How to Chalk Paint a Midcentury Modern Stool

2 Materials
4 Hours

After showing how to paint with chalk paint in a previous post, I wondered about how to chalk paint vinyl too! Turns out it’s pretty easy!

October is breast cancer awareness month and for each use of the hashtag, Dixie Belle Paint is donating $1 up to $5,000 to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

So we painted this stool in a gorgeous peony pink chalk paint to participate in the campaign for breast cancer research. Tomorrow, you’ll also see the mid century modern table we painted for the same campaign!

If you’re a visual learner, watch this video. You’ll learn how to paint vinyl, hand paint and spray paint mineral chalk paint and spray a satin clear coat.

MCM Stool Backstory

When Hubs purchased a sewing machine with an MCM table, I couldn’t wait to make it over for Breast Cancer Awareness month. But I really wanted to paint a sewing stool too and couldn’t find one in our area. Luckily Hubs was going to be travelling to St. Catherines and a quick check on marketplace found exactly what I was looking for close by that region! When I messaged the owner to tell her what I needed it for, she even offered it to me for free! How awesome is that?!

However, before I could get to the pretty, I had to deal with the ugly paint splatter. Unfortunately the vinyl seat was torn, so I ended up swapping it out for another one so we could show you how to paint the vinyl with chalk paint.

Before proceeding, clean the piece with a TSP cleaner such as White Lightning or soap and water if the piece is well sealed.

Remove the splatter with a blade as shown.

I found splatter colours that I have plans to paint with, like this peacock blue (you’ll see that in an upcoming post)!

After scraping, take a piece of 320 grit sandpaper and lightly smooth any remaining drip residue and give the wood a scuff sand.

Wipe away the sanding dust; Hubs also uses a blower to blow the dust out of all the crevices.

Although I’m not using this particular vinyl seat because of the tear, I am going to reupholster it one day, so I go ahead and strip off the vinyl and set it aside for a future project.

Wash the vinyl with soap and water, rinse well and dry.

You may recall the Union Jack I painted on another stool. I’m curious to know how Dixie Belle mineral chalk paint does with a challenging surface like vinyl too, so here we go!

Once again, I’m working with my piece on top of a lazy Susan. This allows me to easily rotate as I tape my pattern!

I’m taping a simple diamond pattern. First, mark the middle of each side and use my ruler trick to get a perfectly straight line to guide the tape.

Tape can stretch if you just go from point-to-point and you’ll end up with wavy lines – not something you want on an mid century modern sewing stool!

Then mark the intersecting lines with a pencil and cut out the points.

However, don’t use a hobby knife to cut – you’ll cut into the vinyl! Carefully lift the tape and cut with scissors.

Just about ready to paint! But first, I’m going to cover the lazy Susan with some paper to catch drips and keep the surface clean!

Tip: I also put these paint pyramids underneath the stool.

The paint pyramids raise the seat above the lazy Susan so I can paint right to the edges!

Apply Chalk Paint

Cover the centre section of the vinyl with freezer paper if you’re not confident you can keep paint out of that area.

You can spray or brush. I choose to brush this time because that’s what I did with my last sewing stool and I want to compare.

Apply two light coats of Dixie Belle’s Driftwood Grey with a brush. Use a water mister to spray your brush occasionally to move the paint around. I like a mini angle brush for this.

Tip: offload most of the paint in the middle of the area you’re painting (1). Then brush from the tape into the area just painted (2). If you paint toward the tape line, you run the risk of pushing paint under the edge and getting paint bleed through.

After two coats, it looks like this:

Peel the Tape

After the second coat, I peel the tape after half an hour. When you remove the tape, peel it toward you at a 45 degree angle as shown. This will prevent any paint from lifting.

Look at how crisp and clean those lines are!

Paint Sewing Stool

Before painting the wood on the sewing stool, I apply a coat of Dixie Belle BOSS. I always worry about paint bleed with these older pieces and a coat of BOSS is insurance against paint bleed ruining my work. BOSS comes in white, grey and clear. Here, I’m using clear. I let it dry 24 hours overnight.

Note about primer: in retrospect, when painting with a pink colour paint, you will get better coverage if you start with a grey primer so I would recommend grey BOSS instead of the clear I used. That will save you having to paint multiple coats of pink chalk paint.

Now I’ll paint the stool in Peony chalk mineral paint. Again I’m brushing it on with the mini angle brush.

Start by flipping the stool upside down and taping around the brass tips. To apply paint to the legs, I brush horizontally in sections, then smooth it out with long vertical strokes. That will ensure that you don’t miss any spots on the rounded legs.

The lazy Susan is indispensable for rotating the work and getting at all the angles of the stool! Two legs done with the first coat!

Once the legs are complete, carefully flip the stool right side up and finish painting around the top.

After two light coats of pink, I can still see the brown coming through so have to paint a 3rd coat. That’s where a grey primer would have come in handy.

Apply Gemstone Mousse

In a previous post, we showed you how to clean brass hardware (you can find that on our blog by clicking the link below where you see our logo). However, I wanted to show you another method on the brass tips of the legs. I’m using this product from Dixie Belle called Gemstone Mousse in the colour Golden Gem.

Normally you would stir the product to mix it well to a mousse consistency. However, all I want to do is blend out the blotchiness you see below but keep the patina.

So after shaking the mousse, dip a makeup sponge into the lid to pick up a little of the mousse and then apply it in a swirling motion.

Then I take my finger tip and swirl it once again to blend it to an even consistency on the metal. Since the product is water based and eco friendly, it just washes right off so no need to worry about becoming a ‘Goldfinger’ :).

Now the leg tip looks more even but still has that rich patina I love on old brass. The mousse will be dry in 30 minutes and fully cure in 24 hours.

Clear Coat

Once Dixie Belle Chalk Mineral Paint has cured, after 30 days, it is durable just the way it is. You can paint and be done with it if you like the look. However, I did clear coat the mid century modern table that goes with this stool and clear coating the pink with bring out the vibrancy and add a soft sheen which I really like.

You can brush the clear coat or spray (watch the video for how to spray it). To start, slightly dampen the brush and apply a thin coat. Do not work the brush back and forth – lay down one stroke and move on. Once dry in an hour, you can come back and do a second thin coat which will even out any inconsistency.

Now this MCM stool is looking pretty in pink and benefitting breast cancer research!

Stay tuned to see the mid century modern sewing table that goes with it! Or browse our chalk paint ideas here.

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Suggested materials:
  • Chalk Mineral Paint   (
  • Mini angle brush   (
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