For just $225 (on sale!) you can have your very own Toledo Stool from Restoration Hardware.

{Restoration Hardware}

For those of us without $225 to spare on this cool beauty, the only alternative is to hack it! Enter this $6 stool from a local salvage yard:

How sad is it? But my friend Amy had to have it because she thought (once painted) it would make a great table base. After fussing around with it for a bit and finally stashing it in her craft room, she discovered its destiny was actually there all along- as a stool! It has adjustable height, so it both fits under her sewing table and lets her sit at counter height table. But clearly, it still needed to be made over.

I was actually flipping through the RH catalog over at Amy’s house when I came across the Toledo Stool and nearly leaped out of my chair.

“Oh. My. Gosh. You know that blue stool you got?”


“Well this [points to page] needs to happen to it, like right now”


Lucky for me Amy let me get my RH on with it 🙂 I decided to ORB the whole base, and strip the seat (for staining). Then I wanted to add a strip of metal around the edge of the seat held in place with little nails. After searching for the perfect thickness of sheet metal for a few days, I came across this piece of vent duct that I thought would work.

I measured the width I wanted (slightly smaller than the actual seat width) and cut 3 strips.

Then I got to work hammering in some carpet tacks to add detail. I happened to have these on hand from my zinc table, but you could use small nails too.

A few coats of Krylon’s Oil Rubbed Bronze, and the base was done! I also sprayed the sheet metal strips, but I don’t recommend bothering with that first (read why in a bit). Using 80 grit sandpaper, I stripped the blue paint from the seat thinking I’d find wood…but instead I found mdf. Boo. Since it was just a small area, I went ahead and just applied some stain- it came out kind of rustic, but Amy said she was cool with it so we just rocked on. Hot glue holds the strips of metal in place while I add the carpet tacks.

The metal strips got all scratched up when I was hammering, so I taped off the seat with painter’s tape and newspaper and ended up re-spraying the edge with ORB. Annoying, yes, but well worth it!

And here’s the final result, with a little cameo from my friend Abe.

It’s finished with paste wax and looks pretty darn sweet in my opinion. At the very least, it’s an improvement on the “before,” no? My version cost just $14: $6 for the stool, $4 for a can of ORB, and $4 for that metal duct.

Do any of you have a stool that could use an RH makeover?

2 Responses

  1. Amy and Anthropologie: House Numbers

    […] and Restoration, especially since I have been reaping some of the benefits. Did you see how cute my craft room stool is!?! Love it! Not to be out done, I’ve decided to totally rip off pay homage to my favorite […]


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