30-Minute Project: Metallic-Dipped Bar Stool Upgrade

Hey, friends! I hope your December is off to a good start. The winter months can be tough on many people, but before we know it, March will be here, snow will be melting away, and tulips will be blooming. It may seem like a lo-o-ong wait, but you can do it!

One thing that helps me to remain positive during the short winter days is keeping busy with productive, rewarding “projects”, like the one I bring you today.

Recently I refinished some cheap, wooden bar stools for our kitchen countertop. They were so basic and simple before, but with just 30 minutes I was able to take them from ‘blah’ to ‘AH’!

Now they look GREAT and really blend in with the mood of the room. Even though you’ll notice these photos were taken outside, this project is not very complicated, and could very well be done completely indoors, provided you cover your work surface and have adequate ventilation.


So, let’s get started on your bar stool upgrade!


Step One:

First, find or purchase some boring bar stools that are desperately in need of a make-over (mine cost approximately $15 from Wal-Mart). Don’t forget to grab some sandpaper or a sanding block. The size of grit you will need depends upon how much of a varnish/seal is already on the stools. The heavier the coating, the larger the grit.


Sand down the seat of the bar stool to remove any finishes, until it is no longer shiny. This will ensure a better bond to the spraypaint we will add in later steps.


Step Two:

Next, using painter’s tape, create a “border” on each leg of the stool, a few inches from the bottom. Sand the remaining portion of the legs, below the tape, or the “feet”. Make sure your tape is secure and even all the way around because this will form a stencil.


Using whatever materials available to you, cover every surface of the bar stool except for the feet. I poked two holes in the bottom of a garbage bag and secured it with more painter’s tape to the “border” created in the previous step.

Then I used the lid from an old shoe-box to cover the other legs on the stool. The goal here, however you achieve it, is to prevent over-spray from the paint getting on to the opposite legs of the stool.

I found it was easiest to paint two “feet” at a time on each stool, but if you can cover all the legs at one time, you can shave a few minutes off of this project.


Step Three:

Next, using metallic spray paint (this one’s my favorite), quickly and evenly coat the feet of the bar stool. Be sure to cover all the sides, not leaving any wood showing through.

Wait until the paint is dry to the touch, and then repeat the process on the other two feet of the stool, if necessary.


Step Four:

Your next step is to paint the underside of the seat, choosing a satin-finish paint in order to replace that pretty shine we sanded off earlier.

I quickly taped off a bit of each of the legs; it doesn’t have to be perfect. Let’s be real- no one is going to be inspecting the bottom of your chairs! LOL. Just remember to put the seat ON something (e.g. shoe box, newspaper, garbage bag) to protect your work surface.


Step Five:

Carefully flip over your stool (making sure that the feet are dry to the touch) and loosely cover the legs again from any overspray (I used the same garbage bag as before). Paint the top of the bar stool seat, taking care to follow the directions on your spray paint.

Generally, as per Google instructions: Hold your spray can 6 to 8 inches away from project surface. Spray project using several thin coats of paint instead of one thick coat. Begin and finish your spray pattern off the object, releasing the tip at the end of each pass. Use an even side-to-side motion. Don’t forget to paint the sides as well!

Then, let all the paint dry fully (before sitting on your stools), and you are finished! Voila! In 30 minutes or less, you have taken typical, boring bar stools to chic, customized pieces for your home!


So nice! I LOVE that these stools were so cheap, but are equally unique! Max and I use these all the time for quick chats in the kitchen, organizing recipes, and extra dinner seating for guests!


Let me know in the comments what you think of this idea! What color schemes do you think would look nice? I might re-do these once I get bored with them. Now that I know how easy it is, I can personalize the stools to match our ever-changing decor!

I hope you liked this D.I.Y. tutorial! While you have the spray paint handy, check out another of my favorite DIY projects! And, as always, I appreciate your support!

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