How to Recover Foot Stools

Hellooo, friends. How was your weekend? Richard had to go to NC on business last week, so I tagged along and hung out with a friend for a few days. Before I left home, I finished this little project and thought I’d use it today to show you how to recover foot stools, plus my conclusions on the painted upholstery fad in bloggy world.

How to Recover Foot Stools-


I found this little foot stool at a yard sale- cherry finish, floral fabric. It really wasn’t too bad, but not the look I wanted. I planned to paint it white, so I went over it with a coat of white spray primer. I didn’t remove the fabric first because I thought this was the perfect small project to give the painted fabric technique a try.


How to Recover a Foot Stool- before-


The cherry finish immediately started bleeding through. Ack! Rather than fighting it, I went to plan B, black paint & primer in one. I sprayed the fabric as well.


Spray painted foot stool-


After a few coats of paint, the fabric was quite stiff and rough. I could have sanded it, but just didn’t like how uninviting it felt. I like fabrics to be soft and comfy. Comfy this wasn’t.

Soooo, on to plan C, ripping off the fabric and trim. Stiff painted fabric was a bit harder to remove than the non-painted would have been. The foam was in great shape, so I didn’t need to replace it- yahoo, one thing going right!

I had this pretty document fabric in my stash and knew it would look great with the black legs. I attached with a few staples on one side, then pulled it taut across the other side.

Tip For Smooth Upholstery:

After pulling taut, smooth the fabric over the edge with the side of your hand, rather than continuing to pull with your fingers. This will help to keep it from puckering. Keep your hand just below where you will staple, being careful to stay out of the way of the stapler, of course!


How to Recover a Foot Stool-


Continue stapling around the stool, alternating from one side to the other, pulling then smoothing with the side of your hand as you go.


Reupholster foot stool-


Trim the excess fabric close to the staples. Now what to use for trim? Rather than buying anything, I hot glued jute twine that I had on hand. One pass around wasn’t wide enough, neither was two. Three did the trick.


Reupholstered foot stool jute trim-


Looks like it may need a little haircut. At least it won’t grow back, unlike my chin hair….


Reupholstered foot stool- black paint and french document fabric-


I like the way it turned out, though the process involved some trial and error. I’m glad I tried the painted fabric idea on a small project like this first. I would have been in tears if it had been a major piece of furniture. Stenciling will be the extent of painted fabric for me.

It would probably be ok for looks only, but I don’t really want or have room for “look at but don’t use” furniture. Have you ever refurbished an upholstered piece by painting the fabric?




  1. Nice job. It looks great. I think even I can do this. Merry Christmas.
    Leo@cottageatthecrossroads recently posted..How to Make a Spice Drop Topiary

  2. Love your footstool, Sheila! It looks great black and with the document fabric. I like how you used the twine as a trim. I need to look for a few more footstools. They actually sell pretty well for me. I have only stenciled on fabric and I was happy with the results. I haven’t actually painted a whole upholstered piece though. I have read about using textile medium and adding that to your paint. I’m sure at some point I’ll give it a try.
    Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions recently posted..A Gift For The Tea Lover

  3. I love your stool! It’s so cute and updated! I never thought about recovering a round top this way! Thanks for the great tip! I know what you mean about the stain bleed! I have run into that too. It’s so frustrating! Chin hair! I call it God’s sense of humor when you can’t see and there it is, you feel it! Yuck!
    Betsy(@coastal-colors) recently posted..Christmas Tour

  4. I love the stool this post came at the right time I have been debating painting a couch think ill try to make a slip cover now. Chin hair lol I have one persistent one, this morning my mum told me to stop fighting it, that it was the beginning of they, great motherly comfort LOL
    Mel recently posted..Mini Knitted Christmas Stockings

  5. LOVE it! What a cute idea to cover a round top! And chin hair…..LOL! You are hilarous!

    Happy day to you rock star!
    Thistle recently posted..Monogram Ornament: Jingle Bell Style

  6. This darling little stool is so inviting and cozy, and practical, too! I have a little stool in front of most of my fave chairs, since my feet don’t touch the ground when sitting in most chairs! Love everything you did to this little piece. And, Merry Christmas, Sheila!

  7. I LOVE the idea of the twine!
    I’m going to steal that– ; D
    Catherine recently posted..At LAST, some Christmas decor!

  8. Very nicely done Sheila! I love the black .As for chin hairs, don’t you hate when you are in the car and you can see the hairs in the rear view mirror in all their glory , because the sun shines on them???? And what can you do then???
    Hope you had a nice getaway!!! Was it warm? I need warm, , we still have at least 3 1/2 months of cold and gloom! Boo

  9. Carole Henderson says:

    Love the stool…I have a stool I want to recover too but it is rectangle shaped. I hope to get around to it soon. Merry Christmas!

  10. Love the footstool. Great find, the legs are really Purdy. The fabric looks great and the idea to put the jute on will be something I try. I agree with you about painted fabric. Even if you apply fabric that is made for fabric I think it still feels “funky”. Keep up the good work!
    JannYvette recently posted..Easy Way To Distress Furniture – Step by Step Instructions

  11. I’ve seen the whole painting upholstery fabric thing around the web and have been wondering how it actually turns out. Great thinking to test it on a small scale. I love how your stool turned out after all. The jute trim is a nice finishing touch ~ with or without the shave :)
    Amy @ StowandTellU recently posted..Snow Covered Texture and a Soup Can Centerpiece

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