The Worn, Torn and Ugly Transformed Into The Bold and the Beautiful

4 Materials
8 Hours

Watch how I turn these free, terribly worn and torn barstools into something you want to jazz up your eating experience!
I have great friends that look after me and know I like to transform furniture in my "free time." I say that in quotes because when you have four kids and three of them 4 years and younger, there isn't a whole lot of that "free time" to spare. They dropped these bar-stools off to me when their work were going to dump these. He said, "I know someone that could use those."
I started off my DIYing with upholstery which transitioned into painting and now I am learning I can do even more. It is fun for me to learn new things and I love to learn them and try them out and so I can pass them along for others to try.
Here is one of those projects...
Tools and materials I used were:
Needle-nose pliersflat head screwdriverBlue Velvet fabric Staple GunHot glue funFabric gun sticks
I have reupholstered bar-stools before but nothing where I had to change out the back rest. An easy seat change out is what I was use to and so when these free bar-stools came, they sat in my garage for a long time (several months) before I could get the courage to try it. I will tell you, I almost gave up because getting the nail-head trim out of the base and backrest were quite the challenge. Once I got them off, it took me a few days, a couple hours each time, it was a little easier from there...almost. There were staples underneath the seat that held the fabric on even tighter that, again, were a major challenge to get free. Once I was able to strip the fabric off, using my needle-nose pliers and a flat head screw driver to pry the nail head and staples, it was a little more smooth sailing.
I decided to paint the legs since the stain was chipped, scratched, and dented in some areas. I used some white chalk paint left over in my DIY drawer. What I love about chalk paint is that you do not have to sand or prime whatever you are painting. All you need to do is wipe off any dust with a damp rag.
When you reupholster you have to remember what you took off first. Whatever you take off first is what you will replace last. So last thing off is the first thing on! In my case, the bar-stool back had two pieces, the front and a back. The nail-head covered the trim on the seam in the front. I had broken a few of the nail-heads when I was removing them so I decided on a different option to cover my seam.
You wrap your fabric and staple it down. Be sure to pull your fabric tight before you staple so you avoid wrinkles.
The seat was the easiest because it was one piece that just needed to be pulled tight and stapled underneath. I decided on this blue velvet -isn't it such a pretty color??
Almost done! Remember when I said the nail-head covered the seams on the front of the backrest? Well, here was my can see the staples and I didn't have enough nail-head to cover because quite a few had broken and frankly, they were a pain enough to take out I figured they would be just as big as a pain to nail in.
I decided to get some trim and just using fabric glue sticks and a hot glue gun and just glue on a trim piece to cover my mistake.
Here is the finished product! The only things I had to purchase were a couple yards of fabric and a few yards of trim. I used paint I already had tools around my house to get the fabric off and stapled back on. It really just cost me time. It was a pain to get those nail-heads off but once I got them off it wasn't too bad.
Before and After. Let me know if you try your hand at reupholstering! I would to see what you are working on!
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Have a question about this project?

2 questions
  • Mary Porod
    Mary Porod
    on Jan 20, 2020

    Did you replace the batting? I have a reupholstering project I want to try this summer. It’s a really old ottoman with nailhead trim. I like the idea of covering the staples with fabric trim instead of replacing the nails. Your project is very helpful!

    • Emilie DeWolf
      Emilie DeWolf
      on Jan 28, 2020

      Did a Love Seat a few years ago..working on a Wing Back chair n a couple of antique

      Love that blue velvet you used on your bar stools.💖

  • Lisa West
    Lisa West
    on Jan 27, 2020

    Looks great. Where are you using them?. Thanknuou for sharing.

    • Within the Home
      Within the Home
      on Jan 28, 2020

      I was planning on selling them. My island seats 6 and I already have barstools so right now these are just sitting in my garage...I was more curious to see if I could recover them.

Join the conversation

3 of 18 comments
  • Diane
    on Oct 10, 2020

    • Jan
      on Oct 10, 2020

      I did this with 4 dining room chairs. The seatds wre all i had to cover. took off old fabric, and becauise they were so old, took off the foam covering and replaced it. Then took the fabric i picked up ( that wasn't even supposed to be for repolstering) and covered then, stretching the fabric over the new foam pieces, which were already tacked and in place. Turned chair over and cut away the extra pieces of fabric and then got some filament fabric and covered the whole bottom wand secured all with a staple gun. Doing this professionally for 4 chairs would have cost me $100.00/chair...the uphostery workman told me. It's cost for DYI, was about $15.00 for all fabric used, and new foam. (these were originally black leather-like chair seats!

  • Cheryl
    on Oct 10, 2020

    Really nice job! They look so great and unique.

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