Take a Seat

Today we’re showing you how to reupholster a vintage metal stool. A few months ago we were cleaning up the garage and found a bunch of things we had forgotten about (out of sight, out of mind!). 

You already saw the Phoenix sewing machine base makeover we did. Here’s what else we found:


This vintage metal stool was an old drafting chair that belonged to my uncle. I always intended to fix it up for my new craft studio.  I was thinking it might look great with a new leather seat painted with my Birdz of a Feather logo but it was not meant to be. Once my studio started coming together though, I went in a different direction.


Give a Vintage Metal Stool a New Coat of Paint

First Hubs sanded away years of rust and gave it a new coat of paint. He sprayed it with a durable high gloss car paint – already a big improvement on the army green!.

We added new floor protectors onto the bottom to keep the metal from scraping the new hardwood floors. A hex nut holds them on from underneath.

Here it is looking like it’s break dancing!

Chair Makeover 001_bof.jpg

We bolted them on with a nut. I should mention that if you have an item that doesn’t already have a hole, and you don’t want to drill one, these also come with an adhesive backing.

Chair Makeover 002_bof.jpg

Reupholster a Vintage Metal Stool

I took the vinyl plastic off the seat cushion. The foam was still in good shape so I added some batting on top of it to soften the edges before the final upholstery.

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Batting is easy to add and is an extra step you shouldn’t miss when you’re reupholstering. That’s because it smooths down the edges of the foam underneath the final fabric so you don’t see any lumps and bumps showing through.

I put the seat, face down right onto the batting and cut around it leaving a good amount of  extra to wrap around.


I used a staple gun with a compressor to staple the batting all around the perimeter. Start at one end and then add a staple on the opposite side to keep it even. Then do the same on the right and left side. Fill in each quadrant with staples, going back and forth between opposite sides until complete.


Trim off the excess batting.


Nice and smooth!


Here it is, ready for the final fabric:


Follow the same steps described with the batting above to upholster the seat with your chosen fabric. If your fabric has a nap you might want to make note of where the holes are on the bottom, where the seat is fastened on, and make sure your fabric is fitted onto the seat in the direction your prefer. Make sure you don’t cover up the holes as you’re stapling the fabric on.

You can trim the fabric close to the staples to clean it up (I was so excited to see how the seat looks, that I forgot to trim it)! If you like, you can also cut a piece of plain cloth to staple on as a dust cover (I didn’t do that either).


Once you’re all done, screw the seat onto the base taking care to use screws that are long enough to hold it securely, but not so long that they’ll come out the front and ruin your new upholstery!


Here is the final reveal. Although it will be used with my cutting table, I photographed it by my desk area – which is much prettier to look at! Far more than the way it looks in my craft studio, every time I use it I’ll have fond memories of my uncle.  It’s a special piece and I’m happy I was able to breathe new life into it.

When you’re looking for inspiration on colour choices for the metal and upholstery, keep in mind where you’ll be using it. I love how the ‘new’ drafting chair compliments the colours in the carpet.


If you’re curious about the Paint Chip Portrait shown above, click here for the how-to!

I restrained myself from using my logo for the seat of this chair and I’m so happy with the outcome. However, I DID use my logo to upcycle a clock as you can see below:


I’ll also eventually add my logo to glass doors of the IKEA storage cabinets we built for the craft studio:

Ikea for the Studio 388_bof

It’s fun to be at the point where I’m just putting finishing touches on the craft studio!  If this project has inspired you, please pin and share on Facebook.

I’ll have two more chair makeovers coming soon. Follow our blog here to see those projects and more! You can also follow us on PinterestFacebookYouTube and Instagram.

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0 thoughts on “Take a Seat

  1. Sara, I love the date stamp on the bottom. That is so cool. Maybe you can put a “refurbished by” date on it for the next person that comes along?

    It looks terrific. I recovered my patio cushions this summer and also added a layer of padding. They’re more comfortable. I gave the scraps to the squirrels for nesting. Win-win!

  2. Pingback: The Making of a Craft Studio (VI): The Final Reveal! | Birdz of a Feather Home

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