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How To Replace A Wood Stool Seat

We had to replace the wood stool seat on my latest project. I didn’t know the padded seat was covering rotten wood. You can’t see that stuff by just looking but you know something is wrong as soon as you sit down. This project took a took a little more that just paint and new fabric. Time for a new wood seat.

How To Replace A Wood Stool Seat

Padded Seat With Paris Themed Fabric

The paint job was easy. Just a 5 minutes of paint spraying and it was done.

stool before makeover

The stool was a freebie and as you can see it definitely needed a makeover.

remove the padded seat to replace fabric

The first thing to do is remove the padded seat. You can use either a screwdriver or and electric drill. When I first started painting furniture and putting little craft projects together the only power tool I had was a drill. Since the JTS retired and we do more in depth projects now we have a variety of power tools. The drill is still my favorite although my electric sander is a close second.

The padded seats on chairs, benches, etc., are usually attached by screws to the furniture. Just flip the piece over and remove the screws.

damaged stool seat

We can see why I almost fell through the seat. The wood is split and soft, very soft.

cutting a new seat for wood stool

I found a piece of luan in the wood stash and the JTS measured and cut a new seat using the table saw. Luan is not as strong as plywood but is perfect for this job. We also use Luan to replace the backs on furniture or just add a back to some pieces. You would be surprised at the number of pieces with missing backs.

Paris themed fabric design

The Paris themed fabric I selected for the new seat cover is one I’ve used on several projects. I like the pink and black color combination.

padding and fabric for new stool seat

I found a bag or roll of polyester filler hiding at the back of a storage shelf. It is pretty darn thin but I used it anyway. That heavy duty foam is really expensive so I didn’t run to the store to buy some. The JTS just bought a small-medium size block of foam at an auction but this project was already wrapped up. I cut everything to size and ironed the wrinkled fabric.

making a padded seat for stool

Then I started stapling. I won’t go into the details, I think you guys have this down. If not you can find how to recover a padded seat here.

padding for rough corners

I sanded the corners of the luan to round them a little then added extra padding around the each corner. Don’t want the wood to rub through the fabric cover.

new padded seat

Getting the corners nice and smooth and wrinkle free is the only difficult part of any seat re-cover job. All it takes is a little time and working the fabric to get a nice corner.

black spray paint for furniture

The curvy legs called for spray paint. I choose Rustoleum Gloss Black to highlight the pink and black fabric. I like using spray paint for very small pieces of furniture that might be difficult to brush paint.

the new padded seat replaces the one I almost fell through

I put the new padded top on the stool an called it good. No distressing for the paint.

Pink Paris themed fabric looks great with black spray painted stool

The stool is cute as pie but would have been better with thicker foam padding.

black and pink painted furniture

I’ve recovered and remade a bunch of chair/bench seats. You might be surprised at things I repurpose as a seat cover. Click the photos and check out the projects below.

how to cover a fabric seat Petticoat Junktion cane back bar stool project

Barstool Makeover

colorful coral painted chair Petticoat Junktion

Whitewash Chair

vintage vanity chair makeover romantic theme

Vanity Stool Makeover

chair painted green and chair seat recovered in vintage fabric petticoat junktion

My First Blog Project

Hope you enjoyed this post. Thanks for being here and I’ll see you tomorrow. Kathy

Kathy Owen founder of Petticoat Junktion
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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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  1. How can I cut the plywood into the correct shape for a metal stool with a back? The shape is not square and I do not have power saws (nor access to them)? When I went to recover the seats, I found the wood had black mold. Thanks very much.

  2. I like it a lot, but I too would have used thicker foam. If nothing else, just so it would hold up and be more comfortable.

  3. Great minds think alike. I have a stool that could be the twin to yours that was my grandmother’s. I have used for years as a makeup stool when a couple weeks ago I heard a crack. I used the same steps you did only I covered the seat in a purple floral drapery fabric from the 50’s. Love your column because you write for real people.

  4. Nice job, Kathy! I like the black with the fabric you chose. Nothing else would work as well I believe.

  5. All your fabric choices on your projects are spot On! All of them look great with the chairs or benches you
    painted. Thanks always for the inspiration you give me!