Update Furniture You Already Own: DIY Spray Painted Bar Stools


DIY / Friday, October 10th, 2014

Our kitchen is full of neutrals and needed a pop of color to coordinate with our dining room.

As I’ve mentioned before, our budget is limited so wherever possible, we use what we already have, updating where necessary. We already own four wood bar stools at the perfect height for our kitchen island. However, they too were neutral in color and don’t go well with the decor of this house. Updating with paint is an inexpensive way to make them look new.

After an adventure stripping the finish from the bar stools (read here), they were ready to paint.

While I love the flat finish of chalk paint, especially when distressed, I didn’t feel like investing the time to clear coat or wax and buff these.

Four Reasons to Choose Spray Paint for Bar Stools:

  • its great for an inexpensive, factory-like, smooth finish, with very little effort
  • the gloss finish can be cleaned with a damp rag and doesn’t necessarily require a clear coat
  • without a clear coat, the stools can be easily painted to change the color down the road
  • if the paint begins to wear, it is easy to touch them up with leftover paint

We chose RustOleum Painter’s Touch 2x Ultra Cover Spray Paint, in Gloss Seaside. Who can argue with the ease of paint and primer in one can? The coverage was fantastic (in fact, WAY better than the Satin Granite (gray) paint used on our console table this summer. What they say is true; different colors can cover VERY differently).

Each bar stool required 2-3 coats, using a total of 4 cans of spray paint. There was quite a bit left in the fourth can to use for touch ups.

Used this paint
Used this paint

I won’t rehash the steps on how to spray paint furniture, but you can read this post if you’d like more detail. Here are the specifics that apply to painting these wood bar stools:

I spray paint in my garage with two large tarps to protect the floor and bottom edges of the walls. I open the garage door and always use a mask.

As with the console table, it was easiest to spray paint the legs first, with the stool upside down on the tarp.

Even though the stools will have felt pads on the bottom, I chose to cover the feet of the stools with painters tape. That way I could spray anywhere and not get paint on the feet that could someday scratch off on my wood floor.

All areas that were easy to spray at a downward angle were painted. While it was tempting to spray UPWARD to paint all the way around the spindles, I didn’t want to risk a dusting of spray paint on the garage ceilings and walls. Trust me, it travels further than you think! Plus, the un-coated areas of the stool are easily accessible from a downward angle when the stool is turned upright to paint the seat.

I allowed the paint to dry overnight before turning upright to prevent fingerprints in tacky paint. The seat was cleaned after turning upright, just in case.

Half way through the first coat. Great coverage with the paint.
Half way through the first coat. Great coverage with the paint.
Turned the stool upright and cleaned the top surface before painting
Turned the stool upright and cleaned the seat before painting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Again, surfaces were coated spraying at a downward angle, which effectively covered all areas missed before.

On the seat, two coats were sprayed and allowed to dry overnight. Then the seat was sanded with FINE sandpaper to remove any imperfections and ensure a smooth top. The final coat was sprayed and allowed to dry overnight.

Before using the stools, I checked that the paint no longer felt sticky or tacky. The paint should feel smooth and dry; if it doesn’t, wait longer or risk having impressions of someone’s rear-end on your seat that you’ll have to sand off and repaint.

Finished stool
Finished stool

When all four stools were finished, we put felt pads on each of the feet and moved them to our kitchen. We love the color they add to an otherwise neutral room and after 2 months of use, they’re holding up nicely.

Finished Stools add a pop of color to our kitchen
Finished Stools add a pop of color to our kitchen

Spending under $15 to update what we already have sure beats paying for new stools.

What do you already own that needs an inexpensive update?

One Reply to “Update Furniture You Already Own: DIY Spray Painted Bar Stools”

Share Your Thoughts!