Bar Stools on a Budget

Kitchen and Bath

Better Bar Stools On A Budget

By Simon Phillips

Here are some ideas for making your well-used kitchen bar stools more attractive on a very frugal budget.  There’s no need to spend a lot of money on expensive materials – the things used here are common household items that you might already have in your cupboards, or could find for just a few dollars in the dollar store.  For very little money and a bit of effort on your part, it is possible to give a barstool a makeover and greatly improve its appearance.

Removing Watermarks

Believe it or not, watermarks can be effectively removed from wooden bar stools by rubbing them with either toothpaste or mayonnaise, then leaving them for a few minutes.  You may need to make several applications before the water stains are completely removed.


Removing Heat Marks

Citric acid is good for removing heat marks from wood.  So, all you need is some lemon juice, as lemons are full of citric acid.  Rub it onto the marks to remove them.

Removing Drink Stains 

All sorts of drinks can be spilled on bar stools.  If they’re not wiped off straight away, alcoholic or milk-based drinks can leave nasty marks.  You should be able to remove these by rubbing them with ammonia and a damp cloth.

Polishing Wooden Stools

You should be able to give your kitchen stools an instant lift by giving them a good old polish.  But rather than use expensive spray polish, make your own from olive oil and a couple of drops of lemon juice.

Make Your Own Seat Covers 

If the material on your bar stool seats looks dirty or faded, or is just in need of an update, recover them yourself.  Most seat upholstery is attached with staples.  Use a screwdriver to pull out the old staples and remove the old material.  Then simply put your chosen fabric over the top of the seats and use a staple gun to fix it in place.  It’s best to use a fairly thick and hard-wearing fabric.  Old denim jeans are ideal, or use some cheap tea towels or napkins from the dollar store.



A kitchen stool recovered using a tea towel from the dollar store. 

                                                                   photo – M. Alexander 

These are just a few easy tips for giving old bar stools a smart new look for very little money.



This article was contributed by Simon Phillips of where you can find discounts on kitchen bar stools as well as handy hints on how to refinish the ones you’ve got.