Make your wooden bar stools look brand new with a fresh coat of paint.
Renovating furniture is an easy way to bring a fresh new look to a room. When it comes to kitchen pieces, it is a lot easier to update your wood furniture instead of purchasing new. See how I took wooden stools and updated them to painted bar stools that fit the current style of our farmhouse kitchen.
Supplies for a Painted Bar Stool
These supplies are at most local home improvement stores. Affiliate links below.
- High and low grit sandpaper
- Damp cloth
- Kilz primer
- Latex paint - Quarry by Pratt and Lambert
- Paint brush
- Water-based polyurethane
- Finish Max HVLP electric paint sprayer by Home Right
How to Get Perfectly Painted Bar Stools
Purchasing expensive kitchen furniture can be unrealistic when you have younger children, knowing that they will receive heavy use. I found a couple stools at a thrift store and was gifted another for my painting project. You can see more details on furniture prep here.
Sand Counter Stools
The first step to achieving a great finish on your bar stools is to begin with a good sanding. When you know your stools are going to receive a lot of use, you want the paint to stick really well. A good sand job will help your paint to withstand the test of time.
You can start with a lower grit sandpaper for a more coarse sanding to remove most of the finish. When this is done, switch to a higher grit sandpaper for a light sanding to get a smooth exterior finish.
Wipe down your stool with a damp cloth to remove any dust or finish particles remaining on your furniture.
Painting Bar Stools
After your stools are sanded and wiped down, it's time to prime. Make sure that you are painting and priming in a well-ventilated area. All of the barstools had been painted with a factory lacquer so I used my paint sprayer to apply water-based Kilz primer to the stools. This will help with a smoother finish and easier application of paint for the painted bar stools.
Finding a smaller paint sprayer is a nice tool for smaller projects when you don't want to haul around a large air compressor sprayer. This Finish Max HVLP paint sprayer is a great option. It works well with different products and is easy to clean at the end of use.
Allow the primer to dry before applying any spray paint. You can use any type of paint that you prefer, like milk paint or chalk paint. I opted for a pop of color with this latex paint called Quarry by Pratt and Lambert. Read more about the differences between these paints on my DIY kitchen table painting post.
Make sure to spray your stools using light coats of paint. You can use a paint brush, but I love a sprayer because it is faster and the coats are more even. I love the color because it matches my KitchenAid refinish in my pantry area.
When your painted bar stools are completely dry from being painted, you can leave as is or create a distressed look to compliment the rest of your kitchen.
If you choose to go with a more distressed look, lightly sand the edges of the stool where it will receive frequent use. This may be on the seat or the back where hands will grab the most. Paint will end up fading over time because of frequent use.
Wipe off any remnants from the light sanding. When you are sure that your stools are free from any dust, you can now add glaze. Follow the directions on your glaze. Glaze helps to create a distressed look and can help hide the natural wear and tear.
The final step after the glaze is dry is to spray the painted bar stools with a water-based polyurethane. Allow to dry and your stools are complete!
These stools turned out exactly as I hoped they would!
Longevity of These Painted Bar Stools
It is normal for bar stools to take a beating with repeated use, especially in a kitchen. After 4 years in this farmhouse kitchen, these stools have held up well. The polyurethane sealed the latex paint great and there is not one stain from red juice or other discoloration.
The edges do have a little extra distressing which is normal with consistent use from children. Doing the right prep work can minimize paint chipping significantly.
These easy painted bar stools are a great way to update a kitchen without a complete kitchen renovation.
Love the look of our open shelves? You can try it out too with this easy open shelving tutorial.
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