I know – but I didn’t know what else to call this post except bar stool care. It’s not a build, but there is some DIY involved.
This is one of those “face palm” kind of posts – where it’s so easy and so obvious and yet I guarantee that 95% of us don’t do it.
Let me start with the “why?” It’s always easier to make a case for a bit of work if you understand why you should.
This is one of my 13-year-old kitchen bar stools. It’s seen 3 dogs, 5 cats, 2 kids, 1 re-upholstering job and endless piles of crap piled on it. I think it’s safe to say that it’s held up well given the abuse it’s suffered, but the legs are now weak and wobbling and the cushions need new padding and the wood is pretty chewed up from tucked-under feet.
I decided to bite the bullet and buy some new ones; nothing expensive or fancy, but without fabric so they’d be easier to clean. I ended up going with these backless saddle bar stools.
They are beautiful and seem well-made – but I don’t want the foot rest portions to end up like the before above – so I varnished them.
The idea is to give the bar stools an extra layer (or three in the case of the triple-thick) of protection from shoes, keys, grommets on jeans or cords etc. Anything that can, and is likely to, scratch up the surface.
This stuff goes on THICK – which is what you want when you want lots of protection without a ton of work. It’s also water-based, so all you need for clean-up is a bit of warm, soapy water.
I had to coat these guys in my office – the garage was just too cold and the finish would have frozen before it could dry.
I should have lightly sanded the bar stools down (with 320 grit sandpaper) before putting on the first coat of triple-thick, but given that these aren’t expensive stools, I was worried that the manufacturer’s finish might have been light and I didn’t want to remove any stain.
Instead I coated the entire piece with Varathane® Triple Thick One Coat Clear Finish, let it dry completely, lightly sanded it with 320 grit and then removed all the residue before adding a second coat of triple-thick over the seat area and the cross-sections that we always put our feet on.
I’ve just added the equivalent of 6 coats of varnish to the most trafficked areas of these bar stools – which will prolong the finish months (maybe years) longer than with just the manufacturer’s spray-on.
I know, it’s a thankless job. No one notices the clear-coat on furniture – but I’ll notice if they start getting chewed up prematurely – so it’s all about me here.
‘All about me’ used to be my choice of restaurant or nightclub, getting attention from all the right people, perhaps gifts…. ‘all about me’ now is the contentment of knowing my bar stools won’t look like they came from a frat house 6 months from now.
I need a life.
It might seem strange or silly to put work into brand-spanking-new furniture – but think long-game here; a few minutes of effort now will prolong the life of your investment (big or small) for years.