What Happens When A Foot Stool Gets a DIY Makeover

A while ago I wrote in this post about the treasures that can be found at a thrift store or flea market.  Sometimes these gems can be found in the form of scratched pieces that just need some love.  Here is what happens when one of those pieces are transformed, along with detailed directions.  I snagged this old depraved wooden foot stool for a couple of bucks at a thrift store.  The base is solid sturdy wood, with some major scratches.  The top is, well, umm outdated and less than chic!  I know this a foot stool, but you really could follow these guidelines for a successful vanity chair or chair makeover as well.

What I look for first when transforming a piece:

  1. Look at the bone structure.  Will I need to take it apart?  If so, how will I need to put it back together?
  2. What color do you want to make it?  What will you need to do to change colors?
  3. Is there any part of this item you will need to replace?
  4. How much will my supplies cost?
  5. Would it be cheaper and more time-consuming to simply buy a brand new piece?
  6. If I need hand-held machinery or power tools, can I borrow those or will I need to purchase them?  Can I borrow them from a friend or a neighbor?

First thing to do is when you are transforming a piece, is to look at the bone structure.  Notice where you need to take it apart.  Take the pieces apart.  I used a hammer to gently pry the top off.P1110461


I wanted to make this piece match the chairs in my living room, so I decided to strip the stain.  I used this Back-to-Nature Ready Strip Safer Paint & Varnish Remover. This varnish remover claims to strip up to 7 layers, and it lives up to that promise.  Within an hour, the varnish was ready to peel off.  It came off in sheets with this handy little putty knife.  Always make sure you use gloves!

After I stripped off every nook and corner with the putty knife, I used steel wool and sandpaper to finish brushing off the remaining stain.  I had a stain in the shade of my furniture so I just used that to coat the legs.

This piece of poly foam was found at Hobby Lobby for 40% off.  This is not the original board that was on the original piece.  The original board was crumbling and falling apart, so a wooden piece out of scrap wood was cut to match the size of the poly foam with a hand-held saw.   To do this, I simply measured the size onto the board with a ruler, drew lines with a pen and ruler, and cut along the lines.

I stacked it on top of each other to make sure that.  This will now be the bones of the structure.

You can use any fabric that you wanted to cover your project.  I used a 1/2 yard of faux white fur that I found for $4 to cover my stool.  I love faux fur within limits and have always wanted a piece of furniture with this kind of accent.  I also purchased an upholstery stapler for $7.99 with a 40% coupon, but now I wish I had just borrowed a staple gun.  It would have worked just as well.


Turn the fabric upside down.  Stack the poly foam and the wood last.  P1110746

Pull the fabric tight over the board and staple.


It will look like this.

For the corners, fold the piece over, like in the picture.  Then take the folded corner and pull it snugly on top of the board, stapling it securely.

Now the reupholstery step is completed!!

I used a screwdriver to screw the newly glammed-up top onto the legs.  All along the sides, there are slots for the screws.  I simply put the screws through those slots and used a screwdriver to screw them tight!  Are you ready for the finished product?

Here is what happens when a poor old depraved stool gets a fancy DIY makeover.


I have put this project off for the longest time, simply because it intimated me.  Having completed it, I now realize that there is nothing very scary about it, and it did not take that long.  All in all, with supplies, I only spent about $11.  I borrowed most of my machinery and was very careful to keep it safe and return it.  I am also a newbie.  This was my first reupholstery project makeover ever.  You can do a project like this successfully and well, even if you have never done it before!!!

Many happy makeovers to you!



FTC: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. This post may contain affiliate links.

20 thoughts on “What Happens When A Foot Stool Gets a DIY Makeover

    • Thanks Rachel! I let the foot stool sit there for a couple of weeks before I decided to tackle this project. When I actually got working on it, I was surprised to see how few steps it took for the refurbishing. It is super easy! Have a great Monday!!


  1. How cool is that!? I am always intimidated by doing a makeover on a piece of furniture. I am currently sitting on the coziest chair that is a thrift find and is in need of new fabric. I have the tools but the task is daunting so I have procastinated. You have given me the courage to just jump. Great job for a newbie. I like how you included the steps, tips and price of the tools. Are going to use this as a seat or a footstool?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! This project was daunting at first, but once I took apart the pieces to see the structure and how it was built it seemed easier. Go for the chair makeover…you can do it!! The best part is picking out the fabric, because you can choose any color or style you want. I will probably use this as a footstool for now in my living room since I don’t have a recliner yet. Eventually I am considering moving it to my work room desk and using it as a comfy seat. Have a wonderful Wednesday!!

      Liked by 1 person

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