Monday, September 17, 2012

Our Kitchen Stools Have Been Stained!

Back in June, I wrote this post about my indecision regarding our counter stool situation.  It didn't take long for me to decide to return the Pier 1 chairs that I wrote about in that post, because I was really worried about how they would hold up over time.  I liked the World Market stools, but the color was too light/white/yellow for my liking:

See how much they stand out from the caramel colored granite?

Returning the stools would have been tricky and expensive because we didn't have any local World Market locations at the time (We do now!!  Yippee!!), so I decided to attempt to stain them.  I should be up front and state that I would not normally spend $500 on brand new stools and then alter them.  I would have kept searching/saving for a better alternative.  In this case, I went for it because of the return expense and because the only thing I didn't like about the stools was the color.  I could potentially fix the color of the stools.  I also could potentially ruin them, and I knew that going in, but there was a review on the World Market website indicating a woman had stained her stools with great success.  This review gave me a good deal of confidence and hope:).  

It still took me two months to decide on a color using a spare banana leaf basket as a stain tester.  I also needed to wait until we had weather that was consistently below 90 degrees.  And then I needed a smidge more time to build a little more confidence to take the staining plunge.  Here are some progress images:


 Test Basket

 Stain Winner:
Minwax Special Walnut, although it was pretty concentrated at the bottom of the container:).  I used a cheapo brush to apply it.  It took 2 good coats per stool.

The change was pretty dramatic: 

After staining the stools, I let them sit for a few days while I pondered how to seal them best.  I ended up using this:

Minwax Polyacrylic Spray in a satin finish.  
I applied 3 thin and even coats to the banana leaf surfaces of the stools.

And here is how our kitchen is looking now:

The caramel colored stools blend so much better with our granite.  I am giddy over them!!  I still plan to tackle the whole play-doh on woven stools issue by sewing some slipcovers with laminated fabric.  That may happen in a colder month when we're stuck inside on a more regular basis, and thus playing with play doh on a more regular basis.  (I'm saving my sewing projects for the winter and tackling the paint/stain projects outside now while we still can:)!!)  

What do you think about the stools?  Would you stain brand new stools:)?
Linking up to Thrifty Decor Chick


  1. Just found your blog and it was very helpful. I was going to yard sale my pier 1 banana leaf chairs which I have had for about 4 years because the color was coming off in certain areas but I decided after several weeks of searching for ideas I would stain them with minwax. Wow, they turned out great like new! Then I was looking for suggestions on sealing them to keep the color from rubbing off again when I found your blog. Thanks so much, I'm going out now to get the spray!

    1. Thanks for commenting! I'm glad I'm not alone on the whole staining banana leaf topic. I didn't find much information out there when I was researching the process either. We've only had them in our kitchen for 2 weeks now, but so far the color is holding up well!
      Good luck with the poly!

    2. Hello!!! I am so glad that I found this as my chairs from Pier one needed to go or be stained. So when u stained them did you have to prep them in anyway ???

  2. When you first talked of doing the stain, I was skeptical, but they turned out fantastic - I like the darker color!

  3. They do look pretty fantastic. Like it was meant to be. Love the color - that is the same one i used for all my staining projects in little man's room. :)

    1. Ooooh!! I'm so excited to see your little guy's room. Cow pictures, old windows, and stain...I'm very, very intrigued:)!!
      P.S. Did you check ebay for cowbells?

  4. These look great! How do they hold up to everyday wear?

  5. Hi, I just inherited a pier 1 banana leaf chair that looks more like a sofa chair--big and 'loungey'. However, it is a honey color with several places where the stain (as well as poly protectorant) has been rubbed completely off. I would like to spray paint it. What do you think?

  6. Hi , Thanks for sharing , I have some banana leaf furniture that I have in storage from a previous home, where it lived in the screened / Four season room . Now purchased a summer home and want to use the furniture there, but it doesn't go well with the dark floors . As you mentioned too light and too yellow. You have given me hope .I really want to use that furniture in my new place. I am now going to give staining a try . Thank You