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Paint Dipped Bar Stools: The Cheater Method

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Finding an inexpensive AND cute stool is not an easy task. I found the perfect solution when I created color-dipped bar stools using the the stackable stools from Costway.

The Costway bar stools, an alternative to the popular, but discontinued IKEA Frosta stool, are perfect for paint dipped bar stools using this cheater method. Instead of actually “dipping” the stools, I used painter’s tape to give even lines for the appearance of what looks to be paint dipping. Amy Howard chalk paint made for a fast and easy painting experience on the stools.

Before and after of light wood stools when giving them a paint dip look.

Get more ideas for furniture makeovers here.

How to get the Paint Dipped Bar Stool Look without actually ‘paint dipping’:

  • Use painter’s tape to mark each leg of your bar stool at equal heights.
  • Paint up to tape for a distinct line, using 2 coats of chalk paint.
  • Let paint dry for 30 minutes.
  • Remove painter’s tape.
  • Apply a top coat over paint.
  • That’s it!

A few months back, I painted our outdated kitchen barstools a pretty white to brighten up our bar area. Today’s project was something just a little different, but the end result still coordinates well with other furniture I have in our home.


Costway Bar Stools
Painter’s Tape – I would suggest Frog Tape although I used something else.
Chalk Paint (I used Amy Howard One Step Paint in Linen and Black)
Paint brush
Minwax Polycrylic top coat

Let’s start with a photo of how these bar stools looked before the painting process:

stackable stools in natural finish.

They are actually really cute without doing a thing! But, the color dipped look takes them up several notches, in my opinion!

Detailed Steps to Create Paint Dipped Stools

1. Tape Stools in Whatever Pattern You Choose

I tried taping a few different patterns for my stools. My ultimate goal was to have the dipped chair leg look, but decided to do something fun on the top of a couple of the stools.

collage of taped stools.

The key is to ensure you get the edges of the tape pressed down well so you don’t have any bleeding of the paint. The tape I used wasn’t fantastic. I would suggest using a higher quality tape such as Frog Tape.

RELATED: Painted Furniture Makeovers

2. Paint the stools

I painted two stools black and two stools in an off-white color. You could really get creative and paint each leg a different color or use varied colors on the top. Have fun with it!

Chalk paint was my choice for paint on these stools for a few reasons:
1) it dries super fast.
2) no need to sand down the finish prior to painting.
3) I have lots of chalk paint left over from previous projects, so no need to go out and buy more. This paint goes a long way. I can typically get several small projects painted from one quart of chalk paint.

Amy Howard One Step Chalk Paint in Black and Linen were my color choices. Both required two coats.

Chalk paint dries really quickly. After 20-30 minutes, I was able to apply the second coat.

When painting the edges of the tape, be sure to keep your layers of paint thin so your lines will look nice after the tape is removed.

process collage of painting taped bar stools.

3. Remove painter’s tape

While the second coat of chalk paint is still damp, gently remove the painter’s tape, pulling it at a 90 degree angle .

As I indicated in the ‘supplies’ section of this post, I highly recommend getting a good quality tape to ensure crisp lines.

I had cheap tape on hand and used that. Unfortunately, the lines of the paint aren’t as crisp as I would have liked.

So, spend an extra couple of dollars and get Frog Tape. I tend to have to best results with that brand.

4. Apply a top coat

You have a lot of different options here! I would select a top coat based on how much and what type of use your stools would be getting.

My stools will be used primarily as plant stands, so I didn’t really mind a less durable seal.

For a fairly durable seal, I would suggest Minwax Polycrylic in matte finish.

Allow the top coat to dry based on the instructions specific to what you select and that’s it, folks!

Don’t forget to keep your furniture from sliding by adding furniture grippers to your new bar stools!

Pretty, Color Dipped Bar Stools

four bar stools that have been painted black or white.
black paint dipped chair legs.
white and black stools painted in various paint dip designs.
bathtub and stool with bath supplies.
Fiddle leaf fig in basket sitting on painted stool by window.
Do the Costway Bentwood Stools (backless round top stackable) need to be assembled?

Yes, but it’s easy! Follow the included instructions and you’ll be done in approximately an hour or less with all four stools.
assembling Costway stools

How do you dip painted chair legs?

If you have chairs, stools, or even table legs that are already painted one color, you can easily follow all of the steps above to get a “dipped” look. These steps once again are:
1) Tape off areas you do NOT want paint.
2) Paint up to tape using chalk paint, acrylic paint, or even spray paint.
3) Remove painter’s tape.
4) Apply a top coat / sealant.

How does paint dipping work?

The process described in this tutorial is a cheater method to paint dipping as you are not actually dipping your furniture in paint, rather just taping off sections of the bar stool legs to make them look dipped.

However, should you want more information on hydro paint dipping, BlueDogGarage has a fun video you might enjoy.

Do you have any painting projects / furniture makeovers you are working on? I’d love to hear about them!

If you need a little more inspiration, here are a few of my other furniture makeover projects:

Don’t forget to PIN for later!

Pinterest image for paint dipped stool.

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