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Bar Stool Makeover - From Modern to Rustic Industrial

How to give new life to old bar stools

Thanks so much for all your sweet comments on the kitchen island makeover. I really like the new color, so bright.
However, like in most updates, the domino effect has just started. Yeah. You know what I'm talking about, you change a single thing in one room, and then somehow many other things begin screaming for change. :/

The picture below is how the island and the stools looked before. It's hard to imagine almost five years have passed since that update! At the time I was going for a modern look, using lots of black and white items and of course, modern-looking furniture. 

I remember buying this set of stools because they were very cheap (the kitchen reno had taken all the savings) and because my kids really wanted to have stools where they could go round and round and up and down. For less than $70/pair, I got them at Amazon -a good price, and hey, they still function very well.

BM Tudor Brown kitchen island with pair of Winsome wood air lift adjustable stools

But, boy oh boy, my taste has changed, thanks in part to the many blogs I follow. ;)
When I placed the modern stools in front of my newly painted island they didn't go too well.

I brought the other set of stools I have, the coffee-painted bar stools, they looked much better but still not quite right.
duck egg blue kitchen island and coffee graphics painted set of bar stools

That's when I decided to change the style on those modern bar stools, and this is how it all went:

Using the round top of the stools as a template (12" diameter), two circles were traced on a piece of plywood. You can use a jig-saw to cut the circles out, I used my Rockwell BladeRunner.
DIY -kitchen stool seat

The thickness and look of the plywood were not what I was going for (by the way it's not even plywood is a remnant piece of the underlayment I bought for the kitchen organization project HERE), I wanted the stools to have a thick round seat.

I got 1 x 5 and 1 x 6 pine and poplar pieces from my scrap pile, they were cut to size...
Pine and poplar used for bar stool seat

And the plywood circles were brought, placed on top of each set of boards, and traced around.
tracing circle on wood

Then, using the Kreg Jig, pocket holes were done to screw the pieces together, and use glue in between the boards.
Kreg Jig pocket holes

After cutting out the new set, both circles were glued together and five - 1¼" screws were driven from the bottom up.
using gorilla wood on wooden projects

Sanding is a necessity, you can see the difference.
DIY bar stool seats

Even though Thompson's WaterSeal Wood Stain- spray is recommended for outdoor projects, I just love it for everything wood! Beautiful mahogany color with just two coats.
Mahogany stain - spray

The metal part or base was sanded and spray painted with Rust-Oleum Hammered -Brown and the connecting pieces were spray painted black.
sanding metal parts of bar stools before spray painting it.

 After distressing the wood, this is how they show that old industrial look.
how to add a wooden seat to a bar stool

Rustic Industrial bar stool

Little specks were added to the metal part with the black spray paint.
how to spray paint a metal bar stool.

I'll keep you posted on how the paint holds, especially on the footrests.
DIY Makeover bar stools from modern to rustic industrial

I think this new set goes way better with the kitchen island, don't you agree?
ASCP duck egg blue kitchen island with rustic industrial bar stools.

Hmmm,  stay tuned because there's still more to the domino effect. ;)

How to give new life to old bar stools

a set of modern stools is given a makeover

Some related posts you might like:

how to add a coffee design to bar stools

How to glaze kitchen cabinets to give them an old look.

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  1. These turned out amazing! I love that the wood is nice and thick. Really adds to the stools!

    1. Thanks Karen! The wood is much better than the previous plastic "leather" seat!

  2. They look fantastic - I love them

  3. Cristina - these look AMAZING! Just love that transformation! :) Linda

  4. Guauuuuu yo tengo esas mismas sillas !! Me encanta el carácter industrial que le diste con ese cambio de cubierta y ese café opaco en la base

    1. De verdad?! Bueno, ya sabes como cambiarlas si algun dia te cansas de ese estilo moderno! ;)
      Un abrazo amiga!

  5. They looked great before, but the new style is amazing and goes great with your island. I can't believe you transformed those so dramatically. You've got some skills!

  6. They truly look amazing up against the new island color. Great idea!! You are so inspiring.

  7. wow they look great! I invite you to share at my Thursday hop ( you can link up through Sat midnight) Hugs! P.S. don't forget to enter my new giveaway.

  8. i agree that this goes better with your kitchen island! you always make it look super easy cristina!


  9. Amazing transformation, Christina! and I absolutely love the new color of your kitchen island! Gorgeous!

  10. These look fantastic! ;)
    Lynn @ Riggstown Road

  11. Oh I love love love these bar stools. You did an amazing job!!!!

  12. Contemplating a makeover of our own barstools, to get rid of the tired chrome. Has the paint held up ok? These looks amazing.

  13. Great inspiration for my next project! How did the paint job hold up afterwards?

    1. it peeled off on the lower part, up/down mechanism. I'm still using them.

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