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Plain to Preppy Stool Makeover Using DIY Chalk Paint

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I have a hand-me-down stool in my studioffice that I use when I am at my work table. It used to have black and white checked fabric stapled to the top. I never painted it, but it sure was covered with paint from all of the projects I complete in my studioffice. I recently removed the paint and glue splattered fabric and was left with a plain brown wood stool. *To see how I strip my furniture check out this post.

Furniture before makeover

As I am updating all the furnishings in the room, this handy plain stool has long been overlooked and was way overdue for some love.   A stool makeover was in order. I finally painted it pink and added a perky preppy ribbon around it to give it a new bright and cheery life.  It has a very rough finish and after painting it, I realized it was not going to look perfect, so I opted to age it to make it purposely look flawed and aged.  Old school meets new school.

Furniture Makeover Ideas

I gathered and mixed all the leftover pink paint that I had on hand from other projects until I filled up a measuring cup. I then added 2 Tablespoons non-sanded grout along with some water to make myself some DIYchalk paint.

DIY Chalk Paint Recipe

UPDATE:  When I first started making and using chalk paint I used non-sanded grout to make it. I no longer use it since I have found there are better ingredients to use.  Non-sanded grout will work, but the finish may be rough when dry. You need to sand to smooth.  It also can only be used with paint that does not have acrylic or a primer in it. It will bind up when mixed with these types of paints.

I now recommend using Calcium Carbonate Powder that you can buy in the health food store. Here is the recipe:

DIY Chalk Paint Recipe using Calcium Carbonate Powder

Here is the non-sanded grout recipe:

DIY Chalk Paint Recipe:

2 T Non-Sanded Grout
1 Cup Paint
A little bit of water to thin the mixture if needed
Double or triple the recipe as needed. Use a paint stick to mix it well – add a few drops of water at a time to help mix the paint and grout to a smooth consistency. Do not make too thin.  The mixture will look a bit grainy. 


This is the color it produced.  Works perfectly for the color scheme I am using. I added a layer of paste wax over it and buffed it to a shine that brings the color to life and will help protect the painted finish.

How to make Chalk paint



supplies needed:

  • Ribbon – a bit narrower than side edge of stool seat and long enough to go around the circumference, plus 1-inch extra.
  • String (use as a measuring tool)– enough to go around circumference of stool seat.
  • Furniture Nails –Lowes
  • Ruler
  • Hammer
  • Scissors

How to add nail head trim to furniture


How to evenly place the nail heads around the stool

I eyeballed mine and it came out perfectly, but that was luck!  I could not figure out how to write this step here in the tutorial so you could easily do it yourself. I figured there was some way to do it mathematically. I asked my hubs and he started calculating, but then my daughter asked what we where doing and I told her my tutorial writing dilemma.   She said why don’t you just do this:   Slapping hand on head – “Now why didn’t I think of that” – “thanks Kelly”. XO

1. Measure the circumference around the seat with a piece of string.   Take the string and fold it in half, keep folding it in half, until it is as long as you would like the nail heads to be spaced.  Then mark the loops with a magic marker. When it is unrolled – you have a guide as to where to place each nail.  You can add as many nail heads or as little as you want. I didn’t want to hide the ribbon too much so 3 inches worked well.

How to evenly measure placement of nail head trim

To attach ribbon to seat edge:

2. Fold over one end of ribbon about 1/2-inch and hammer in first furniture nail head– but don’t hammer it all the way in, let it stick out a bit for now.  Continue adding the furniture nail heads around the stool seat.

How to add nail head trim to furniture

3. When you get back to the first nail head, pry the first nail out and tuck the other end of the ribbon under the starting end of the ribbon. Pull taut and then hammer the nail in all the way. This will give you a nice finished edge.

How to add nail head trim to furniture

The stripe in the ribbon acts as a guide making lining up the nail heads in a straight line easy. I put each nail tip into the thin pink stripe on the ribbon.   The nail heads I bought where a little soft and a few of them bent when I began to hammer them in.   When tapping with the hammer – keep it as centered as possible on the nail head so it won’t bend.  If it does- remove with the claw part of the hammer and use a new nail head.

Furniture before and after ideas

Furniture Makeover Ideas

To learn more about chalk painting and get all your questions answered check out these posts:

Testing and Comparing Chalk Paints

Chalk Paint Review and Update

Chalk paint recipes

DIY: Chalk Painted Preppy Pink Stool with Ribbon Border.

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  1. Oh wow….. I think this is so cute and perky in pink.

    I was thinking just a bit ago that it is so obvious why we all are so in love with you…. your so fabulous and more! I am also in love with your two daugther’s. I first loved them cause they are loving and rescue little furry critters……. I am definitely loving them both. And what brilliant daughters as well, just like their mommy and daddy! Loving, smart, brilliant and clever.. that is about the best any of us can hope for.. right.