Monday, May 21, 2012

Thrift Store Refinished Step Stool

My life has been crazy, so its been a whilie since I've had a chance to finish a project.  Clinton and I just had a serious conversation about him letting me steal away on weekends to do my projects and blog. Part of the issue is that the weather has been so great this year in Illinois. We had virtually no snow and we've seen a steady stream of warm temperatures since March. The little town I live in is on two big rivers and becomes like a resort town on the weekends once the weather gets nice. I have to admit that when my neighbors invite us on their boat, I'd rather be on the water with them than in my garage painting. I'm sure that excitement will get old soon and I'll be back to work.

I have several half-done projects in my garage that I'm working on and I'm very disappointed in myself that I keep forgetting to grab my camera whenever I have a chance to work on them. So, my next two blog posts don't have a ton of pictures, but the finished result is cute... and hopefully they will inspire you to reinvent your own thrift store find.

As I've written before, I love going into thrift stores and searching for items I can recreate. Any piece of furniture can be transformed with a little paint. I also love the green aspect of shopping at thrift stores. Not only do I save a lot of money, but I also make a new home for something that would have ended up in a landfill had someone not taken the time to bring it to goodwill, savers or another donation store.

The great thing about this project is that I show you that you don't have to be great with a paint brush to make this look cute. I consider myself a creative person, but not an artistic one. Maybe it's because I'm so anal retentive (that might get me some questional google search results) that I want everything to look perfect. So, when I paint, I stress over perfect lines- this is why I rarely paint. In my crafting, I try to come up with ways to make my projects look great without free-hand painting.  Enter my Cricut and Modge Podge with this stool...
I purchased this step stool from Goodwill for $2.99. 

I started by spray painting the stool pink, however, it wasn't covering well enough. The dark outlines and the red of Pooh's shirt was still visible after 10 coats of paint. So, I purchased tan acrylic paint and painted the stool by hand. I enlisted Logan to help me apply the first couple coats.

After about 5 coats of tan, the paint looked perfect. I painted the wood under each step dark brown and painted green polka dots.

I decided to use my Cricut for the art work on the stool. I cut my shapes with the Cindy Loo and Create a Critter cartridges. The owl, polka dots and pink flowers were cut from vinyl. the other shapes were cut from cardstock. I layered the pieces of cardstock and applied adhesive where needed.

After the vinyl pieces were applied, I used Modge Podge to adhere the remaining paper pieces. I then coated the entire stool in Modge Podge. I applied 10 coats, letting it dry for about 10 minutes in between coats.

Finally, I sprayed the entire stool with clear acrylic sealer. This last step might be overkill, but I decided not to skip it because I wanted to make sure everything was sealed.

Here it is... my adorable thrift store step stool. Now, Elsie can reach the kitchen sink to wash her hands and get into anything I leave on the counters. 

I couldn't get a picture from this angle without this little hand reaching in...I finally gave up and went with it.

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