Country Stool Makeover

Country Stool Makeover with French letter transfer

Back in January when I was cleaning out my storage room, I came upon this little stool buried in a back corner under several boxes. It was originally from my mother-in-law’s house. Painted my mother-in-law’s favorite color, blue, and adorned with country geese and hearts.

Country Stool Makeover with French letter transfer

About 5 years ago, my husband and I spent a couple of months cleaning out my mother-in-law’s 1950’s townhouse, it was known as a row house then, preparing her for a move to an assisted living home. The flights of stairs were getting increasingly difficult to manage and simple household tasks harder, if not impossible,to do. Even though the house held a million memories from raising 4 sons, it was time to move on.

It was extremely hard to whittle down the lifetime of memories and belongings to a manageable pile that would fit into a two room apartment, but eventually we managed after making dozens of trips to the local Goodwill.  Some of her belongings went into our storage room so that she could take her time sifting through them at a later date…mostly photographs and letters and this lonely little stool. Judging by the geese and hearts, it had to be 30 years old.  I say 30 years, because I remember doing similar stencils when I was first married…I think mine were cute little houses.

Country Stool Makeover with French letter transfer

Needless to say, this stool needed a makeover.

First step was to paint the bottom of the stool  with black chalk paint.  The stenciling on the top also got sanded off, I didn’t want any goose tail feathers to show through if I did more sanding.

Country Stool Makeover with French letter transfer

The top of the stool  also got a coat of chalk paint, an off white color (linen).  I wish I could say that this was the only coat I put on the top, but I actually changed my mind 3 times before coming to rest on this color.

French Letter

I wanted lettering on my stool, but I didn’t  want it to actually be read.  I didn’t want anyone to be reading “I’ve done the laundry twice today and had to walk the dog. And did I tell you about me bunion?”

I figured a french letter would be the way to go, this one was found online here. I’m sure it says exactly what my translation says…OK, I have no idea what it says, but it’s very pretty and I love the “r’s” at the end of a word.

Country Stool Makeover with French letter transfer

In Publisher I enlarged a portion of the letter to be exactly the size of the top of my stool and printed it out on 4 sheet of paper. The edges were trimmed and the letter was taped back together.

Country Stool Makeover with French letter transfer

Since I still don’t own a piece of carbon paper to transfer my image, I went back to my old standby of scribbling on the back of my picture with a pencil.

Country Stool Makeover with French letter transfer

I taped the pages onto the top of my stool and went over the lettering with a pen. The pencil scribbling on the back acts as carbon paper to transfer the image to the stool.

Country Stool Makeover with French letter transfer

Now it’s just a matter of following the lines with a small brush.  I decided to use dark gray instead of black for a softer image.

Country Stool Makeover with French letter transfer

A light sanding, especially around the edges reveals some of the past paint colors.  Finished off with clear wax and a bit of darker wax to muddy it up a bit.

Country Stool Makeover with French letter transfer

Country Stool Makeover with French letter transfer

Country Stool Makeover with French letter transfer

I can totally see someone in 20 years redoing this stool saying, “Remember how 30 years ago they used to put lettering on everything?”

Stay inspired and have a great week.

Shared at Inspire me Tuesday, Trash 2 Treasure,

Be Inspired Tuesday, Wow us Wednesdays, Talk of the Town,

The DIY Collective, Handmade Hangout, Making Broken Beautiful,

Link Party Palooza, DIY Party Junk, DIY Sunday Showcase,

Silver Pennies Sundays, Metamorphosis Monday,

Amaze me Monday, Dishing and Digging it,

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  • peggy says:

    My, how our tastes can change. Or maybe it’s just growing up and liking more sophisticated things. Very nice transformation. And funny too about the word meanings.

    • Joan says:

      I think it’s all our taste. Things I love one year, I’ll totally want to change the next. That’s probably why you’ll never see me with a tattoo. 🙂

  • Stacey says:

    What a transformation! It’s pretty special that it came from your family’s past and now it fits into your home. The lettering looks neat!

    Please join us for Thoughts of Home on Thursday. We’d love for you to share this. 🙂

  • Becky says:

    Ah, updated and so much better. Thanks for linking up to the Talk of the Town Link Party!

  • Rachel says:

    I just love this! Such a fun way to make something old look great again! And the lettering…to die for! Thanks for linking up at the talk of the town link party!

  • gail says:


    You did a beautiful job on the stool. Love the letter!

    pinned it!


  • Marigene says:

    Nice transformation…love it! You must have a nice steady hand to get all those words painted.
    Have a great week.

  • Terry says:

    I love your little stool! It looks so much better! What a great idea to put a letter on it! If you are at all interested in joining in on one more link party, I host Making Broken Beautiful every Thursday thru Sunday and I would be honored to host your talents! It is a furniture and decor link party. I hope you have a great weekend!
    Making Broken Beautiful

  • Sharilee says:

    I love your fabulous creativity! Pity that you chose the French letter…I would have loved to have read about your bunion! Ok, not really…I love the idea of not being able to read the words. Beautiful work!

  • Oh how I remember the ducks n blue of the 1980s, and I can only hope that we won’t be so quick to cover up lettering in the same way. Your stool is such a sweet, new look. If you could read the wording, and you used the first letter, someone 30 years from now would certainly have a good laugh!

  • […] Moody country stool makeover, by Scavenger Chic […]

  • Donna Wilkes says:

    Being one who stenciled geese and hearts on everything back in the day, I try to rescue and transform pieces I find. This transformation definitely has the WOW factor. and yes, I now use typography on pieces and can hear those same people you hear asking why we had to put letters and number on everything! Pinning and sharing.

  • Love the new makeover, turned out lovely. Really like the light color and the lettering with the dark legs, and the distressing. I have copied letters from the back side of paper then flipped my paper over and went back and traced over them. Works great in place of carbon paper.

    • Joan says:

      For years I’ve said I need to buy some carbon paper but every time I start a project, no carbon paper. Back to my same old pencil.