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DIY Bronze Dipped Bar Stool Makeover

Alrighty friends, I am super excited to share this post with you all because it’s my first before-and-after furniture project!  Wahoo!  Who doesn’t love some upcycling amazingness??

Way back in 2006, we bought a couple bar stools for dirt cheap from Garden Ridge.  I can’t remember the exact price but I know it couldn’t have been much (probably $15 tops).  My husband (then-boyfriend) had just gotten out of the Army and moved across Kentucky from Fort Campbell to Lexington and I was still in college in NKY….so, needless to say, we had no money to spend on luxuries like fancy furniture!

DIY Bronze Dipped Bar Stool Makeover | Where The Smiles Have Been

We knew these stools were ugly and blah (I mean, just look at them), but since the price was right, we snatched them up.  They’ve held position at the breakfast bars at all three of our homes since then, and are still just as ugly and blah as they were nine years ago (I can’t believe we’ve allowed such ugliness to remain in our home this long!).

Just the other day, however, I had finally had enough of their ugliness and decided it was NOW time to give them a serious makeover.  Some spray paint and a weekend should do the trick!

 

DIY Bronze Dipped Bar Stool Makeover

Supplies

Here’s what I used for this makeover:

  • Two bar stools
  • Sand paper
  • White spray paint
  • Bronze spray paint
  • Painter’s tape
  • Four garbage bags
  • Furniture wax
  • Rag
  • Polycrylic
  • Two paint brushes (one for the wax, one for the poly)

 

Before Pictures

Here is our current breakfast bar area.  As you can see, our kitchen and adjacent dining room are neutral tones with lots of browns.  We have NO other black furniture, so these guys stuck out like ugly sore thumbs.  Plus, they seem to really darken up the whole area….no bueno.

{And no, our counter is *never* this clean….I tidied up for these shots!  There’s usually some junk piled up on the floor, too.  Ha!  Y’all have already seen my disaster area of a craft “room”!} ;)

DIY Bronze Dipped Bar Stool Makeover | Where The Smiles Have Been

DIY Bronze Dipped Bar Stool Makeover | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

Not only does the black not coordinate with the rest of our home, but the seats are a plain, honey oak, builder-grade shade of boring, and they’re also all nicked and scratched up….definitely not attractive.

DIY Bronze Dipped Bar Stool Makeover | Where The Smiles Have Been

Prepping for the Makeover

I first took the stools outside and gave them a light sanding, just to remove the shiny top coat as well as any grime that had accumulated over the years.  I then gave them a quick wipe down with a damp cloth to clean up all the dust.

DIY Bronze Dipped Bar Stool Makeover | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

White Spray Paint

Next, it was time to start painting!  I gave the stools a few coats of some combination white spray paint & primer (I always keep this stuff on hand).  For one of the coats, I flipped the stools upside down to make sure all areas got covered, especially underneath the crossbars.

Also, I only did one light coat on the seat as well as the bottom sections of all the legs….those were going to get covered in the bronze paint soon.

DIY Bronze Dipped Bar Stool Makeover | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

Prepping for Bronze Spray Paint

Once the paint was dry, I then taped off each of the legs with some painter’s tape to create a nice, sharp edge for the bronze paint that was coming next.

DIY Bronze Dipped Bar Stool Makeover | Where The Smiles Have Been

I also covered each stool with two garbage bags to prevent the bronze paint from being sprayed over the parts I wanted to keep white.  I then added some more painter’s tape around where the legs exited from the garbage bags just to be extra safe….rogue spray paint makes me nervous!

DIY Bronze Dipped Bar Stool Makeover | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

Bronze Spray Paint

Next, I used some metallic bronze spray paint & primer in one and started covering all eight legs.  It took three coats to get a nice even coating.

DIY Bronze Dipped Bar Stool Makeover | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

Once the paint was dry, I removed the painter’s tape and garbage bags….and hooray for crisp paint lines and no spray mishaps!

DIY Bronze Dipped Bar Stool Makeover | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

I then flipped the stools over and added some painter’s tape to the top of each leg (once again, just to protect the white paint).  Then I wrapped the stools up with the clean(er) garbage bags and gave the seats a few coats of the bronze paint.

DIY Bronze Dipped Bar Stool Makeover | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

Adding Some Furniture Wax

Now, when I started this project, I did NOT plan on doing this step. However, once I brought the stools back inside, the white paint looked a little too bright and did not coordinate well with our baseboards. I guess that’s what I get for using paint that I already had on-hand instead of buying the *perfect* shade! Oh well…just a tiny hiccup.

I then remembered that I had some furniture wax (Maison Blanche Antique Wax in Light Brown) left over from when I upcycled our coffee table and two side tables at the end of 2013 (waaaay before I ever thought of starting this blog).

This light brown shade would be perfect for toning down the whiteness just enough.

DIY Bronze Dipped Bar Stool Makeover | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

I set the stools up in our dining/craft room and started waxing.  This wax couldn’t be easier to work with, and the best part is that you don’t need a special (a.k.a. super expensive) brush to apply it.  All you need is a regular paint brush and a rag for buffing.

I just haphazardly brushed on a layer of wax over the white paint and let it dry for about an hour (I didn’t mean to leave it on that long but I got side-tracked with prepping our Super Bowl snacks!).  In the pic below (which is pre-buffing out), you can really see how the wax subtly tones down the paint with a sheer brown coating.

DIY Bronze Dipped Bar Stool Makeover | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

Then I used a clean rag and buffed off the excess wax….and I was left with a not-so-blinding softer shade of white!

 

Sealing with Polycrylic

The last step of my makeover was sealing the paint and wax.  Each stool received a few coats of polycrylic to seal and protect the paint.

DIY Bronze Dipped Bar Stool Makeover | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

Side Note: This polycrylic is not only great at sealing furniture, frames, and other home decor items (like our family growth chart ruler), but it also makes the perfect glue for DIY glittered ornaments!

 

My DIY Bronze Dipped Bar Stool Makeover is Complete!

The new stools blend in so much better with the rest of our home now and really brighten up the breakfast bar area.  I just love a good {weekend} upcycling project!

And I knew this was a truly successful makeover when my husband saw me working on this post and said “Those stools really do look so much better, hon.  I’m really impressed.”  He normally doesn’t get too excited about my crafty adventures, so him saying this really meant a lot.  Score one for the Mrs., here!

DIY Bronze Dipped Bar Stool Makeover | Where The Smiles Have Been

DIY Bronze Dipped Bar Stool Makeover | Where The Smiles Have Been

DIY Bronze Dipped Bar Stool Makeover | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

Before & After

Who doesn’t love a good before-and-after?!

DIY Bronze Dipped Bar Stool Makeover | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

What a difference a little paint can make!

DIY Bronze Dipped Bar Stool Makeover | Where The Smiles Have Been

Now that I see these beauties in all their madeover glory, I kinda wish we had two more to fully fill the breakfast bar area.  Oh well.  Whatcha gonna do.  I just know that I am thrilled with how these two look!

 

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Where The Smiles Have Been | Crafts. DIY. Home. Mom Life.

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Thursday 9th of July 2015

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