Something Painted White

Bar Stools: How to go from Boring to Farmhouse Favorite!

Farmhouse Bar Stools Makeover

Tuesday is the day

I visit my mom each week.

She lives alone at 92 years old and enjoys our weekly visits.  Since it’s on my way home from Mom’s house, I often stop at my favorite thrift store, YAY!!!

I have quite a few pieces

in my home from that thrift store and yet I don’t even know the name of it. (I’ll check the next time I’m there)  🙂

One day as I was perusing the aisles of furniture stacked to the ceiling I noticed a couple of bar stools turned upside down on top of a very large armoire.  My first thought was, “Hey, I need a couple of bar stools”, so I pulled one down to have a look. 

Thrift Store Bar Stools. Found a set of 2 for $35.00 #thriftstorefinds

This is how she looked when I found her.

Other than really ugly fabric

on the seat it was in really good shape.  I sat on it and it was super sturdy…and then…I noticed the price tag…

$35 for the set!!!


Two for $35.00?

Two bar stools for $35.00 says to me, “You can make these work!”


Even the cashier was surprised by the good price.  I love it when I find a great deal on something I actually needed, (ok, wanted really bad, whatever).

Anyhow…before I even got home I knew what I wanted to do with these bar stools…help them find their inner Farmhouse.   So I did what any other diy’er would do….I went to Wal-mart and bought some inexpensive chalk paint, Waverly Inspirations Chalk Paint in Ivory.  By the looks of the bottle, it seemed to be pretty close to the color of my hutch and at such a great price I figured I’d give it a try.

I’m very happy with the results!

It went on nice and smooth…has great coverage…and the color was almost an exact match with my hutch!!!  WIN!!!

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

The first thing I did was give them a good wipe down with my Norwex Enviro cloth, it gets all the grease and grime off without using any chemicals.

Then I sat them at the bar to make sure they fit and I was super happy they did because as soon as I get them all Farmhouse’d up I can sit at the bar and talk to Dee while he cooks dinner for us.  He’s a keeper, you guys...he loves to cook!

Great Grandma called and wants her fabric back 😉

it’s hard to believe that this particular fabric was a hot item one day, but styles come and go and everyone has different tastes.  Fortunately…fabric can be changed…so I took off the seats and prepared to do just that.



Thrift store bar stool makeover. Upholstered seat recovered in Drop Cloth!

Time to cover this up!

Remember my motto??? Work Smarter, Not Harder!…

I decided not to remove the old fabric, I just covered it up with a layer of soft cotton and then the drop cloth fabric.  Easy Peasy!!!  I used my handy electric stapler for securing the fabric on the underside of the seat but unfortunately, I didn’t get a photo of that step…I get so into it that I forget until it’s too late.  (forehead slap!)

Thrift Store bar stool seat recovered in drop cloth fabric for a farmhouse look.

Seat recovered with drop cloth fabric.

Drop Cloths work great for curtains…

(I know because I have several) so why wouldn’t I use them for reupholstering seats?  I love drop-cloth fabric! The texture, the color, the price.…they are all perfect for me and since I have drop cloth curtains in my dining room these drop cloth bar stool seats will fit right in.

Even though I was going to use chalk paint…

I still gave the stools a light sanding, just to rough up the wood since it had a bit of a glossy sheen to it and then I started painting...with a brush!   It was a bit tricky on the slender legs and the dowel cross pieces but I prefer brushing to spraying any day!


Thrift Store Bar Stool painted with Waverly Chalk paint in Ivory for a Farmhouse look.

Bar Stool Makeover in Progress

After a couple coats of chalk paint I used Annie Sloan Clear Wax to seal them and get that wonderful sheen.


Thrift store bar stool painted with Waverly Chalk paint, seat recovered with drop cloth fabric.

Looks good…but not quite finished!

I love the transformation, however…

I wasn’t finished yet.  The stools looked much better but were not what I had pictured.  They needed to be more….well…farmhouse-y.  So I pulled out some sandpaper and gave them a light distressing….Much Better!!!! (Pay no attention to the zebra stripe footstool in the background of the photo…I plan to make a drop cloth cover for it…and the dogs don’t care what color it is as long as it’s there to make the jump to and from the couch a bit easier.  🙂


Light distressing with sandpaper. Chalk paint is very easy to distress by sanding.

Lightly Distressed

Chalk painted bar stool lightly distressed with sandpaper.

Chalk painted bar stool lightly distressed with sandpaper.

Now for the finishing touch…

Farmhouse Stripes…you know the ones…the same stripes on vintage grain sacks.  We have a huge blue rug in the family room so if there is an accent color to be used in this area of the house, blue it is.  Our dining and family rooms are pretty much one big room and I like to have it all tie together.

I’m not a perfectionist,

however, I did measure to find the middle of the seat and from there I just eyeballed it.  I used my green Frog Tape to tape off the larger center stripe, it’s mostly an inch wide…don’t look too closely.

Farmhouse stripe on bar stool seat covered with drop cloth fabric.

Then I used my Dunn Edwards paint in Nightfall which is the same color on the outside of my front door.  I had the paint already and it’s blue so I figured I’d just use what I had, however, I did buy some textile medium to mix with the paint so that it would adhere to the fabric and using a sponge brush, I just painted it on. I  didn’t want it to be perfect so I wasn’t concerned with making sure it was completely covered.

Farmhouse stripe on bar stool seat covered with drop cloth fabric.


Boring bar stool becomes farmhouse favorite with blue, grain sack stripes on drop cloth fabric. Painted with Waverly Chalk Paint

Looks good to me!


I removed the tape and let that stripe dry…

for a couple of hours before I taped off the smaller stripes on either side.  I didn’t want to take a chance on smudging the center stripe with the tape that I knew would have to be laid right over it.  Again, I eyeballed it, and painted the stripes on.  Once they were good and dry I gave the seats a couple coats of Scotch Guard.

After everything was good and dry I re-attached the seats and….Ta-Dah!!!!  Boring bar stools become Farmhouse favorites!  These bar stools are used every day…we sit on them, we put stuff on them…grandkids climb on them and eat sticky food on them and these farmhouse bar stools just sit there and take it.  WooHoo!!!  I’m so happy with how they turned out…and I love sitting on my new-to-me stools while Dee cooks dinner.  It’s pretty fabulous.  🙂

Boring Bar Stools become Farmhouse Favorite with chalk paint, drop cloth and grain sack stripes.


Boring Bar Stools become Farmhouse Favorite with chalk paint, drop cloth and grain sack stripes.

They look fabulous in my dining room and are a super close match to my Hutch.

I couldn’t be happier with these $35.00 thrift store bar stools.  I do enjoy visiting my mom….and hitting the thrift store after is always a bonus!


Thrift Store Bar Stools Makeover from Outdated to Farmhouse with Farmhouse Stripes

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Hi! I'm Cindy....wife, mom, Mimi (aka grandma) and home décor enthusiast. I love thrift stores, flea markets, yard sales and good junk!
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Hi! I'm Cindy...

….wife, mom, Mimi (aka grandma) and home décor enthusiast.

I love thrift stores, flea markets, yard sales and good junk! But I really don’t like spending a lot of money, which you probably figured out by where I like to shop.

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