Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Stool Upcycle: Refinishing Tips

I finally finished a small scale furniture refinishing project, and I am excited to share it with you.  I had been looking for a child sized chair or stool for awhile, and was excited when I spotted this one at a garage sale for $2.00.  The finish was in poor condition, but I knew I was going to change that anyway. While I have painted furniture in the past, this is my first try at distressing.  Here are a few things I learned along the way.

I used a mild soap and water to remove any grease and grime on the piece.  Using a fine grit sand paper I roughed it up, so the paint would adhere better.  If the piece already has a finish on it (mine did not) you may need to sand a little more.  Make sure you wipe the piece down after sanding to remove any grit. 

I used some leftover latex primer and paint.  The primer will look bad, and you may even think you made a mistake.  But after it is completely dry, and you add your top coat of color, it will look great.

Once the paint is dry, use sand paper to remove the top layer of paint (color) in places.  This will allow the wood grain, or other layers of paint to show through.  I tried to sand in areas where natural wear and tear would happen, like the corners and legs.  Finally I applied a layer of stain to the piece with a brush and quickly wiped the stain off with an old rag.  This highlighted the distressed wood areas and added a touch of brown which antiqued the piece a bit.

The upside to a distressed piece of furniture, is the more use the better.  No one can ruin your finish, because scrapes, knicks, and chips will add to the look.


  1. Here from Home Stories A to Z, and now following you via reader & Pinterest. Love your style, cannot wait to see what's next.

    Tanya :)

    1. Thanks for following Tanya! Welcome!