Chalk Paint Bar Stool Makeover


My kitchen island has been lonely for months… months and months. And I think just about every person that has come to my house has said “you guys should get some bar stools”. Hello… Really?? Obviously I know. But don’t they realize who they are talking to? This cheapskate has to wait for the perfect deal to come along before I just lay down all my cash for bar stools. I was really holding out for some beauties, but after searching  for months and months, I just decided just to buy some plain-Jane, run of the mill bar stools. After all, simplicity can be fabulous too…

I found these bar stools on Craigslist over the weekend. They aren’t the best looking bar stools on the planet, but they came in right on budget. $30 for the four of them, that works out to $7.50 each – not too bad! They were the most hideous golden oak color –  you know, an 80’s favorite – so the first order after getting them home was painting them. I wanted to paint them a nice calming sea-foam green, but I had some paint left over from painting the guest bathroom that was a slightly lighter version of the sea-foam green that I wanted, so I made do with what I had.

I love working with chalk paint on furniture because it eliminates any prep work that needs to be done. Chalk paint can be applied onto any surface and it will stick; no need for sanding or stripping the furniture piece beforehand. This is the reason chalk paint has become my go-to paint when refinishing, because prep work really is the work of the devil, by far the worst part of any furniture refinishing project. I made my own chalk paint because I am always trying to save a dime, but you can purchase chalk paint at most home improvement stores, the most well-known brand is Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, it works fabulously. Also, chalk paint goes a very long way, I’m always surprised at how little paint I use when I work with it, much less than when working with regular latex. I will do a post about diy chalk paint with the recipe in the future, so stay tuned!!

I first painted two coats, drying fully between coats. Another benefit of chalk paint is that it dries very, very quickly. By the time I had painted the forth stool, the first one was completely dry. Chalk paint dries to a very flat finish, I would say it dries to a ‘chalky finish’…. wow – I’m a geek. It also lends itself very well to distressing, as you an see in the pictures. Then I finished up by giving the stools a quick coat of polycrylic, again because it is what I had on hand, but chalk paint can also be finished with furniture wax as well.


A before and after of the stools…


Here is the island without the stools, and with the stools…


I actually love the results, the green is enough color to be noticed, yet not enough to steal the thunder from the kitchen. What do you all think? I would love some feedback… I think forgotten little Plain-Jane is finally workin it!!


7 thoughts on “Chalk Paint Bar Stool Makeover

  1. LOVE! I just bought a stool from Goodwill that looks exactly like your originals – 80s gold oak and all! It definitely needs something to make it a bit more chi chi and this is just what the restoration Dr ordered. Your kitchen looks even more fabulous now x

  2. I have not tried chalk painting yet but plan to soon. The only thing I’m not clear on is the waxing. How to apply it, what kind of wax?

    • Hi there! You can purchase specialty wax brushes, they are quite pricey but I’m sure do a fabulous job. I however, just use a rag made out of an old t-shirt and it works wonderfully. Application is simple – wax on, wax off. No, seriously though; just apply a thin coat of wax, wait a few minutes and buff newly applied wax. When in doubt follow the instructions!! I really can’t stress this enough. There are so many different waxes on the market, and all are similar but may require slightly different application processes to get an ideal finish. I purchased the least expensive furniture wax I could find. It is MinWax finishing wax, very simple to use and overall gives a pretty nice finish. Just get whatever wax fits your budget and is easily accessible in your area. Thanks for the question and let me know how your first chalk paint and wax project goes!

  3. Hi, I just found your site and loved your chalk paint example. This past week I took a leap and began painting a “laminate armoire” with homemade chalk paint without sanding. I am nervous. One of my boys accidently ran into it and took some paint off. I was wondering if you have thoughts regarding laminate and chalk painting. Do you think this would be one example where a person should prep? Thanks so much. Charlene

  4. I love the way your stools turned out! I have four that have seen better days… Mostly scratched up from kids getting on and off. How does the chalk paint hold up to everyday use? Would you recommend the polycrylic vs the wax in this case?

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