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Thrift Store Bar Stools to Patio Side Tables

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I’ve got a quick and easy thrift store makeover for you today! In honor of it being an absolutely gorgeous week of weather here in Minnesota, I wanted to share my repurposed bar stools, made into two patio side tables.

When we were in the townhouse, we didn’t make it a habit of sitting outside because Mox would end up running after some passing stranger or squirrel if we didn’t have her hooked up to a leash, our backyard was the size of a postage stamp and the ‘patio’ was covered in rocks. Not too friendly for sitting back and barefoot with a glass of your favorite summer beverage. Getting a sharp rock stuck in your foot while being tangled up in your dog’s leash isn’t exactly my idea of a good time.

Now on the other hand, we have a porch, a patio and a fire pit that is in desperate need of some furniture.

I found these two bar stools for $4 a piece at The Other Thrift Store in Saint Francis. They were strategically placed right next to the check-out lane just waiting for me to buy them. I had been looking for something to use as outside tables and decided why not? If anything, they would make great bar stools for the kitchen.

before bar stool 1

All these guys needed was a quick sand to remove all the wear and tear, two coats of stain and a touchup on the metal legs.

before bar stool

The Supplies

Miniwax Stain in Walnut

Rust-Oleum Spray Paint in Black

80 grit sandpaper

Dewalt Orbital Sander

Foam paint brush

Kyrlon Clear Coat

Painter Tape

The Process

Step one: Using the orbital sander, I went over the entire surface of the seat, removing any remnants of the previous finish.

Step two: I gave the whole stool a nice once-over with soap and water. Wipe dry.

sanded bar stool

Step three: Spray paint the legs and base of the stool. Let dry. (I taped off the sanded seats because I didn’t want to have to re-sand after spray painting.

Step four: Using the foam paint brush, apply two coats of stain. I didn’t wipe anything off because I wanted it to really soak in and be as dark as possible.

after bar stool

Step five: Spray the entire piece with the finisher spray. This provides a protective barrier on the wood since the table will be outside. I’ve never used this type before, so I’ll have to let you know at the end of the season how it holds up!



Check These Out

Not up for the DIY but looking for a patio-ready table? Check out these great finds I found, sander not required.

Prime Products Table
Adams Manufacturing Quik-Fold® Cafe Table
Polywood Counter Side Table
Oakland Living Wooden End Table


Now we’re off to enjoy our patio… bare feet and all.

after bar stool 1


All our best,





  1. Off Our Rocker - A Garage Sale Makeover - North Country Nest - […] We weren’t too fond of the color, but I figured I could sand them down and restain them the…
  2. Minnesota Thrift/Occasional/Antique Stores - […] end tables, chairs, night stands, etc. It’s where I found the bar stools that I turned into patio side…

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