Vintage Stool Makeover

This piano stool has been in my family for probably 100 years. It was my great grandmother’s. It has been passed down through the years to my grandmother, then my mother. It’s been painted and repainted multiple times.

I inherited it many years ago, with the intention of recovering and repainting, and just never got around to it. Since we’ve had lots of time at home, I decided now was the perfect time for this vintage stool makeover.

I started by removing the old upholstery tacks and the layers of lining and batting underneath the top layer of fabric. There were about a million little tack nails on each layer, so this part was tedious, to say the least.

Next up, was painting. I used Maison Blanche paint in Fransiscan Gray. I did a quick first coat, that didn’t even completely cover, then came back with a second coat. Once the paint was dry, I did a slight distressing with my electric sander and a light coat of light brown wax.
These photos show the 1st and 2nd coat, then the finished paint job. I completely forgot to get a picture between distressing and waxing.

I had to figure out a way to reinforce the seat, since the old webbing was completely falling apart. My husband cut a piece of plywood to fit inside the underneath of the stool. He cut the wood just slightly larger than the opening and put a few screws in to hold it in place.

The batting and lining fabric had to be replaced, since I’m sure it never had been. I happened to have a piece of 1″ foam on hand, so I cut it to fit inside the opening of the stool and hot glued it to the plywood to make sure it stayed in place. Next, I added a double thickness of quilt batting, and just laid the batting over the top of the foam, knowing that when I added my final fabric, it would be tacked down and stay in place.

A french grainsack with a gray stripe down the center was what I chose for the final fabric.

I cut a piece of the grainsack just slightly larger than the stool opening, making sure the stripe would be centered and there was enough fabric to fold it over twice to create a finished edge.

I folded the fabric over once, then a second time to create a finished edge. Probably, folding the fabric under would have worked better, but decided I liked the look of this. The only problem, because I did it this way, was the corners. They were a bit of a challenge, but I kept working with it and they turned out fine.
I reused the old upholstery tacks because I liked the look of the aged ones. But these are readily available at craft and hardware stores.

I love how it turned out and that I was able to give a very old family piece new life!!

This was a bit time consuming, but a very inexpensive makeover, since I already had the plywood for the top, the pieces of foam and quilt batting and the french grainsack. I also used chalk paint I had on hand and reused the upholstery tacks.

I hope this vintage stool makeover has inspired you to pull out that old piece from your garage or attic and give it a makeover.


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13 thoughts on “Vintage Stool Makeover

  1. I really love the makeover and am planning to do the same with a chair of mine , now that I see how it’s done. I like the way the seat is kind of puffed up in the middle. Do you remember how thick the foam you used was? Thank you for sharing with us, this is so helpful!

    1. Thank you so much!!
      I think the foam was about 1″, then I used a double thickness of quilt batting on top of the foam.

  2. Michelle I am new to your blog! After you just left a comment on my brick floors post, I came over to check out your blog and I am SWOONING! I am going to be here for days… Love this little stool makeover so much.

    I would LOVE if you would link up your latest or favorite posts with us over at Thursday Favorite Things (Thursday-Sun): or All-About Home (Mon-Thurs.)

    I would be delighted to feature you!

    Nice to meet you, and thank you so much for stopping by my blog!

    1. Hey Amber, so glad you found me. And thanks so much for the kind words!!

      I would love to join you!!


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