Three Legged Stool Makeover: Paint and Stain Combo With Dipped Legs

3 Materials
2 Hours

This little stool has a fun story behind it. My Grandparents’ were wood workers and made and sold lots of these along with many other pieces of furniture. One of my neighbors is an avid follower of my blog and felt she simply had to return it to me so this milking stool came home after being gone for over 30 years!

First a total Sandin

First a total Sanding

I have done absolutely NOTHING to this stool since my neighbor dropped it off. It makes a great seat in my master bathroom but what I normally use it for is a spot to set a glass of wine while I’m soaking!

My grandparents were really into polyurethane.

Staining the top

They may not completely understand but I am so TOTALLY OVER IT. Eventually every piece, whether made by my grandparents or otherwise, that remains in my possession that is this sticky honey yellow gym floor color I will eventually change.

I can’t help it. I can’t stand it.

Painting the Stool and then Dipping

So, I got to thinking about this stool mostly because I’ve been seeing a lot of dipped chair and stool legs lately in the DIY blogger community and I’ve been loving it.

By “dipping” I mean exactly what it sounds like, the legs are dipped in a different color paint than what the piece is painted out in giving the stool little booties. I thought I would try it here.

Firstly though, I had some work to do.

I sanded the whole piece down lightly and than sanded the top down to completely bare, ready-to-stain wood. I stained it in my fav Dark Walnut by Minwax – the same stain I used on my floors.

Then I painted out the base of the stool (several coats) in Sooty Lashes by Valspar, the same paint I used on the walls  on my whole master floor.

Adding the Decal and the Sealant

From there it was time to dip!

I marked four inches up on each leg and VERY CAREFULLY dipped each foot in up to the line in a gallon of semi gloss white paint. I held the stool for AWHILE above the can and let it drip and drip and drip.

Could I have just taped off each leg and hand painted it? Of course I could have but this was more fun and WAY easier and much faster! I love that my stool has little white boots!

Lovely completion

It was so darned cute at this point but it still felt like there was something missing to me.

I headed to Amazon to find a stencil or a decal to put on the top of it and I found this pretty white flower for less than $5.

I think it made the perfect addition – it stands out against the dark stained top and ties into the white on the legs.

After a couple of coats of polycrylic my little stool proved, once again, why I am always so glad to choose to stain wood instead of painting it. The sealant brought out all the richness and beauty of the wood!

It works wonderful by the tub!

I think it turned out just adorable.In  my last post about this master bathroom I had done a refresh by adding a shelf, some of my own custom canvas prints and a few other things to update the space.

Since then though I’ve realized how much I like COLOR and I think this bathroom has more life now than ever!

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


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2 of 14 comments
  • DonnaW
    on Mar 22, 2020

    This is a good project. I have a stool that I was thinking about repainting and making a plant stand out of it but this seem like a better idea.

  • Darla Catlin
    on Mar 30, 2020

    I love this. We have had an old worn and dirty stool in the garage for years. I’m gonna clean it up and pretty it up. It will soon be in the house once I bring it back to life. Great job. Thank you for the idea

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