Retro Style Oilcloth Stool Makeover

Categories: Decor, furniture, Bohemian

Our kitchen got a retro style makeover, so our old stool got improved too. I used oilcloth, Fairfield World 16″ Round Cushion Foam, Fairfield World Poly-Fil Hi-Loft Batting, DecoArt Americana Decor Satin Enamels Paint in Smoke Grey, DecoArt Americana Decor Metallics Paint in Silver, Dritz Home Staple Gun and Staples. Our old kitchen was mostly white, which while that’s a current design trend, it’s very hard to upkeep and quickly looks dirty. My home decor style is full of color and vintage flair, so the newly remodeled kitchen is packed with retro inspiration. Our old stool came with the house, and accompanied a hard to clean wood floating bar top. Some scrubbing, new paint, foam, batting and oilcloth easily turned a boring stool into something fabulous and much more comfortable. Oilcloth is great for kitchens, as it can be easily wiped off.

What you need to make this project

Fairfield 16″ Round Cushion Foam For DIY Upholstery Seats And Stools – 1″ Thick Cushions Set Of Four
Poly-Full Hi-Loft Batting
1/2 yard Oilcloth
DecoArt Americana Decor Satin Enamels Paint in Smoke Grey
DecoArt Americana Decor Metallics Paint in Silver
Plastic tablecloth or dropcloth
Paper towels
Spray cleaner for grease
Fine grit sand paper
Soft 1"-2" wide paint brush
Dritz Home Staple Gun
Dritz Home Staples

Quick Shop


16″ Round Cushion Foam – 1″ Thick Cushions, Set of Four


Price: $29.99

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Step One

Using the spray cleaner and paper towels or soap, water and a scrubbing sponge, clean any grease and dirt off the stool. Mine had a build up of gross grease from being in a kitchen for over a decade and our daughter commonly using it as a table. Kids! If there are any rough spots, using sandpaper to smooth the wood. Remove any wood dust with a damp paper towel.

Step Two

Lay out the plastic tablecloth or dropcloth. Turn the stool upside down onto the protective cloth. Shake the jar of DecoArt Americana Decor Satin Enamels Paint in Smoke Grey well. Open the jar. Using a 1″-2″ wide soft paintbrush, paint two coats onto the stool legs and rails. I painted one coat with the stool upside down. Then, carefully flipped the stool to paint the top of the rails. Let the 1st coat completely dry before painting a 2nd coat. The color needs to be opaque, which is usually achieved in 2 coats. Rinse out the paintbrush after the 2nd coat has been applied.

The top will be covered by foam, batting and fabric, so do not paint the top. No one other than pets and tiny children will see the underside, so no paint is needed on the underside of the seat.

Step Three

Shake the jar of DecoArt Americana Decor Metallics Paint in Silver. For this paint, the instructions recommend sanding between coats. I didn’t do this due to the round rails being difficult to evenly sand. Paint 2-3 coats of silver in the same way the smoke grey was applied. Don’t forget to flip the stool to fully paint the rails. The silver shows brush marks more then the smoke grey, so be intentional with your paint strokes, making long strokes to even out the paint. Let each coat fully dry before adding another. Rinse the paintbrush after all of the coats have been applied. The stool is completely dry after it’s no longer sticky.

Step Four

Lay two layers of batting onto the protective cloth. Lay two foam rounds onto the batting, leaving about 6 inches on each side. Flip the stool upside down, centering it onto the foam. Load the Dritz Home staple gun with staples. Pull the batting up tight to the stool seat underside, making sure the foam is curving smoothly around the stool seat. Press the staple gun about 1″ away from the stool seat underside edge. Pull the staple gun trigger to fire a staple. Repeat this on the opposite side, making sure the pull the batting tightly. I used low loft batting, but found that a thicker batting might hold up better to the tension of molding the foam to fit.

Retro Style Oilcloth Stool Makeover

Step Five

Turn the stool one quarter. Repeat the stapling, making sure the foam is curving smoothly. Continue pulling the batting up to the stool seat underside and securing it until the batting has been secured all around. I saved the area around the legs for last, as those areas have less stapling room. The foam should be evenly curved all around the stool seat. Add more staples if needed. Cut away any excess batting, leaving about 1″ of excess past the staples.

Retro Style Oilcloth Stool Makeover

Step Six

Flip the stool right side up. Lay the oil cloth onto the stool seat, deciding which section of design should be centered onto the stool top. Cut a square of oil cloth, so there the about 6″ of excess oilcloth around the stool top. I found a cluster of strawberries that seemed to curve nicely with the stool circle. This cutting method is called fussy cutting.

Retro Style Oilcloth Stool Makeover

Step Seven

Lay the oilcloth face down onto the protective cloth. Flip the stool rightside down onto the oilcloth. I lined up the square corners with the stool legs, so I had more fabric to work with at the legs. Just like with the batting, pull the oilcloth up tightly at the center between each leg a little beyond the batting line and staple into place. Do this for each side, for 4 staple points. Since the oilcloth is not as flexible as batting, pleat the cloth to bend around the circle. For the legs, I pulled the oilcloth up at the outer leg corner and stapled. Then, I cut the oilcloth corner straight down to that staple, making the oilcloth easier to bend around the legs. After all the pleats are stapled into place, look over the stool bottom and add any staples where extra securing is needed. I was more intentional in my staple placement, as I knew adding a bottom cover would be too tricky to do. Cut away any excess oilcloth, leaving about 1/2″ of excess.

Retro Style Oilcloth Stool Makeover

Step Eight

Flip the stool back over. Place the stool where it belongs. In this case, in my newly remodeled kitchen. Sit on the stool to test out its makeover. I’m happy to report that my stool is much more comfortable than the previous hard stool. Should be a great place to sit while prepping food, or in my daughter’s case eating breakfast before school.