the step stool.

I did a little lunchtime garage saling last week with my friend/co-worker/picker/garage sale mentor Sue.  We were in my VW bug, so saying I managed to fill it up isn’t really saying much.  But I did find a few fun things including this step stool (which just barely fit in the trunk).

The stool was a bit beat up and the rubber treads on the steps were pretty grungy, but what I most needed to fix (in my humble opinion) was the shiny paint job.  I’m just not a fan of shine.

Step 1 (pardon the pun) was to remove the rubber treads from the steps.  Luckily they were not glued down, but just had little tacks a each corner holding them in place.

Next I sanded the whole piece to take off some of that shine.

It was fun to note that this stool had been several other colors in the past.  Clearly at one point the top was red, and there were hints of green, pink and yellow in other spots.

A good rule of thumb is that shiny surfaces of any kind will not hold onto new paint as well as dull surfaces.  So always give them a good scuff sanding to remove some of that shine.  In this case I also sanded the edges back a bit more than usual to remove that red because ultimately I didn’t want to see it when I distressed this piece after painting it.

I’ve been on a bit of a black and white kick lately, so I opted to keep its most recent color scheme and just freshen it up.  I used Dixie Belle’s Drop Cloth on the base, and Midnight Sky on the top.  The beauty of this plan is that it only took one coat of paint for each.

And as you can see, when I sanded the edges to distress I was careful to not sand back as far as the red paint so none of it shows.

Originally I’d thought I would add a transfer or stencil to the top of the stool.  But after contemplating that for a bit, I realized that this piece would be perfect to use as a plant stand or a small side table.  In which case, there is likely to be stuff on the top that would cover it up.  So instead I decided to add a transfer to the steps.

I used the bottom 7″ or so of the IOD Le Petit Rosier transfer (the smaller version, which is 11″ x 14″).

I had this bottom section left over after I used the top section on a watering can.

If you’re getting that weird déjà vu feeling, that’s because I’ve done something similar before.  I used the top half of the transfer on a watering can, and then the bottom half on the ceiling fan light fixture in my piano room.  Back then I sold the watering can.  Later I realized that I wanted one like it for myself.  So I ordered the transfer again specifically to use it on one of my watering cans, another non-collection of mine.  Not only do I have some unpainted versions displayed outside …

But I also have a few painted ones in the pantry.  See them there up at the top?

One of them is this pretty blue one that I painted using Homestead House milk paint in a color called Maritime Blue

And you can barely see it, but the one furthest to the right is white with a red spout.  It has a fantastically chippy finish, and now it also has a transfer …

And this time I’m keeping it!

But I digress.  The real subject of this blog post was supposed to be the step stool.

Even though I didn’t make sweeping changes to the look of the stool, keeping the original black and white color scheme and swapping out the rubber treads for a transfer … I think the difference is night and day.

Don’t you?

As always, thank you to Dixie Belle for providing some of the products used for this project. If you’re looking for Dixie Belle products you can find them here.

And if you are local and want an adorable step stool, be sure to check out my available for local sale page for more details.

9 thoughts on “the step stool.

  1. I love all the things you upcycle, but I always want to buy a transfer or something as soon as I read the blog post. Tell Prima that you are doing a great job of selling their products! Thanks again for the inspiration.


    1. Well … ah … this is awkward … but this isn’t a prima transfer. It’s an IOD transfer (ie. their competitor). But I love this particular design and prima doesn’t have one that is similar. I wish they did!


  2. Turned out just lovely – as it always does!:)
    I agree with Laura’s comment about Prima – they should pay you a salary (even if it’s not their stuff this time)!! I’ve got myself 3 different Prima transfers and now put them on everything I paint. I love it!!!!


  3. Yep Miss Quandie, night and day! I like it when you go off on tangents……your house and yard are just packed with good stuff!


  4. Love it and love the tranfers! I ordered one but haven’t tried it yet…..looking for the right piece. You are always an inspiration!


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