I found this little stool in someone’s trash one day while walking the dog. It looked rather tired and worn, and had seen better days.
I brought it home thinking maybe I could fix it up and sell it on my blog cottage/garden shop. But it has mostly been setting in my shed since last winter, collecting dust and totally neglected. The last few weeks, I’ve spent vacation time cleaning out my shed and fixing up the interior . . . a job I started 17 years ago. But that is another story for later.
I finally brought the stool up to the house, cleaned it up, and gave it a fresh coat of paint. Working on my kitchen counter was probably not the best idea, but it was convenient and spared my back by not having to bend over.
I started with Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint in the Boxwood color, one of my favorite green colors. It had a little more of a blue undertone than I remembered, and I wanted more of a yellow undertone. So I mixed some Homestead House powder with it in the Ochre color. If you’ve never used milk paint, it comes in powder form and you just mix it with water.
It doesn’t take much powder to go a long way. I gave the stool three coats of paint and still had leftovers. But this was a very small project.
The paint is more runny and has a different finished texture than regular house paint. I would describe it more like a flat finish. It can also be slightly streaky if you don’t get it mixed well enough, which I didn’t.
I knew I was going to distress the stool with fine sandpaper, so I wasn’t worried about a few streaks. When you sand, it comes off in a fine powder and you can easily take off as much or little as you like.
To make it look natural, I tried to distress in the areas that I thought it would get the most wear, especially around the seat handle. The color turns lighter after sanding, but I applied a coat of Minwax for protection, and it darkened right up again.
Working on this little stool, I found myself falling in love with it. I decided it was a “keeper” and not something I would sell. There is something about its simple lines that I found very peaceful and refreshing. Maybe it’s just that it harkens back to a time when life was more simple.
It’s old, and it still looks old, but it looks happier in its fresh coat of paint.
It will have a home in the garden shed, where everything is being freshened up. It will make a nice pop of green on the all white shelves. It will also be nice to have it close to the garden when I need a stool to sit on for taking down low photos, or setting a vase of water when picking flowers. And I’m sure I’ll find many uses for it and will come in quite handy.
The house where I found the stool belongs to an elderly lady. I never knew her name, but her big black dog, who was always lying on the front porch, was named Cricket. Cricket would always lunge at us as we walked by, but she knew the limits of the invisible fence. One day, I saw less and less of Cricket and more often a home nurses car in the driveway. The house is still perfectly maintained, but there are no flowers in the window box, no nurses car, no Cricket, and no elderly lady are ever seen. The house looks occupied to the casual observer, but it is empty now, which is most likely how the little stool ended up on the curb. It looks like the kind of stool a child would use to reach the faucets of the bathroom sink. Maybe it belonged to her children, or her grandchildren.
Everything and everyone has an invisible story. Just because we don’t know their story or see their value, doesn’t mean they don’t deserve to be loved, given a new purpose, and a pop of color. I’m glad I was able to give the little stool a new life and story, other than waiting on the curb for trash pickup.