Do It Yourself Stool Reupholstery

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I have had this darling old stool that was given to me by my sweet Granny.  It’s needed some TLC.  When a friend asked me to refinish her piece as well I decided it was time to attack both.  Look at these things – so much history and so much love needed up on them!

Do you have pieces that need some TLC?  It’s not as hard as you think!  Check out my 60 second video tutorial on Reupholstering Stools to get the quick version, then follow along and create your own masterpiece!

Supplies Needed:

  • Fabric (I purchased mine at Joann Fabric with my 40% off coupon)
  • Fabric Trim
  • Glue Gun and Glue
  • Foam (if you want to replace the existing foam)
  • Paint or Stain
  • Painters Tape
  • Lint Roller

Tools Needed:

  • Staple Gun and Staples
  • Flathead Screwdriver
  • Needle-nose Pliers
  • Iron


Step One: Prep For Painting

If you would like to stain your wood – sand and re-stain it.  If you would like to paint it, I recommend Spray Chalk Paint.  It’s so wonderful!  I have an entire blog post on it here.  For the quick version, stay put.

Grab your painters tape and cover up what you do not want painted.

Then you will wash down your wood to make sure it is clean from residue.

Once it is dry, move on to the next step.


Step Two: Paint It!

I used Rust-oleum Spray Chalk Paint from The Home Depot.  Loved it.  You can purchase it here by searching Rustoleum Spray Chalk Paint (we use affiliate links with companies that we use ourselves to make your lives easier!).

Super easy to use and dries fast.  I used their Matte Clear for my protective layer.


You will need to start with one light coat.  Keep it 8-10 inches away or you will create drips.  Add as many layers as you need.

Once dry you can remove your painters tape.


Step Three: Take Off Upholstry

You will use your flathead screwdriver to loosen the previous nails or staples.  Gently get under the edging and lift up.  Once it loosens enough you can get your needle-nose pliers on to the staple or nail to grab it and yank it out.   For my friends stool I needed to take the whole top off to work on the upholstery.


For my other project it was just a matter of taking off the fabric.


The projects I was working on still had great foam left, so I kept it.  FOAM IS SO EXPENSIVE!  So if you can salvage yours I would do it.  If you want to buy fresh foam, you will have to cut it to match your project.  THE BEST tool for this is a meat cutter – the gals at Joann Fabrics taught me this!



Step Four:  Prep Your New Fabric

You will want to cut your material to match the old piece.  A great way is just to trace it.  Once it is cut you will want to iron it and take a lint roller to remove any excess fuzz from the inside side before it’s attached.



Step Five:  Reupholster

Now, place your fabric down on a CLEAN surface, the inside facing up.   Then lay your stool evenly upon that.   Make sure the fabric is pulled tight and even as you staple.  I usually start in the middle on one side and work out toward the edges.


Make sure you are creating an even edge.  I will fold over my material to make a seem that does not unravel as well.


You have to take special care around the corners.  I often will have to unpick my staples and try again!  Thank goodness for flathead screwdrivers and needle-nose pliers!



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Step Six: Cover Them Staples!

The staples are NOT CUTE and need to be hidden.  I asked my friend in California who owns her own reupholstery shop what to do and she said “HOT GLUE GUN BABY”.  I am sure there are many different ways to do this, but I took her advice and have used it ever since.

I start on one end and only glue a few inches at a time so I can make sure I am even on my placement.

I needed additional edging to cover my nails.  So I just added a thinner piece on top of the first edging.




Then you are all done!  Yippee!  I did spray mine with fabric protector to keep it as clean as possible.  You can order this cheap off of Amazon.




Let us know how yours turns out!



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