DIY Refinishing and Reupholstering a Stool

Last summer, I spent the weekend in South Haven, Michigan and came across a fantastic antique store called Murphy’s Mall! Click here to read that post.
 This stool was an $18 find and I was excited and nervous to take on my first, big DIY refinishing project.
Having seen countless shows on HGTV and read many blog posts on reupholstering benches and stools, I thought “How hard could it be? A few staples here and there, flip it over, and voila!”.  To my dismay, I brought my stool home to find that there was no cushion that simply “popped” off.  The fabric was adhered to the wooden stool using nailheads.  In the words of Usher, “Oh my gosh!”

I purchased paint, paintbrushes, filling (the original one was about 50 years old and adequately filthy), nailheads, an Amy Butler fabric and with a wish and a prayer, I got to work.

The end result is nowhere near impressive and I came across many road bumps along my way but isn’t the journey itself sometimes more important than the destination? It was a learning experience (make sure the cushion can pop out!!), I had fun and I ended up with a not necessarily hideous stool to add to my home.  Not bad.  Not bad at all.
What’s the biggest DIY project you’ve taken on??


  1. painting our freaking master bedroom all by myself. That was one nastiest 9-hour DIY I won’t be repeating. The stool looks lovely tho!

  2. Well done!! I like the fabric you chose.

  3. I think it looks great! I am so hopeless with anything DIY. I always make such a mess of things… It’s all I can do to put hooks on a wall and hang pictures.
    It’s my first time on your blog and I love it! Can’t wait for more.
    xo Josie

  4. It turned out great! Love the fabric and new paint job!

    We have done so many DIY’s when we first moved into our house… some successful and others not so much.

  5. Nice job! How in the world did you remove the original nail heads??

  6. Cindy: Thanks! There’s actually a nail head removing tool! :)

  7. Nowhere near impressive?! I say impressive indeed! I’d have to say the biggest DIY is the condo my husband and I bought. He laid the hardwoods himself, and I went about scraping popcorn ceilings, painting (or trying haha), etc. It’s still a work in proj., but so fun!

    p.s. Wouldn’t you love to get your hands on those Lanvins? haha I was in Cebu ’til the end of June. I think you go back more often than me! What’s the occassion this time?!

  8. you did an awesome job! i am going through the same process, and i’m about to hire a professional. i don’t know how to get the new fabric on the seat cover!! it’s literally impossible to get in the grooves and get the olde stuff off!

  9. that looks so great!

  10. I disagree – this is VERY impressive! It’s transformed and super chic!
    My alencon lace veil was my biggest DIY project but so worth it!

  11. Oooh! You did a great job. I love the fabric you chose. I have yet to try this myself. It’s good to know it is not as easy as we first thought.

    Just Better Together is having 2 giveaways!

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