Beat-up Bench to Kids Step Stool

Remember this, that I found on the side of the road a couple of weeks ago but wasn’t quite sure what it was (bench? stool? step stool?) From the looks of it, it came from someone’s workshop – or was used as a target for hatchet-throwing practice. Seriously, the thing had about 1,000,001 little nicks over the entire top.

old step stool


I was happy to find it though, because it’s a sturdy, solid piece, and is the perfect height to use as a step stool for our bathroom. Once I told the girls they were getting a new step stool they got all excited, so this quickly moved to the top of my list.

I started by filling in some of the bigger holes and ruts with pre-mixed grout (I figured it would be more durable than spackle.) I didn’t attempt to fill every little knick – that would have been impossible, plus I like the slightly-worn look. Once that was dry I lightly sanded and then painted it with two coats of Pink Carnation by Glidden.

Because I planned on varnishing the top, I wanted to add something to make it a bit more slip-resistent, and decided to use a roll of non-slip shelf liner from the dollar store. I drew the shapes freehand (I didn’t want them to be too perfect) and used Mod Podge to apply them, then added two layers of MP over top. I finished with two layers of glossy craft varnish.

I liked it, but wanted it to have a little more color, so I painted the piece underneath with a turquoise craft paint that I had – it’s not exactly the same color as the shelf-liner cut-outs, but close enough!

The finished product:

All in all it cost me $1, because I got the stool for free and already had the paint.


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