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How To Spray Paint A Vanity Stool And Recover The Seat

You can paint furniture with spray paint. This vanity stool is the perfect example. Of course, the type and maybe the color of the spray paint make a difference.

vintage vanity stool to makeover with paint and fabric

I bought the vintage vanity stool at my favorite junk shop for five dollars. The veneer is missing from the back, and you can see the individual wood pieces that make up the back of the stool.

wood furniture with missing veneer

The veneer is also missing from the back of the seat. Now, you guys know me. I’m not into doing a whole lot of work, so I just spray-painted over the wood just as it was.

Rust-Oleum brown spray paint for furniture makeover

I had some cool fabric that I had used for various displays but never in a project. I took the fabric to the home improvement store and matched the spray paint to the fabric. 

The first thing I did was spray a small area of the wood to see how well the paint covered the wood, and it covered really well, so that was easy.

The paint is Rust-Oleum Spray Paint Ultra Cover Satin ( affiliate link; find it here on Amazon), and the color is Expresso. I don’t think it’s any secret that Rust-Oleum is my favorite brand of spray paint.

stained fabric seat

I removed the seat from the stool and spray-painted the wood in about 4 minutes flat. You should always keep spray paint on hand for easy projects. Keep neutral colors like black, white, and gray in stock.

Moving on to the stool seat, the wood was solid, and the foam was firm. The fabric cover was in good shape except for the stains.

I cleaned the seat with Simple Green and let it dry completely before re-covering it with new fabric. The seat is easy to remove from the stool frame. It is attached with four screws, one on each corner, and you can remove the screws with a screwdriver and then lift the seat off the base.

At the end of the post, I have a video showing how to recover a chair seat.

recycle an old curtain as fabric cover for a stool seat or chair seat

This is the cool part. The fabric is actually a curtain panel. I found it at the thrift store years ago. I loved the rich brown color, the design, and the texture. I think this is a brocade fabric, but I’m not sure. As you can see, the pattern is raised and kind of velvety.

cover an old chair seat with new fabric

The first step in covering the seat with new fabric is to lay the seat face down on the fabric and cut the fabric in the shape of the seat. The fabric should be large enough to fold over the back of the seat on all sides.

Usually, three inches on each side is enough to fold over and staple to the back. If you are not sure cut extra fabric. You can always trim the fabric after stapling it in place.

If you do not have a heavy-duty stapler, buy one at Walmart or a home improvement store. They are not expensive. You cannot do this project with a paper stapler. The staple size should be 5/16 or 3/8 inch. 

Begin re-covering the seat on one side by pulling the fabric up and over to the back and stapling the fabric in place. Next, staple the fabric on the opposite side. Finish the remaining sides the same way. 

The corners are a little iffy because you have to work the fabric so there are no wrinkles on the top. It’s not always possible, but the front of the seat will usually be smooth around the edges.

tip when re-covering a fabric chair seat

One crucial point is to cut a slit in the fabric where the screw holes that attach the seat to the stool are located. The fabric will tear or bunch up when you screw the seat back onto the frame if the screw comes into contact with the fabric. The screws will not cut through the fabric.

how to re-cover a stool seat

I covered the seat, and the corners and edges of the fabric are nice and smooth.

vintage vanity stool makeover with new seat fabric and spray painted brown


I reattached the seat, and wow, does that fabric and paint look good together? The fabric has a shiny sheen that slightly changes colors when light hits it a certain way. I like anything with texture, and the fabric is definitely textured.

how to makeover a wood vanity stool with spray paint and fabric (3)

The Espresso spray paint color in satin has a lovely sheen too. Of course no paint project is complete without a little distressing.

spray paint a vintage vanity stool

I distressed the paint very, very lightly by using a damp rag. The paint had just dried, and of course, spray paint is a relatively thin coat, so the paint wiped off pretty easily. I just distressed the edges and corners lightly. The distressed areas are difficult to see in the photos.

spray paint a vanity stool

Below is the video showing a prior project where I re-covered the seats. You can see all the steps…..

How To Recover Fabric Seats

how to paint a vintage vanity stool and recover the seat

Well, that’s it. How do you like the vanity stool now? Do you like the color of the fabric and the paint to match, or would you prefer a contrasting paint?

black chairs with black and white check fabric covers

If you liked this makeover, take a look at these chairs…The Secret To Painting Wood Dining Chairs

Leave a note if you have time, and thanks for being here, Kathy

Author: Kathy Owen
Kathy Owen is the founder of the home decor blog Petticoat Junktion where she shares tutorials on painting furniture and upcycling thrifty finds into unique home décor. Her DIY projects have been featured on the Home Depot Blog, Plaid Crafts, Behr Designer Series, and in numerous magazines. Kathy’s newest website is HappyHomeDIY.com

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