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Before and After: How to Redo a Funky, Vintage Footstool

by on Nov 29, 2014

Brittni Mehlhoff

After snagging this footstool from an antique store for $22, I decided to completely overhaul it for a bedroom makeover. I thought it would be the perfect seating option for a vanity, with some updates. The end result is a vibrant piece that brings warmth and personality to the room. Here’s how I gave this small piece of furniture a big update.   

A yellow stool with a grey and white cushion on a white rug with grey square outlines and colorful designs in the squares.Sarahdipity Photos

Of course, you may not be able to find a stool exactly like the one pictured, but the basic steps are the same across the board. So here’s how you can refinish and reupholster a stool on a budget.

Scissors and other tools are shown with sandpaper.Brittni Mehlhoff


  • Spray Paint
  • Sandpaper
  • Scissors
  • Fabric in an Interesting Pattern
  • Staple Gun
  • Spray Sealant

"Funky, vintage footstool making steps with ropes and fabrics."Brittni Mehlhoff


1. Start by removing the fabric seat from the bottom. In my case, the upholstered pad was not attached (it just sits inside the lip of the stool), making it super easy to remove. If your pad is attached, you should be able to remove it by simply undoing a couple of screws.

2. Sand the base and wipe off any debris.

3. Next, spray the base with several coats of spray paint, letting the surface dry in between coats. Finish with a clear coat spray sealant. Let dry.

4. Moving onto the seat: The old fabric was really secure, so rather than removing it, I covered right over it. Cut a piece of fabric that is roughly 3 inches larger than your seat, all the way around, and begin stapling to the underside of seat. Since my fabric had a linear pattern, I needed to keep the fabric straight, so I stapled the fabric on opposite ends until it was complete (similar to how you would stretch a canvas over stretcher bars).

5. Once the fabric is stapled all the way around, cut off the excess fabric. Turn over and re-secure to the base.

Here’s how the finished stool looks in the new space.

"Stool is on the carpet."Sarahdipity Photos

"Well grown plants are placed and  yellow stool is also there."Sarahdipity Photos

"Living room with plants and table."Sarahdipity Photos

Styled room photographs by Sarahdipity Photo for Curbly

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  1. I found one of these stools for $5 at a re-store.  The fabric was worse than yours!  That part is gone, just waiting for inspiration to hit me and it will be re-done.  Yours is super cute!