In our new prettified kitchen, our barstools looked pretty sad. (Ok, they looked a little sad before the kitchen got prettied up, but at least they kind of matched.) I’ve never refinished furniture before, but I wasn’t in the mood to shell out money for new stools, plus a bunch of you convinced me I ought to paint them a punchy aqua or turquoise to add some pizzazz to the black and white kitchen. Here’s the barstool evolution:
As I mentioned, I’ve never refinished any furniture, so I kind of muddled my way through, but it worked! The barstools started a blond wood color, with a heavy dash of messy-eaters-mess all over them. Yup, I’m embarrassed about that. Oh well. I knew they needed to be cleaned up and I’d have to get rid of the shiny finish before I could paint them, so I scrubbed them down with a chemical deglosser. My deglosser came with my cabinet transformations kit, but I’m pretty sure you can buy deglosser at Home Depot. Wearing gloves and using a sponge with a scrubby side, and I used a generous amount of deglosser to scrub the entire stool to remove the shiny finish.
Next I used Valspar spray paint in Tropical Oasis and painted both stools (standard spray paint rules apply: ventilated area, sweeping motion and light coats of paint with about 5 minutes in between, don’t actually touch or sit on for at least a few hours). My paint was glossy, which I didn’t love, but it was the only spray paint I could find in the right color, so I used it anyway. Turns out it doesn’t really matter – you can just use a matte finish sealant and that will take care of the gloss.
After painting, I did just a bit of sanding on the edges of the stool.
I didn’t want these to look “shabby chic” or heavily distressed – just not plastic perfect, you know? So after a little sanding I added some black antiquing. I didn’t want to spend $8 on a big container of antiquing stain at Lowe’s, so I hit up Hobby Lobby and got acrylic paint and antiquing medium ($3 total) instead. Also, the antiquing stain I found was fairly brown, and I wanted mine to be black so it would look better against my black cabinets.
I mixed equal parts black paint and antiquing medium and got to work (I ended up adding a little bit of water to the mix as well because it was going on too strong at the beginning). I stroked the paint on with a foam brush, and then rubbed it back off with cheesecloth. I was going for a fairly subtle effect. If you look closely at the photo on the far right below, you can see that most of the black paint is removed, but just a little stays.
These shots show the antiquing a little better.
On a few areas the antiquing was too dark, or didn’t blend very well (like you can see on the top photo below). I just shot those areas with a little more spray paint to even out the effect (bottom photo below).
Finally, I knew I needed to seal the stools with some sort of poly-spray. I happened to have this matte version out in the garage, and it worked great! I like the stools much better with a matte finish than a glossy one.
One more piece of the kitchen completed!