Little stool makeovers and working with graphic transfers....

UPDATE: When I first posted this I spelled Cristina's name of the few things we bloggers ask for is proper credit! My apologies!  Thankfully the links still worked so make sure you drop in and see her wonderful stools!!

Cristina at Remodelando la Casa inspired me. Or rather SHE STARTED IT ALL!  I was perfectly content with my boring little kitchen stool.  

I stumbled across Cristina's stools she "gussied up" with a little reconstruction, some paint, graphics and stain.  Suddenly my boring little stool seemed very pathetic and bland!

Actually, I have two little stools.  I painted one a "mustard" yellow color and took it to my booth. I kept the natural one in my kitchen.  But the cabinet drawers wouldn't open unless I moved it, so I brought the yellow one's a tad shorter and I don't have to move it to open a drawer!

Christina was kind enough to share her "coffee" graphic and I really like all the little graphic designs at The Graphics Fairy. Let's be honest....I'm more comfortable with a skill saw and paint brush than I am with transfer paper and iron-on stuff. But I have always wanted to try the different "transfer" methods, so I thought these little stools would be the perfect medium for a test run.

I first tried the "wax paper" transfer method. (All of these different transfer methods are outline here!I used it on the yellow stool.  It is a great method, but I can honestly tell you it is NOT as easy as it looks and sounds. The good news is, if you mess it up, it will wash right off a painted wood finish with soap and water.  It took me four shots to get a halfway decent transfer and even then the imagine is a bit "blurry" and "blotchy" from my inability to keep it still during the transfer process. Honestly, I wouldn't sell this stool but it will do fine in my own kitchen.


I painted the little birdie graphic on the other stool after I sanded the old finish off the top...

I used the same method of transfer I used here on the pillows. I printed off my graphic, taped sewing trace paper on the back of the picture, traced it onto the stool top and then hand painted it with black latex paint (without the fabric medium!) You can also use a black sharpie!

Then I applied a couple of coats of walnut stain and sealed it with a spray on poly.  I also spray painted the legs off-white!

I found this disgusting, broken down shop stool in an apartment. 

I removed the stool top (not hard since it was missing two bolts) and removed the old rubber feet.  I scrubbed the metal base, primed it with metal primer, sanded, tacked and sprayed it with a gloss black. I bought new rubber feeties at Lowe's and put them on! 

I removed what was left of the old plastic seat cover. I added 1" foam padding to the top (spray the top with a little spray adhesive just so the padding won't move) and then covered the entire top and sides with two layers of batting. I use regular quilt batting on stuff like this...just softens the edges a bit so the fabric lays better and you don't feel the "hardness" of the wood frame.  I do the same on ottomans

I used plain ole' drop cloth material (washed and dried) for the top.  It is inexpensive and not something I will stress about if my transfer experiment goes wonky. I cut out a piece big enough to cover the entire seat and sides and applied the transfer to the fabric BEFORE covering the stool top.

After reading The Graphic Fairy tutorials, I settled on this iron on transfer paper.  The Amazon reviews were a tad mixed but honestly, I usually follow the lead of other "DIYers." If it works for them, it should work for me. 

And it did.  I followed the directions on the package to a T to apply the transfer to the fabric and then covered my stool seat. Honestly, I am not happy with the "pleating" on the sides, but the seat is round and I have a bum shoulder...what can I say! I used fabric glue to add a piece of black fabric to the underside, just to give it a nice "finished" look in case someone is laying on the floor looking at it. Plain ole' felt works great for that kind of thing.


So there you have it...three super simple stool makeovers with three different transfer methods. 


And while I am at it...let me show you another little stool I found in an apartment...


Cheap little stool...nothing fancy. It was missing one of the cross bracings so I cut a piece of 1x2 poplar and glued and clamped it in place. Then a little kilz, sand, tack and Valspar "Azure Snow" spray paint. I didn't even recover the top...just a good cleaning!

Cristina was generous enough to share her coffee graphic with me, but I decided not to copy her TOO much...although I do intend to use it at some point...on something! And her transfer method was a tad different than mine, so make sure you check it out! I will definitely try it as well!

Why settle for pathetic and bland when a tiny bit of time and effort can make it something unique and beautiful! what works for YOU!  The Graphic Fairy has 100s of awesome transfers free for your own use and easy to follow tutorials that will help you transfer onto ANYTHING!