This little bench/footstool was an $8 Goodwill find. I've been searching for one for a while now, so I was more than excited when I found it. Of course I couldn't let some other project crazy woman snatch it up while I went up to the counter & told them I wanted a piece of furniture (like you're supposed to do..), so.. I just piled that thing on top of my cart and walked tip-toed (to see over it) around the store to do the rest of my shopping. But anyway, on to the real exciting part- ripping & stripping! ;)
This thing was old. And whoever owned it liked animals way too much.
This fabric on the underbelly was nasty.. check out the pet fur.
So, of course, we took care of that!
STEP 1: Rip. If you can, that is. If you can pull the upholstery staples out by just tugging on the fabric, wahoo for you! I couldn't on that flimsy grey stuff so I used a flat head screwdriver & needle-nose pliers (thanks for teaching me about tools, dad- at least I kinda sound like I know what I'm doing).
STEP 2: Check 'er out. The padding/batting that is. Mine was still in good shape, so I didn't have to replace it. Score. I kept the fabric on it for the next step to protect it, but I did fold the corners down so that I could get up close & personal with the legs.. tee hee..
STEP 3: Strip It. This was my first experience with a stripper (gosh. The inuendos in this post just keep popping up. I swear I didn't plan this. Ignore them.. or just laugh. :) ). My advice is to leave it on a little longer than the can reccommends & apply a thick coat- just in case. I ended up applying stripper twice to get the thick varnish & stain off these legs. I probably would have been fine if I'd just left a hefty coat on for 1-2 hrs. the first time. You can tell when it's working by the bubbles:
STEP 3a: It says you're supposed to use a plastic scraping tool initially to get the old stuff off. So brilliant me.. I grab the hubby's windshield ice scraper! So if you're feeling a little red-neck and don't have the proper tools sitting around.. improvise! :)
Improvisation Part 2: If you don't have the proper stripping scrubber thing, a kitchen sponge dunked in paint thinner will work.
STEP 3b: Sand. Just in case there's any finish left over, sand it down with a medium, and then fine grit sandpaper. Once it's to your liking, wipe the dust off with a damp cloth. Don't proceed to the next step until the wood is fully dry. *By this point, you'll be super glad you left the old fabric over the batting.*
STEP 4: Stain. Apply your stain of choice. I used Minwax's Red Mahogany. I like using two foam brushes to stain. One to brush the stain on, and one to wipe any exess off. You can use a cloth, but make sure it's lint-free- you don't want any fuzzy stuble on those legs. Your stool will look just about as good with it as us ladies do (which is not too good, in case you've never known).
STEP 5: Poly. I love using Minwax's wipe-on poly in a satin finish. Shiny, but not reflect-your-face shiny. I used cheesecloth to apply it. Make sure you're wearing some disposable gloves to do this- poly is s.t.i.c.k.y. once it starts to dry!!
Once you've let your poly dry for a good 2-3 hrs., pull that fabric off!
STEP 6: Upholster. I chose a light colored linen for this project. Lay your fabric out on the floor & put the stool upside down on top of it. Cut about a 4-5 inch margin around, depending on how thick your cushion is. Start by stapling 1-2 times on each of the 4 sides. Then gradually add a few staples on each side, making sure the fabric stays tight and straight. Staple right up til about an inch from the legs. To do my corners, I made two small folds and tucked the edge under. You'll probably want to trim the fabric down so you're not tucking too much back under.
I also trimmed the fabric all the way around. Then, I tucked it under & stapled (about 3 in. apart) it to the inner edge of the wood. If you want, you can add another fabric like that nasty original grey one to the underside. I opted not to.
Once you're done upholstering it should look something like this.
STEP 7: Embellish. (Shout out, Christy!) I was super excited about using nailhead trim on this project. Somehow I forgot to take any action shots of this step, but it's super easy, so I'm sure you'll get it just fine. I started in the middle of the curved-in side (because that side would be facing the footboard of our bed, where no one would see it).
The trim is made up of a string of faux nailheads, and every so often one has a little hole that you poke a real nailhead through & hammer (with a rubber mallet) into the wood to secure it. See?
It makes the corners look much better!
Once you've finished with this step, you're done!! I'm pretty happy with the results, and mine looks just great in our bedroom. This was step two in a Master Bedroom Revamp I'm almost finished with. Stay tuned to see the rest of the projects & the final product this week!
And just because we all love a good before & after-