Re-Staining [and Then Painting] Furniture [Not a Love Story]

Once upon a time I found a pair of bar stools at Goodwill for $10.


Obviously I bought them even though they were the wrong color. I mean, c’mon. $10!

I brought them home and Googled “how to re-stain furniture.” I found this nifty article that said if I used Minwax PolyShades I wouldn’t even need to sand the bar stools.


That nifty article was a bullshit lie.


In retrospect, I wish I had found this article and just done things the hard (but correct!) way. I would have beautiful oaken bar stools.

Instead, I got really pissed and sanded all the stain off by hand, thinking I would start from scratch.


(As a plus, I no longer have fingerprints, so I can finally fulfill my lifelong dream of becoming a master spy.)

A helpful friend suggested that maybe I should just paint them white. This appealed to me. I have a lot of other white furniture. White makes small apartments look bigger. White is shaker-esque, and we all know that shaker things are in right now.

So I went back to Home Depot and bought white paint. Or rather, I bought clear base. And had to go back a third time and get actual white paint. And this point, I thought to myself: “Would not it have been easier (and likely more cost-effective) to just purchase white bar stools from IKEA or anywhere?”

Yes, but why stop when you’re already behind?


  • 120-grit sandpaper (I didn’t use the 100-grit pictured here, but I bought it, just in case)
  • 1-1/2” paint brush (just get the cheapest one you can find, then you can throw it away)
  • Glidden Premium Interior paint, 1 quart of flat/matte white (don’t eff up and accidentally get clear)
  • Something to paint on. (I threw away the plastic drop-cloth I used when I was staining in my fit of rage, so I just ripped a trash bag in half. If you don’t paint like a 4-year-old, you should be fine.)

Although it would have been 10x easier and probably more cost-effective to just purchase already-white bar stools, I love the way my bar stools turned out.



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