All Articles, Bar Stools, Contemporary Ideas

7 Easy Ways to Bring Worn Out Barstools Back to Life

If you have barstools that have seen better days, you might be thinking about replacing them.  If your barstools are high quality and you enjoy using them, then think about using some of the following techniques to give them back that brand new luster.

  • Purchase barstool covers or make your own.  This is the quickest, easiest way to reinvent your worn barstools-cover them up!  Plain or patterned barstool covers are available in stores and online, or you can sew your own for a better fit and a wider selection of materials.  If you use your barstools at your kitchen counter, you can sew them to match your curtains.  Stools used with a pub table as a dining set can be covered to match the tablecloth.  Covers also protect your stools from further damage from stains, so if your kids like to use your barstools then this is a great preventative measure.
  • Paint wooden and metal barstools.  Sand off old paint and rust before beginning.  Priming is important, especially if you’re painting over wrought iron or dark finishes.  A clean coat of primer will give your topcoat a beautiful consistency and make your barstools look fantastic.  If you like that wrought-iron look but your stools are losing their luster, you can purchase spray paint in “wrought iron” or “hammered metal” finishes that will rejuvenate them.
  • Freshen up leather surfaces with saddle soap.  Reupholstering them with new leather is an option, but remember that leather has a certain appeal when it’s worn, and it becomes softer and more comfortable with age.  If your barstools have leather seats, think about the type of atmosphere you want them to convey before you spend the time and money to have the seats covered.  A slightly worn, softened look could give your rec room the feeling of a familiar downtown pub.
  • Aim for an antique feeling.  Instead of trying to paint over distressed paint or other finishes, use it to your advantage.  There are several easy techniques you can use to “antique” or distress a surface.  This option gives character to old barstools, and it also keeps them from looking as if they’ve been neglected.
  • Reupholster in new, up-to-date patterns.  Catching your barstools up to date is easy if they are upholstered.  You can take your bar stools to a professional or reupholster them yourself if you’re feeling crafty.  Either way, updating your fabric will make you feel as if you have a whole new bar set, plus you can cover them in any pattern you choose.
  • Use neutral colors.  Shades like beige, light gray, and off-white are excellent for modern houses because they go well with a wide variety of color themes.  Using understated shades of paint on your barstools will also allow you to use bright, over-the-top design elements that would clash against bolder finishes.  They also have the added benefit of aging well, so if you take care of your barstools you may not have to worry about re-vamping them for a very long time.
  • Do regular maintenance.  The most effective way to make on old barstool look new is to take good care of it.  Regularly treat your barstools with furniture polish, saddle soap, upholstery cleaners, or whatever technique you need to keep your barstools from deteriorating again.