I've been looking for a nice Cosco stool for my kitchen for quite some time. Being of restricted budget (aren't we all!?) I couldn't afford a new one or even an old one that was in really good shape. Those things can be hard to find! Well, during one of my frequent flea market treasure hunts, I discovered this ugly, rusted seemingly helpless stepstool. I first passed it up thinking it would cost more to buy it and fix it than I was willing to spend. But, I asked the cashier how much they wanted for it, anyway. You can imagine my delight when she told me "$12.50"! YES! I bought the stool, made a run to Lowe's for supplies and the rest is history. :)
Please note that the time indicated does not, of course, include drying time for the paint. :)
Find a cheap (but sturdy) stepstool and gather all the materials you will need to make it pretty:
steel wool (all 3 grades)
chrome spray paint
tools you will need:
masking tape/painter's tape
(take note of the condition of the nuts, bolts and screws on your stool. You can decide whether to reuse them or replace them. I used mine.)
With the heavy grade steel wool, begin sanding off as much rust from the chrome as you possibly can. Be sure to get into every nook and cranny. Once you've done an initial sanding. Wipe clean with a damp cloth.
Take apart your stool. I'm sorry I didn't take pictures of the process, but it's actually very easy to figure out once you take a good look at your stool. The legs unscrew (with a wrench) from the bottom of the seat; the foot stool part can be removed from the legs by laying the stool on its side and pushing the foot stool towards the floor till the hinges pop out of the legs (this may take a little work or at least some good muscles); the seat back can slide out of the seat after you unhook the spring/latch underneath; and the back rest can be unscrewed from the chair.
To take off the seat, lay it face down on the floor, take some pliers, and carefully bend the metal tabs holding down the seat cushion so they are upright and you can remove the cushion.
*Whew!* That's done! Now.....
Separate all your pieces (set aside the back rest and the seat and seat cushion) and lay them out on an old sheet or a tarp of some sort. It wouldn't hurt to give them another good sanding with the steel wool at this point. Be sure to wipe off the dust again.
Tape off anything you don't want painted (i.e. the rubber portion of the foot stool and the rubber caps on the legs).
Spray all the metal pieces with a good rust primer (if your stool is very rusty like mine was). After you're certain you've primed every area, let that dry.
Once the primer dries, spray on a couple coats of the chrome spray paint. Remember to spray lightly and let the first coat dry before you spray another coat.
While you're waiting for your paint to dry, start working on reupholstering your stool. This is SUPER easy!! I have never reupholstered anything in my life and I'm tellin' ya.... this was a breeze!
Do not use a heavy fabric (like upholstery fabric) - just a regular weight cotton or even a thin vinyl. Wrap your seat cushion in your fabric and tape it down as you go so that you can keep the fabric taught. Once you have the fabric on, snap the cushion back into the base of the seat. This may take some muscle, too. I had to stand on mine and kind of jump on it a little to make it go back in the base. Use a hammer to reattach the tabs under the cushion onto the seat base.
Do the same thing with the cushion on the back rest.
After your paint has dried, give the stool a good cleaning. Put it all back together, and VOILA! New stool! AND it looks totally different than anyone else's stool. It is now completely your creation! :)