Because my regular limit for thrift store projects is $5, I couldn't pass up a chance on these 50% off five dollar bar stools. I figured, I would decoupage the bar stools, but that didn't work on the navy blue bar stools. Rub-on transfer sheet saves the day, after the decoupage goes so wrong!
As it turns out, there were a couple of twists and turns in this thrift store decor project. I am always totally honest with you in my tutorials here on the blog.
This is our Thrift Store Day, be sure to check out all the projects below.
So, here's how the navy blue bar stools turned out . . .
At this point, maybe I should have stopped. You will see that I tried to decoupage the navy blue barstools, then painted them back to Navy. Finally, I went with a prima decor rub-on image transfer.
Thrift Store Bar Stools
Yep, the bar stools were $5 each, but the booth was having a 50% off sale. When I picked them up, I was shocked at how wobbly they were. I almost changed my mind. However, even if I had to part them out, they were worth five dollars.
Make Repairs & Tighten Screws
First, I loosened one side, applied Gorilla Wood Glue, tightened the screws back up and continued to work my way around both bar stools. I sort of liked the dark green color, but I had my heart set on having navy blue bar stools. It's the same color I used to update my tall chest made from a desk.
Degloss & Clean Project
I used All in One Paint Surface Prep to clean and degloss the bar stools. First, you brush on the cleaner.
After brushing on the prep, I used a scrubby to rough up the surface. This not only gets rid of grime, but also gives the new paint a nice surface to adhere.
Button Plugs for Furniture Repair
In case you don't know, sometimes it's the little things that will push a thrift store makeover up a level. None of the screw holes had button plugs, that was an easy fix.
Time to Paint the Navy Bar Stools
Did you know that baby wipes will clean up the Gorilla Wood Glue before it dries? As you can see, I left the wood glue alone in the joints, but the rest of it has been all cleaned up. Now the bar stools are ready to be painted. I used the Polo All in One Paint from Heirloom Traditions.
Don't concern yourself too much with the first coat of paint. Thin coats work best for a very durable chip free finish.
When finished with the underside, flip the navy bar stools upright to make sure you get all the nooks and crannies.
In order to keep the furniture leg from sticking to drop cloth, I used pieces of waxed paper.
This is where it goes really, really wrong. Sure, I could leave out the decoupage failure, but I hope we can learn something from it.
Why Did My Decoupage Fail?
From top left
- Apply Mod Podge
- Smooth out Napkin
- Use sanding block to remove edge of napkin
- Dissatisfied with your project?
- Sand off napkin decoupage and repaint
Why did the decoupage fail? The best I can figure is the fact that I was putting a dark napkin onto a dark surface. What do you think? Oh, and I probably used too much Mod Podge.
I was able to successfully use the boho napkins on another set of bar stools. Tips for NO failure decoupage.
So, now I'm back to square one with two pretty navy blue bar stools. Now what? I had purchased a large Prima Dark Floral Rub-on Transfer on Amazon for the Tall Chest Update, but decided not to use it. So, I searched online for something a little smaller and less intimidating.
Since I love buying my craft supplies online, I searched Amazon and found Prima Mystical Hydrangea and White Magnolia. They were reasonably priced, and seemed like the right size for the top of the navy blue bar stools. Not to mention the beautiful design.
Instructions - How to Use a Prima Design Rub-on Transfer?
I settled on the White Magnolia, cutting the rub-on transfer to size. So, that's your first step. Choose your transfer, and decide what part of the transfer you actually want to use on your piece of furniture.
Now, I'm ready to start the transfer process. I did this years ago with a very large transfer and it worked okay, but I needed these rub-ons to apply flawlessly on these beautiful navy bar stools.
I peeled the backing away from the rub-on transfer so I could do the dry transfer.
Using a wooden stick that came with the large Dark Floral rub-on transfer, I worked my way across the applique. A popsicle stick came with the White Magnolia furniture decor transfers. Remember, this is a dry rub-- no use of water is necessary. I burnished a little by laying the transfer paper over the rub-on and rubbing it with the wooden stick.
The photos don't do them justice, honestly! They are beautiful in person! These dry transfer decals are not vinyl, they have such a smooth surface! I think plain bar stools look so much better with embellishments, don't you?
Now let's see the crafts and DIY projects my friends worked on this month. I know you will find lots of inspiration.
- Plant Cloche from a Geometric Pendant Light
- Navy Blue Bar Stools with Rub-on Transfer (you are here)
- Galvanized Tub Shelves
- Medallion Wall Art Makeover
- 16 Creative Thrift Store Makeover Ideas
- DIY Tiered Tray From Dinner Plates
- Quilt and Pom Pom Fringe DIY Pumpkin
- Goodwill Wooden Wagon Makeover
Gail Wilson is the author and mastermind behind My Repurposed Life. She is obsessed with finding potential in unexpected places and believes that with a little hard work and imagination, any old thing can be made useful again, including herself!
Gail reinvented herself during a midlife crisis and has found purpose again. She hopes you will find new ideas for old things and pick up a few tools along the way.