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DIY Arrow Striped Distressed Nautical Stool

Here is how I took an average step stool and painted an arrow pattern that has a nautical look!

Happy Friday everyone!

Today is officially the first day of summer vacation where we live. School should have ended yesterday- but we have had a teacher strike the last two weeks which meant we actually had an “early start” to summer.

Now that summer is ‘really’ here, we have some camping trips planned this July and my boys can’t stop talking about them.

They keep telling perfect strangers in the grocery store that they are going camping soon.

I hope it turns out to be as much fun as they think it will be. I am sure it will, right?

They love being outdoors, swimming, boating, etc. Relaxed. Rustic. Fun. Like camping.

And this little stool.

I made it for them for their bathroom, so that they could reach the sink. But now, my three year old carries it wherever he goes and suddenly is able to “get into” a whole lot more then he used to be able to. Which was already a lot.

DIY Arrow Striped Stool Revamp poster.

To do this project I used:

  • an old stool that I picked up at a garage sale
  • Navy and White Krylon Spray Paint
  • Frog Tape Painters Tape
  • Sandpaper
  • Minwax Furniture Wax and a soft cloth

I picked up this cute little wooden vintage stool at a garage sale for $2. It was in pretty rough shape…

An old wooden stool.

I gave it a sanding with some medium grit sandpaper…

Sanding the old stool.

Once I had wiped it down I gave it a few coats of deep navy blue spray paint….

Applying Krylon to the stool.

Once I had let the navy blue cure for a few days I taped out an striped arrow design on the top, using the frog tape as a spacer between each “arrow”….

Taping the pattern to the painted stool.

I rubbed the edges down carefully to ensure the tape was well adhered and then gave the whole top of the stool an overall coat of white (protecting the legs of the stool with an old towel).

Krylon white spray paint for nautical stool at The Happy Housie

Oops. There were a few tiny spots where the paint had leaked under the tape… I just solved that with a little sandpaper. Nothing a good distressing job can’t hide.

Taking sandpaper to the stool to make it look distressed.

I gave the whole thing an overall sanding once the white spray paint had had the chance to dry… in spots where I sanded over the white the underneath navy blue began to show through. In other spots the original wood tone showed through the distressing.

Once the sanding was done, I wiped the painted step stool down and gave it a coat of furniture wax using a clean soft cloth:

Applying Miniwax to the stool with a cloth.


DIY Arrow Striped Rustic Stool Revamp by The Happy Housie

The finished stool.

Like this?

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DIY Arrow Striped Distressed Nautical Stool for our Boys Nautical Theme Bathroom graphic.

Easy. Relaxed. Rustic. It totally suits the feel of our boys’ vintage nautical style bathroom design…

The stool in the bathroom with a rubber toy on top of it.

The stool in the boys bathroom.

It is the perfect thing for my littlest guy to use at the sink.

And, apparently it works rather well to help him get into the candy cupboard too.

You may have spotted this stool if you saw my post about how we updated our boys’ bathroom on a budget

How to Update the Bathroom on a Budget by The Happy Housie

I think their bathroom, which is across the hall from their bedroom, flows really well with the décor in that space too.

Have you seen the projects we have been working on for their bedroom?

I think I have said this 48 times before, but their room truly is ‘almost’ done. Haha. I wonder if it ever really will be “done”.

Thanks for reading. And remember my housie friends, HOME isn’t built in a day. Enjoy the journey!



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  1. I love this little stool, Krista! Especially in navy and white! My son drags a chair around to get what he needs too…they are definitely resourceful ha ha. I am SO happy that I got the chance to meet and hang out with you in person! You are so fun and we would totally be real life friends if you only lived a few thousand miles closer! 🙂 XO

  2. Who knew I could like a tiny little stool so much! You made it look fantastic!! I would love it if you linked this up to my Motivate Me Monday linky party at IT’S A ginger SNAP.

  3. Love the stool! Such a great find 🙂 Your boys will love camping, I am sure! Just something about being outside all day! You lucky ducks, being out of school early…. Or you’re a teacher right? 🙂 Then the strike isn’t so fun! Our last day was just on Friday. Hope you have a relaxing summer, Krista!

  4. The stool looks great – we have one in our bathroom too but sadly it wasn’t your bargain (one with a duck from winners). Just added some board and batten to our bathroom and I love it! Keep thinking about you throughout it all 🙂 hope the west coast treats you to a great summer

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