ReStories: Recycled, Reupholstered Stool

August 13, 2019

Upcycling an old stool into a statement piece is as easy as…


  • 1 stool
  • 2-3 cans of spray paint (depending on size)
  • Masking tape (or painter’s tape)
  • 1 burlap sack
  • Scissors
  • Pliers (needle-nosed are best)
  • Staple gun
  • Reupholstering staples
  • Cardboard (or newspaper)


  1. Begin removing any upholstery on the stool by flipping it over so the cushion is facing down. Using pliers (needle-nosed are best), begin pulling out staples to detach the fabric. You may find several layers of fabric (we had three!).
  2. Cover the areas that you don’t want to spray paint with masking tape. Make sure the tape is secure so the spray paint doesn’t seep through the tape.
  3. Shake can of spray paint for 1-2 minutes. From a distance of 8-10 inches, lightly coat the non-taped portions using a sweeping motion. Let dry.
  4. Repeat Step 3 for a second coat.**You may have to repeat Step 3 for several coats depending on the color of your stool and how well it absorbs the paint. Painting the dark legs white took many layers for thorough coverage.
  5. Remove tape from stool and let dry.
  6. With the stool upside-down on the “wrong side” of the burlap sack, trace the diameter of the stool cushion onto the burlap sack. Try to center the stool so that the desired design will overlap the cushion.
  7. Using scissors, cut a large circle several inches larger than the traced circle, allowing for extra fabric on all sides for tucking the fabric under.
  8. With the stool still upside-down on the wrong side of the fabric, begin folding the excess fabric around to the underside of the stool. Using the staple gun loaded with upholstering staples, secure the burlap to the stool. *Optional: fold over a 1 inch hem with the burlap underneath the stool before stapling to create a smoother underside, and to prevent the burlap from fraying.
  9. Repeat Step 8 around, making sure to pleat the fabric to create smooth folds, and use the scissors to trim excess fabric underneath.

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