How to paint and reupholster a stool

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How to paint and reupholster a stool

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Breathe new life into an old stool with this quick and easy D.I.Y. upcycling hack. From drab – to fab! Here’s how.

Tools and materials

Tools and materials

Drill and drill bit

Drop sheet

Dust mask

Eye protection

Microfibre cloth

Old stool

Quick dry enamel spray paint



Stapler or staple gun

Sponge sander

Tools and materials needed to repaint and reupholster a bar stool

1. Remove the top of your stool

Before you start, remove the fabric part of your stool – this makes sanding much easier. Use a screwdriver to unscrew the seat from the frame, and remember to hang onto your screws for reattachment later. Set everything aside – we’ll get to the top part later. 

Bar stool next to removed stool seat

2. Sand the stool base

Grab a flexible sanding block and get to work on the legs of your stool – you want to give these a good roughing up so the new paint adheres well. You’ll also want to remove any old varnish or paint. Don’t go too hard though – sand just enough to get the gloss off the frame. Once you’re done use a microfibre cloth to wipe away the dust.

Sanding bar stool frame with a sanding block

3. Spray the stool frame

We are using black quick-dry spray paint enamel. This comes in a spray can  – give it a good shake before you apply. Hold the can about 20cm from the stool, and spray in long, even strokes, applying two coats for a nice, glossy finish. 

Handy hint: After you’ve finished spraying, clean your nozzle by holding your can upside down and pressing until just clear gas comes out. And remember – pop down a drop sheet and wear your mask and eye protection

Spray painting bar stool frame with a black spray paint can

4. Re-upholster your stool seat

Grab your chosen fabric and lay it flat on your table. Place your seat top-down in the middle of the material – you’ll need to make sure you have enough material to stretch right across the top of it. Use scissors to cut around your desired length, then grab a staple gun and attach your fabric to the seat. Do opposite ends first, before the rest of the circle. Fold over and staple the fabric on each fold – this ensures your seat won’t be too bulky on the sides.

Cutting fabric to size to reupholster bar stool seat

5. Re-attach seat and frame

And you’re done! How great does your new stool look? Remember, you can customise your stool in any colour, using any fabric you like. The sky’s the limit!

Stapling fabric onto stool seat

Watch the full episode

Check out the full episode from Make It Yours season one for more front yard inspiration with Dale Vine.

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Health & Safety

Asbestos, lead-based paints and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber are health hazards you need to look out for when renovating older homes. These substances can easily be disturbed when renovating and exposure to them can cause a range of life-threatening diseases and conditions including cancer. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page.

When following our advice in our DIY videos, make sure you use all equipment, including PPE, safely by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Check that the equipment is suitable for the task and that PPE fits properly. If you are unsure, hire an expert to do the job or talk to a Bunnings Team Member

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