My friend Sue snagged this rusty old Cosco stool for me last summer. I posted it on my Facebook page at the time with this caption.
I struggle with this question. More so when I’m going to sell something rather than keep it. Personally I like distressed, beat up items that show their age (no wise cracks about Mr. Q here please). I sometimes cringe when people cover up a beautiful distressed patina with fresh new paint. If I had been keeping this for myself, and if I liked the yellow and white, I would have cleaned it up and kept it as is.
But alas, I don’t need another stool, and I really feel like this item will sell better with a paint job. This led to the next question, how should I prep it? I have found that if you don’t seal a rusty metal piece, the rust will seep through your new paint. Again, I don’t necessarily mind that. It’s a fun way to change up the color of a metal item, but to instantly re-gain some of that rusty patina.
But again, how rusty is too rusty? This stool had a lot of rust. So I decided to go ahead and seal it. I started by vigorously sanding the seat and back fairly smooth and lightly sanding the rest. Then I painted on a coat of the Rachel Ashwell Clear Primer. Once dry, I painted a coat of Fusion’s Laurentien on the base and Fusion’s Raw Silk on the seat back.
I know I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating. I absolutely love Laurentien. It’s a gorgeous pop of turquoise!
When the paint was dry, I felt like the stool looked far too crisp and freshly painted though. So I sanded down the edges of the seat back. And the tops of the steps.
But when I started sanding the edges of the seat itself I quickly realized that I didn’t like seeing the yellow peek through, so I decided against any further sanding.
As I studied the ‘finished’ stool, I really felt like it needed just a little something more. So I pulled out my Iron Orchid Designs transfers. The bottom section of the small “Richardson Seeds” transfer was a perfect fit for the seat back (I used the full transfer on the green window recently). This is another of the cool things about these transfers, you can use just a portion of one and save the other part for another project.
To give the transfer a little extra protection, I waxed over it with clear furniture wax. But I assume the future owner of this stool won’t actually be sitting in it leaning against the back too terribly often. If I was expecting that kind of use I would add a matte finish poly over the transfer.
Although this would be adorable in a potting shed, I think the comments on my post for the Blue Alligator dresser on Monday pretty much established the fact that most of us aren’t lucky enough to have one.
So, how about just using it in your kitchen as intended?
After all, when a step stool is handy, everything else is too!