DIY Home Decor Furniture Upgrade Upcycling Upholstery

How I Updated Bar Stools Without Sewing

As part of our Spring Projects I wanted to add a pop of color to our all White Kitchen.  See Spring Projects, Adding Color post.  I painted the Kitchen Island blue to add color.  After I painted the Island I realized that the Bar Stools needed an update and did not match the new Island color. As you can see these Bar stools were all black and I wanted to make them more modern and bring new life to them.  I don’t know how to sew yet so here is how I did this upgrade with new sewing involved. Read further to see how I turned these generic looking bar stools into custom and modern items.

Materials I used:

  • Pliers
  • Electric Sander( A sanding block works too)
  • White Paint (Behr Ultra Smoky White)
  • Painters Tape
  • Bronze Spray Paint (I used Rust-Oleum metallic spray paint)
  • Foam Paint Brush Set
  • Fabric (2 yards, I bought way more than needed just in case I messed up)
  • Pins
  • Rotary Cutter
  • Seam remover
  • Pillow Stuffing
  • Craft Spray Glue
  • Staple Gun
  • Gorilla Glue
  • Bungie Cable
  • Hammer
  • Decorative Tacks

Remove the existing material

The first thing I did was remove the existing black faux leather fabric cover.  I flipped the stool over so the legs faced up and took out all the staples with the pliers.  I kept the coverings and put them to the side

Starting the Project

Sand the Barstools

Once I took the fabric off I sanded the bar stool legs with an electric sander. I made sure I got every section of the Barstool legs. Its important to sand really well so that the paint sticks especially since I was going from black to white.

I used an electric sander but you can also use a sanding block they are super cheap

Tape off the tip of the Bar stool legs

I kept the barstools flipped with the legs up  and seat side down.  I measured from the tip of each Bar stool leg 2.5 inches down and marked it on each side of the leg.  I used painters tape and taped right below  the markings. I did this with all four legs.

Spray paint the leg tips

Spray painting the tips

I used the metallic spray paint and spray painted the bottom tips between the painters tape and the tip.

Paint the rest of the legs white

Keeping the stool flipped seat side down used my foam paint brushes and started painting the legs white starting from the seat of the stool side.  I worked my way up towards the spray painted tips.  The foam brushes worked better than the regular bristle brushes.  I was able to get into the small corners more and it didn’t leave bristle marks.  I painted up to the painters tape. I did a couple coats to cover the black.

I used a foam paintbrush to get in the corners and paint the sharp edges

Remove painters tape and finish painting

I removed the painters tape and used a smaller foam brush and painted the white up to the line carefully to where the spray paint started. I did this for all the legs. Some of the white got on the spray paint area so I sprayed some of the mettalic spray paint on a paper plate and used a small paint brush to do some touch ups on the metallic tips. I let the paint dry over night

 Remove seams from existing fabric covers.

I took the fabric covers that I removed and I used the seam remover and removed the seams so that the fabric laid flat.

Measure new fabric cover

I got the yard of the new material and placed it under the flattened old cover.  I pinned the old cover onto the new material.  I traced a rectangle around the flattened cover on the new fabric.  Then I cut out the rectangle on the new fabric with the rotary cutter. I learned from doing other projects that using the Rotary cutter is the best way to do this rather than scissors so you get a straighter line and more control.

Old fabric on top of nee

Cut and measure the stuffing

I used the existing cushioning.  The existing cushion was tufted so I used the stuffing to fill in the tufted holes and added an extra rectangle of stuffing on top so that it would be flat.  I used the Rotary cutter to make sure the stuffing had strainght lines on the recetangle that lined up with the cushion.  If you don’t  do this your cushion will look lumpy and uneven when you put the fabric on.  I used the crafting spray glue to secure the added stuffing.  

Securing the stuffing

Place the new cover

I got the new fabric cover and placed it over the cushion and stuffing and made sure that the pattern lined up with the edges.  Once I placed the fabric exactly how I wanted it on the stool I used bungie cables to secure it.  Then I flipped the stool over seat side down

Stretch and staple the fabric to the bottom side of the seat.

I used the staple gun and started stapling the fabric to the bottom of the stool.  I left the corners unstapled and cut off any excess fabric

Fold the corners

I folded the corners in on eachother. I glued the fold with gorilla glue to secure it and then I stuffed the excess material into the barstool seat and secured it wil the staple gun. I did this with all four corners.

Folded corners

Add decorative tacks

I got the decorative tacks in the upholstery section of the fabric store.  I was able to find some that matched the metallic spray paint I used on the leg tips.  I started with the corners and added nailed in the tacks with a hammer where the corner folds met to secure the folds even more.  Then I measured 2 inches from the middle of that first tack to mark where I wanted to put the next tack.  From there I measured and marked off every 2 inches towards the bottom of the fabric.  I used a hammer and nailed in the tacks everywhere that I marked off.  

Here is how it turned out. I was able to make it look more custom with the small details like adding the metallic tips and the decorative tacks. The fabric I used was for outdoor furniture so it is super durable and easy to clean. I loved how they turned out but now I think they are a little too modern for our Kitchen so I will need to do some more modern updates to our Kitchen but that’s for another blog post.

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