a shabby stool.

I’m always a little sad when I find an already shabby, painted piece that is just not quite right.  Let’s face it, as much as we try to recreate an authentic chippy, shabby, aged finish using all of the fabulous products available to us, we are still only approximating the look of a genuinely aged piece.  But those genuinely aged painted pieces are hard to come by.  If they were a dime a dozen, people like me would be out of work (or out of a hobby might be more accurate).  And when we do find them, many times they cross the line from fantastically shabby chic to just plain shabby.

shabby stool before

Such was the case with this stool.  It’s so close to being fabulously chippy, but darn those cigarette burns!  They just aren’t charming at all!  I had to deal with cigarette burns once before (on this piece) and they can be seriously frustrating.  On that earlier piece I sanded and I bleached, and in the end I used a dark stain to try and disguise them.  On this stool I went in a different direction.  I wanted to clean things up just a bit, without losing the chippy vintage paint job entirely.

First I pulled out the Fusion Colour Blocker, which I just discovered has a new name, Concealer.

Fusion color blocker

Just so you know, this product is not a stain blocker or a primer.  Concealer is made from 100% recycled waste pigments.  It costs about half as much as the paint.  The idea is that when you want to paint a dark piece white, you can start with a coat of two of Concealer first and then follow that up with another coat (or potentially two) of your final shade of white thus saving some money on your paint costs.  In my case, I used this product much like its name implies.  I used it to conceal those black burn marks.  I used a small brush and put about 4 coats of Concealer just over the marks.

Once the Concealer was dry, I mixed up some random Miss Mustard Seed whites.  I had several already opened pouches with just a little powder left in them, so I mixed up about a tablespoon each of Ironstone, Grain Sack and Linen.  I painted on two coats of milk paint.  I did not paint carefully or try to fully cover the entire stool.  In fact, I specifically avoided the large area of chipped away paint on the top of the stool.  One the milk paint was dry, I sanded the stool fairly haphazardly to ding it back up again.

And voila!

stool after

Burn marks are gone, gross drippy marks are gone … but the shabby looks is retained.


I’m choosing to forgo a top coat of any kind on this stool.  I want to see how the milk paint wears over time without one.

stool 2

So, the next time you see a painted piece that has crossed the line into just plain shabby, consider giving it a milk paint makeover!

stool with books and clock

17 thoughts on “a shabby stool.

  1. I don’t understand the whole cigarette marks on furniture thing. Ashtrays?! Yikes. It reminds me of a duplex we once owned. After the tenant left, we discovered the entire bathroom vanity as well as the kitchen countertops were covered with burn marks. If only I could’ve milk painted those away! I love the simplicity of the stool and how you maintained the original character.


  2. Happy to learn of this concealer product and how it can be used to cover the “warts” on an otherwise charming piece, like this stool with lovely lines. This is a perfect mini-makeover!


  3. Diane is so right this is one sweet stool. I can not begin to keep up with all the tidbits of info you share. But I do search you site for “all things painted info”. Your blog is my to go to for comprehensive furniture painting tips.


  4. Very cool stool. And now I’m giggling because that rhymes ..I love how you saved it. There is just no end to what everyone can learn from you. Very cool indeed.


    1. The Concealer can save you some money when you’re painting a larger piece and going from really dark to white. It won’t help with a stain bleed, but it will help cover dark finishes that don’t bleed.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.