Thursday, January 12, 2012

Double the Fun Footstool--A Quick Tutorial

Don't forget to enter the ephemera journal giveaway HERE 
before midnight, CST, Jan. 27.

This little footstool has been in our library for a couple of years now. It was an estate sale find I picked up on the half-price day for a couple of dollars.

It's not a total ugly duckling, but I've always intended to pretty it up a bit with a new cushion and maybe a new finish. I'm guessing this cushion was not the original. We have several travel-themed touches around our home, but this dark, postcard-y tapestry fabric is just so . . uh. . . '90s.

Recently, I've seen several blog posts about two techniques that totally intrigue me and realized I could try both out on this nice little footstool. How exciting--two major thrills in one project!

I've been dying to try liming wax on a wood piece.  This is a very simple technique using Briwax Liming Wax. I couldn't find this product in my location, so I ordered it, along with Briwax clear and dark waxes (for use on other projects), on Amazon.

The posts I'd read about liming wax all recommended using it on an open-grained wood, which this stool had. After starting the process, I could see why that was important. The wax, which leaves a white-ish residue, fills the open grain and creates the subtle aged look. If you're trying this on a more closed-grain wood, the Briwax website recommends creating an artificial open grain by running a wire brush over the wood.

The application is simple. Wearing rubber gloves in a well-ventilated area, just wipe it on with a soft cloth such as an old T-shirt. Let the wax dry a while and rub it off. You need to put some muscle behind your rubbing to ensure you remove all the wax residue from the surface.

If you want a very subtle effect, let the wax dry less time. For a more aged appearance, let the wax dry longer. I waited about 10 minutes before rubbing it off. I probably could have left it longer. I ended up with a subtle aged look--a very nice grayish white.

For the cushion of the stool, I chose a beautiful vintage image from The Graphics Fairy to transfer onto a remnant of muslin I already had.

Now for the second thrill--I chose to try the blender pen transfer method. There are several brands of blender pen available. I purchased mine from Blick's for $3.95.

You must make a laser print of your graphic. Inkjet prints will bleed. Remember to reverse your image if it has lettering on it.

I securely taped the image face down to the muslin to hold it in place while transferring. In very small segments, I rubbed over the image until the paper was saturated and the image showed clearly through. While the paper was still saturated, I burnished each segment with a folding bone (you could also use the bowl of a spoon). I had to burnish quickly, as the blender pen solution evaporates and dries quickly. And, wow, does it give off dizzying fumes! I worked with an outside door open to keep from getting light-headed.

This method is a snap. It would be a bit time-consuming on a very large piece, but it's so easy to do.

I gave the muslin a couple of light coats of stain- and waterproofing spray and covered the original cushion with it. A quick re-assembly with the stool frame and voila! A sweet little redo.

Make it a great day!


  1. You really turned that "ugly duckling" into a work of art. What a difference a little love, work and tender care can do for things. Great job.

  2. You really turned that "ugly duckling" into a work of art. What a difference a little love, work and tender care can do for things. Great job.

  3. Ann, thanks for the great tutorial, I've never heard of liming wax. It will be on my list to try. Your stool was transformed! Thanks for stopping by, Laura

  4. I see you tried the blender. I love liming. Your footstool turned out beautifully.

  5. Your stool turned out so cute. I might have to try the blender and the liming.

  6. Since I'm not a crafty person, I have never refinished anything. However, I have several pieces that could use some TLC. When I read, step by step instructions and see photos it helps me to understand how the process works and to see the finished product, inspires me. Your piece is very lovely.♥

  7. Your instructions made it seem so easy. I like the design of this footstool.

  8. You certainly did a splendid job, thanks for becoming a follower. Thanks for introducing yourself and letting me know your a Jayhawk!! We're watching the basketball game as I blog.

  9. Amazing work! It looks like it was a labor of love!

  10. Wow this came out great...I have never heard of liming wax before but it would make sense! LOL I am going to have to try some...The stool came out wonderful. and the cushion is adorable..Don't you love the Graphics Fairy!! :)

  11. Boy, if ever a piece needed a makeover, that stool was it! It looks great! You asked about favorite Chalk Paint colors, I think the Louis Blue but the Duck Egg Blue and Antibes Green look wonderful with dark wax to age them. Have a fantastic week!

  12. Gorgeous! I love the makeover... I may have to try this!

  13. Great job! The white lightened it up beautifully.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog today.


  14. I love learning new things, I had heard of the blender, but never the wax! It looks fabulous. I am a little intrigued by the fact that you said at the end you gave the muslin a couple light coats of stain, how does that work? You gave the fabric stain?


    1. Carol, what I applied was spray that provides stain and water protection. Guess I should punctuate my description better! Thanks for visiting and commenting.

  15. Ann,
    That turned out great. I love the blender idea. I have one so I will be trying that method.
    Smiles, alice

  16. Ann,

    I have never heard of the blending pen transfer before. I wonder if it has the same effect as Citra Solve? I tried Cirta sovle on painted wood and it actually acted like a stripping compound.
    I love your new stool! Good job!


  17. I've been dying to try out the liming wax. I just have to find something to try it out on. Your project turned out great!

  18. It's beautiful! Thanks for sharing the info. Hope you have a wonderful day.

  19. Thank you so much for sharing your talent and creativity on “A Little Birdie Told Me…” at Rook No. 17! Looking forward to seeing what inspirations you’ll share tomorrow!
    Warmest wishes,

  20. Great redo! Great tutorial, too! Would love for you to share this over on Kammy's Korner if you get a chance:

  21. This is just too cute! Love it. Are you keeping it in your library still, or moving it to a main room so it can be showed off?


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