the seats.  When the seats were completely dry, I applied two coats of matte polyurethane to protect the seats.

On to the base of the stools…I used Chateau Gray first, 2/3 paint to 1/3 water, and applied it liberally to the stools with a brush then rubbed it into the wood so the grain showed through.


Once it dried, I painted on a coat of Coco, 2/3 paint to 1/3 water, and using the same technique as before, rubbed it into the wood.


But not to miss a surprise element, if Christian Laboutin can paint the soles of shoes red, I painted the underside of the seats Barcelona (snapped a picture after first coat but forgot to snap one after).  Not that anyone will ever see them but the dog maybe…


I then applied a coat of dark wax followed by a coat of clear wax the next morning, using a rag to work the wax in and around the leg posts, wiping the excess wax off with a clean rag after each coat.  I left the second coat of wax to set overnight, then lightly buffed the legs so they had a matte look to them.  I only learned later that it is best to apply the clear wax first because it provides more protection to the furniture.

Reassembled stools came out really well and not only did David love the way they turned out, he loves to sit on them.  Total cost, maybe $30.00 plus the labor of love. I have plenty of chalk paint, stain and polyurethane for several other projects.    Win win for our wallets and our breakfast bar area!




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