From Unsalvageable to Unbeatable: $30 Barstool Makeover

About 2 weeks ago, my 2 lovely little girls put two great big holes through the seats of my 2 bar stools.  In their defense, the wicker on the seats was weathered and brittle. Of course, I didn’t realize they had broken them When I sat down on one, it broke the rest of the way through…

I didn’t want to buy new stools at this moment. It’s not really high on my priority list. But I did want bar stools. So, I knew I’d just have to find a way to doctor up the old ones. The seats had to be completely replaced (after the messy job of ripping off all of the wicker). Then the stools had to be painted (using Rustoleum metallic spray paint) before attaching the seats. Although I don’t have any before pictures, I thought I’d let you guys see the final result. Just imagine really weathered brown and black chairs with the wicker broken through in the seats and maybe you’ll be able to “see” a difference.  🙂


In order to make cushions, I first cut out two pieces of 2 inch upholstery foam into a U shape (one for each chair). Then I used the foam cut=outs as a guide to draw a bottom for the chair on a piece of plywood. The bottoms were cut using a jig-saw. After both pieces were cut, I hot glued the cushions onto the plywood. The fabric was cut into a larger U shape with enough room around the edges to be folded over the cushion. Using a staple gun, I stapled the fabric to the bottom of the wood. (Need some pictures of the covering process? Check out this post.) To connect the seats to the chair, I drilled a 3 holes through the metal frame that runs around the seat and screwed the seat down from the bottom (through the drilled hole in the metal frame and then into the wood of the seat).

This whole project cost around $30 (which is a LOT cheaper than it would have been to buy two new bar stools). It took some time, but it was totally worth it! I even got to customize the stools to match our table chairs!

The new chair

So I guess the moral of the post is that you should never consider a piece “un-salvageable” if you have the time and patience to show it some TLC. I really never thought that those old ratty, broken bar stools would ever look acceptable again. And yet, they look almost new and add a unique, colorful punch to our bar! Lesson learned!

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