Raising the bar

On my way home from work two weeks ago, as I cycled into the underground car park, what did my peripheral vision see – only the lonliest of bar stools, dumped in a bin. My heart jumped. It was lovely, but clearly in need of some TLC. It was filthy and the seat was cracked in two. I took a quick photo {below}, and in one fowl swoop, stool came upstairs and I made him a cup of hot chocolate. 
Stool sat in the hallway that Friday night and on Saturday morning, I woke up nice and early to clean it. However, in the light of day, I saw just how truly filthy it was; the stool was black and very tacky to the touch – I assume from years of being in an old, greasy pub. Black. You see the picture above and don’t think much of it, but in no way could you see wood. I put on my rubber gloves and got to work. As I began to scrub, I was quite surprised to find under all that sticky blackness, some really lovely wood. I annihilated 2 brillo pads in the process, but 2 hours later, stool was spotless. I followed up by sanding it and scraping it with a pallet knife to give it a smooth finish. 

My next question was what to actually do with it – paint the legs? Paint the seat? Varnish or paint the whole thing? Gold? Black? White? I didn’t want to rush into a bad decision, so I let some ideas ferment. 

I really loved the shade of wood it was, so I decided to keep some of it natural. I wanted to paint one aspect of it, and since the seat was broken in two and needed to be repaired, it became obvious to paint the seat. “Don’t worry stool“, I whispered. “We all have a crack in our seat“. 

Inspiration struck one day when I was doing the dishes and in particular, cleaning the new cheese board my parents got husband for his birthday. I really liked its clean lines, natural wood finish and black handle. Hey, perfect combination! I’m always amazed when inspiration strikes, and what causes it. Sometimes it’s the silliest things that have almost no connection. 

Since my dad has a work bench, he kindly volunteered to glue the seat, clamp it for 24 hours as well as add two connector / mending plates to keep the seat together {as seen on the underside of the seat below}. I sanded it down until it was smooth and painted the seat with Shock Black spray paint from Montana.

Not a huge transformation, I know, but the pictures really don’t do justice to how lovely the wood is. At the moment it’s au naturale and doesn’t have a stain on it. I might add a stain at a later date. Nonetheless, it’s a lovely little addition to our living room. It might move, but I can’t be sure where to just yet. I’m not going to loose sleep over it though. 
Welcome home, little stool. xx A

UPDATE: you can check out bar stool’s new look here

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  1. January 29, 2014 / 19:04

    Looking good – what a great find and transformation!
    Maria xx

  2. January 29, 2014 / 22:55

    Oh you DIYer you. I keep seeing a plant pot/flowers on that seat! But you know me, a sucker for that sort of thing. Green is in.

  3. January 30, 2014 / 11:20

    Yay – great rescue! Love the natural finish and I bet you can find lots of uses for him – would look great holding a lovely big plant, for example 🙂

  4. John JJP
    January 30, 2014 / 11:42

    "we all have a crack in our seat" – LOL!

    and i agree with the ladies, you need to go green on that stool! a little plant would look so nice 🙂

  5. January 30, 2014 / 16:32

    Thanks guys! But you see my dilemma is that I am a serial plant killer – unintentionally of course. I cannot for the life of me keep a house plants alive. The more I love them, the longer they suffer. I have black thumbs.

    "I'm sorry. I can't. Don't hate me."

  6. January 31, 2014 / 19:21

    Haha, I'm also a plant killer. I let the Lumberjack deal with any plant-related goings on these days… he has his uses! xx

    • February 4, 2014 / 10:11

      That's actually a great idea, Maria. I'll get husband to water a potential plant. That way I can't get in trouble if it dies! Genius.