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

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

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.    

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.


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


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.

Styled room photographs by Sarahdipity Photo for Curbly

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Cynthia on Jun 09, 2015:

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!

Brittni Mehlhoff on Dec 11, 2014:

Hi Kristen. It's from West Elm.

Emily on Nov 30, 2014:

Love the color combo! Ditto on the rug.

Kirsten on Nov 29, 2014:

Any info on that rug in the photos? I love it!

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