Thursday, September 6, 2012

Stool Painting Part 1

So not all of my DIY projects are successful, and this is one I wish I hadn't started yet!

I bought these stools off Kijiji for $35 each.  That's a steal in stool-land.  They have a brown leather seat and black legs.  The only problem was, the black paint was starting to chip and flake off.  Even when you touched them, they would leave black marks all over your hands (and on the back seat of my car when I brought them home...).  I figured no big deal, I'll just sand them down and repaint them, and they'll be good as new.

First, I had my dad cut them down to size since they were a bit too tall for my counter.  I lived with them like this for 2 months.

You can clearly see the back leg of the stool on the far left has seen better days.  Well, last weekend I got tired of vacuuming up flakes of paint so I took the stools over to my parents house to start refinishing them (I can't do outdoor DIY projects at my condo, so sad).  What I thought would be an easy project turned into a giant project that is currently unfinished...

I thought I would just be able to sand down the legs. Not so much. The legs had been painted with black, pink (?), and in some places, white paint. Sanding was taking forever and I was not getting anywhere fast. So I ended up having to use a paint stripper.   This stuff was amazing and worked really well.  You basically spread it on, let it sit for 15 minutes, and then scrape it off.

This what I was left with after (almost) everything had been scraped off.  The wood was this weird purple colour.

Now it needed sanding to smooth it out and to get rid of some of the little pieces of remaining paint, otherwise the spray paint I purchased would just flake off again.  Here's the first stool all sanded.

I looked good to me, so I was getting excited!  All that was left was to spray it with some metallic silver spray paint and I would have a place to sit in my kitchen again!  Boy was I wrong...

The wood was so soft and so cheap that the paint just soaked right in.  It left uneven coverage, it looked all bumpy (even though it was sanded smooth) and just generally looked like crap.  I used a whole can on one stool, and it looked awful!

So now I'm back to square one.  I have one stool that looks like this, a second that has been sanded, a third that is partially stripped, and a fourth I haven't even started working on!  My last 3 days off have been used just on stools!  Not cool.  So I'm taking a break to rethink my strategy.  I'm wondering if I primed the stool first if that would help with the soaking in and uneven coverage issues.  I'm also looking to see if I can buy silver metallic paint in a can.  It's going to be too expensive if I need to buy multiple cans of spray paint for each stool...  I'm having a hard time finding metallic paint in a can though.  Anyone have any ideas?

Psst - You can see the finished stool in this post over here.


  1. While looking into metal leafing and different colors of rub n' buff I ran across this site:

    It looks like they have some metallic paints. But I haven't tried them so I can't swear to how well they work or look. I'd like to try them out eventually but haven't found the right project for it or the time.

    They have a few silver ones as well as other colors:

    That is if priming and then spray painting doesn't work this could be another option. You could probably also Google and check around to see if you find the paint cheaper anywhere else or other brands. But it's a start if you want to try metallic paints.


Please leave me your comments!! If you don't have a profile listed, choose Name/URL (you can leave the URL space blank, but please leave your name!) or you can choose anonymous :)