Kitchen Barstools Easy Makeover with Paint

I never fail to be amazed at the transformative powers of a little paint. After giving my kitchen barstools the side-eye for some time now, I finally got a wild hair, and gave them an easy makeover with nothing but paint.

I bought these four barstools when we first moved in to our new home about 2.5 years ago. At the time, we were just finishing up with the whole building-process, which was overschedule, and stressful already. I ordered these online and had them shipped, and in the pics online, it was hard to tell the exact coloring.

I like almost everything about these barstools.

  • The gray shade of the upholstery works perfectly with the gray and neutral tones in my kitchen.
  • The upholstery on the chairs is well-made and is holding up nicely to everyday use.
  • I love the tiny bit of sparkle from the nailhead trim on the backs of the stools.
  • The stools are really comfortable.

But, can you see that little bit of reddish cherry wood undertone on the legs? It bugged me. It just wasn’t playing nicely with the darker espresso tones in our flooring and dining table. I should have sent them back right away, but at the time, I was so busy and overwhelmed with everything else going on, that I just decided I’d live with it.

And I have been for the last 2.5 years.

But one recent Saturday while my husband was at work, I decided that a simple coat of paint would fix the problem. I whipped out my favorite can of General Finishes Empire Gray Milk Paint and set out to eliminate the red tones. 👨🏻‍🎨


It didn’t take much to give these barstools a whole new attitude! A drop cloth, a small paint roller, a paint brush, and my General Finishes Empire Gray paint and I was ready to rock & roll!

Guys, can you believe this is still the same quart-sized can of paint I’ve used for my Antique Hope Chest Makeover, all four items in my Easy Upcycles with Paint post, and now these chairs! And there is still paint left in the can! Seriously, I love this stuff.

In process…

One of the things I love about this General Finishes Milk Paint is that you generally don’t have to use a primer, or do any sanding to prep the wood.

All I did was wipe the stools down really well with a damp cloth to remove any dust, let them dry, and then started rolling on my paint. One coat followed by a second lighter coat just to even out any brush strokes, and that was all it took!



See how much better the gray looks with the dark floors and dark dining table?

I’m biding my time until summer you guys, because I have several other pieces of furniture just waiting for a paint makeover. Summer is my favorite time of year…. lots of ☀️, ☕️, and plenty of time for 🎨, 🛠, 🌷, 🍅. I can hardly wait…

And now, you guys are in for a treat, because you can scroll down and see more furniture makeover projects as part of our monthly DIY Blog Hop! 🎉

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Update Furniture Without Paint | Design Morsels

DIY Chair Upholstery | Kippi at Home

22 thoughts on “Kitchen Barstools Easy Makeover with Paint

  1. Clients are always surprised by what a difference a simple change ca bring. This is so obvious in this paint job that transformed your kitchen. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Nicky, you are so right about changing the leg color on the bar stools. I love the transformation and it is PERFECT with the rest of the room and floor. Brilliant! I wouldn’t have even thought of that. Thanks for the inspiration~Now I’m giving my bar stools the side-eye!

  3. Wow, it’s amazing what a little bit of paint can do. They’re so much brighter now. I’m sure you’re enjoying them greatly. Thank you so much for sharing.

  4. It’s truly amazing how much paint can transform things isn’t it? They look great and really a different look. It was fun hopping with you today and happy Easter.

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