Back when birds were chirping and bees were buzzing, I bought this sad excuse for a stool at the flea market. $10 and I could tell the vendor thought he was getting the good end of that deal.
The poor pitiful wheely stool was sitting in our garage until this week, when I decided to bring it back to its glory days. Unfortunately, I didn’t really have a plan. I had figured that it would be a cool industrial thing to reupholster and brighten up. So I started by unscrewing the seat.
The legs, as you can see, are way rusty. I like the worn and aged look, but rust is another thing… it’s just dirty and dusty and gets on peoples fingers and bleeds through paint.
I have a stash of old fabric scraps and a shelf of spray paint so this was going to be an inexpensive upgrade. Problem #1 was that I didn’t really have a spot in mind for this. Maybe the master bathroom to sit on during the kids’ bath? Maybe extra seating in the family room? Maybe for the playroom on the 3rd floor? After holding up fabric and spray paint combinations, I finally settled on what I thought would be a fun combo. Aqua paint and a bright bold fabric. (Affiliate.) I taped off the wheels, used a wire brush to get rid of as much rust as possible and gave the legs got a coat of spray paint.
But…I took a peek at “industrial stools” online before I went any further and realized that the patina of the wood on these old pieces is half the charm. Upholstery wouldn’t damage or ruin the seat, but it might take away from the character. Oh, and without it, this project is about 90% easier!
The other perk is that the stool is pretty flexible as to where it can go around the house! When I find a piece to redo, I inevitably come to a point where I think, what’s the point of doing all this work if it’s going to be a bland piece…. which means I end up with lots of things like these red and chevron armchairs or this dresser. I’m trying to balance that urge with some practicality and neutrality. Call me Switzerland.
Besides, the warm tone of the seat is a lovely complement to the bright aqua of the legs, so it’s not- y’know- thaaaat boring!