Asked on Nov 14, 2015

Painting wood bar stools

Juli Albright
by Juli Albright
These stools are swivel stools, very solid and in very good shape. the only problem is, I'm tired of wood, wood everywhere. I would like to paint them in a cheerful color but I don't want to ruin them or have to repaint all the time. What are your suggestions? THANKS!
  22 answers
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Nov 14, 2015
    Ok so the first thing is do you know what kind of wood they are and the finish that is on them? Once that is determined you will have to strip the existing finish,prime the chairs ,paint and seal with a non yellowing sealer.
  • Jeanne Goplin Jeanne Goplin on Nov 15, 2015
    You don't have to go through the pain of stripping these chairs if you use chalk paint. This paint will adhere to any finish without stripping. There are many good brand names out there. Annie Sloan is a really great and easy to use paint that I've used. I've also found simple chalk paint recipes on Pinterest that worked as well as the higher priced paint. No secrets or skills needed to hand paint this on and then you can finish them with Minwax Wipe-on polyeurthane which comes in Gloss and Satin finishes. This poly is the easiest I've ever used and works great with doing the spindles on the chairs. I paint furniture for a living and you really can't go wrong with these two products.
  • Jonnie Hammon Jonnie Hammon on Nov 15, 2015
    Clean it well with TSP (trisodiomphosphate), or distilled vinegar, allow it to dry. Then lightly sand, clean with a tack cloth, then paint it with a bonding primer. When completely dry, paint it, preferably with an enamel paint. You can then add a couple of coats, of a non yellowing polyurethane, to add extra protection for the paint. Then enjoy your new stools.
  • Bernadette Bernadette on Nov 15, 2015
    Wipe them down, let them dry and use chalk paint. You will not believe how easy it is. Check out my website:
  • Jim Jim on Nov 15, 2015
    use caution not to get paint or stain on the bearings if these rotate.
  • Shawna geiler Shawna geiler on Nov 15, 2015
    Wipe them down with mineral spirits after you lighly sand them, just enough to rough em up, (sand n same direction of woodgrain), then wipe them down with minwax gel stain (home depot), they have variety of colors use a towel to wipe them too much gel stain will make them look painted, let dry at min 24hours, then wipe dwn again w spirits, n either spray poly or brush poly on for shining finish that is durable to any substance spilled on em, im a designer/painter over/business owner n trust me when I say U WILL LOVE FINISH PRODUCT
    • Louise Louise on Nov 15, 2015
      @Shawna geiler Could you post a photo of one of your finished products?
  • Nikki Nikki on Nov 15, 2015
    You can always wipe them down with liquid sandpaper deglosser it only takes a couple minutes and it will take all the shine off and prepare them for paint. Then you can use any type of paint you want... =)
  • Rebecca Suzan Osterberg Rebecca Suzan Osterberg on Nov 15, 2015
    If you don't want to repaint, ever, you probably need to strip all the finish off. However, you can get a really passable finish if you use a bonding, oil base primer, as others have suggested and follow with an oil based enamel in the finish you prefer; gloss, semi-gloss, etc. You can use a latex enamel after the oil based primer if you prefer, but we find the oil based paints adhere better and last longer.
  • Cathy C Cathy C on Nov 15, 2015
    you don't have to paint them at all to change their looks. You could create slip covers for the seats and maybe add a fabric curtain like valance to cover the legs. You could also take decorative colored ribbon to wrap the spindles with and maybe add some bows, and maybe add padded seat cover in your choice of colors. These type updates are easily changed as the season or your whim allows and doesn't require all the sanding and painting etc. It also allows you to retain the original finished wood in case you decide you want that look again in the future.
  • Anne Alexander Anne Alexander on Nov 15, 2015
    Are you looking to have a cottage or contemporary look? I love some of the new Spray paint colors and finishes... these are all good ideas for prepping the wood for paint or stain....looking forward to seeing your post after you have decided....
  • LD LD on Nov 15, 2015
    You may want to consider completely refinishing the chairs and stain with Minwax@Water Based Wood Stain, for they have 9 bold colors to choose from, and here is a link. Whether you stain or paint you will need to give your stain or paint a protective sealer in order to protect the finish for the long haul.
  • Cathy Kurpil Cathy Kurpil on Nov 15, 2015
    Spray paint them either metallic gold, silver, or copper and add some snazzy cushions!
  • Bron Bron on Nov 16, 2015
    It depends on the look you want. I have seen a set of chairs painted all different colors. Here are a couple of ideas from google I looked up. I think both look nice and can be adapted to bar stools.
  • Bron Bron on Nov 16, 2015
    I think Cathy's idea is good as well
  • Liliana Wells Liliana Wells on Nov 16, 2015
    This is one of the projects I found on HOmeTalk I typed "barstools" in the search box. There are several makeovers of barstools that may inspire you.
  • Diane Daughdrill Diane Daughdrill on Nov 16, 2015
    First find the look you want, then you can use chalk paint, spray paint or stain. If staining I would go with the General Finishes gel stain, it's easier to use than regular stain.
  • Rick Teeters Rick Teeters on Nov 16, 2015
    PAINTING OVER EXISTING FINISH To paint over an existing finish, there are a few things to consider. One is the overall condition of the original finish. Most factory finishes are done in lacquer and older finishes tend to lose their plasticity and get hairline cracks running through it. If this has happened to your piece or you have bare or worn spots, it may be worthwhile to go ahead and strip the old finish off. Otherwise the cracks will show up in the finished project. If your finish looks sound, Where you need to start is by removing all the hardware. Any parts that also come off, may make the job easier. Grab some naphtha or mineral spirits and some clean cloth rags, and wipe the whole piece down once or twice. This will remove any furniture polish or body oils that may still be present. If there is any organic matter left on it, you may have to use a damp rag to remove it before moving on to the next step. In order to provide the new finish tooth to adhere to, you will need to do some sanding with 400 grit wet or dry sandpaper. sand it until you have removed all traces of the original sheen. To get into some nooks and crevasses, a general purpose Maroon scotch-brite pad works well. Once you are done with the sanding, give it a good blowing off with compressed air (Wear your particle mask) or vacuum up the dust followed with a damp rag. With all the prep work done, give it a final wipe down with naphtha and let it dry for at least 30 minutes prior to applying your first coat of paint. Make sure you doing it in a dry dust free environment if you can. A tack rag is a very important finishing tool. Oil based finishes are going to be the most compatible to the lacquer, and hold up the best. They do require a paint thinner for cleanup instead of water. Make sure you follow the instructions on the can.
  • CS CS on Nov 16, 2015
    Did you ever end up painting your stools? I have identical ones and want to paint them too. But I'm nervous because they swivel and because I can't afford to ruin them.
  • Robert Cervantes Robert Cervantes on Nov 20, 2015
    If you want to spice it up a bit without damaging them too much you can try and spray some rubber coating on the legs and back spindles (every other spindle) your choice. The rubber coating will give you an idea of what it will look like painted and cause no damage to chair, plus if you dont like it you can peel it off with ease.
  • those legs are a pain to paint. For best results, use a sprayer. Or even a quality spray paint. I've done many chairs with a nice glossy spray enamel. Lots of colors to choose from. but you will have to prep them very well. do an all-over light sanding, wipe off and if any glossy varnish remains, either sand it off or apply a liquid sandpaper prior to painting. If using a spray, do many light coats, at least 3-4. Let dry well in between coats. If you get a drip, wait for it to dry and then sand it down. Don't try to fix it, or any mistake, while it's wet. This is the readers digest version of a how to....go to youTube and search how to use spray paint on wood furniture, if you have never painted. prepping and taping off is the hardest part and the most time consuming.
  • Country Design Home Country Design Home on Nov 21, 2015
    Hi! You really don't have to do all that prep work and stripping, Just rub them down with some steel wool to take the gloss off the finish. The new spray paints available at the big box stores are a primer and paint all in one and will adhere to most surfaces.(don't buy the 99 cent cans- those are pretty useless!) They are available in matte, satin and gloss finishes depending on the look you want. Also, Krylon makes a new spray chalk paint (I have only been able to find it at Michaels-but I use a coupon : ) that is amazing. Great coverage, very little splotchiness or droplets spraying. For chalk paint you will need a final finish- you can use a spray matte poly for a great finish. You will need a couple of light coats to cover them- work upside down first and then finish with the seats and legs in the upright position. Good luck!
  • Sherry Fram Sherry Fram on Nov 21, 2015
    Clean them really well and let dry, then spray paint with a primer and follow up with your favorite colored spray paint! They will look great!