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How to Restore a Vintage Step Stool Chair?

Some bar or step stools hold memories, and watching them grow molds or left in the sun to crack something wise people don’t do; instead, you find a way to restore your old vintage step stool. And that is why we are always here to give you better ways to restore and rejuvenate your vintage stool. This involves a couple of steps and tools to aid the whole process. The guide will outline some basics and accessories that will help you restore your bar and step stools and equip you with ideas and tricks on better ways to ensure your stools are better and good looking.

How to Restore a Vintage Step Stool?

guides of restoring vintage step stools

1 Wash the stool surface with a wood-cleaning solution

The first step towards restoring your old and broken step stool is to clean its surface with a wood-cleaning soap. Most cleaning agents have a cleaning procedure; luckily, all of them have a mixing formula. Follow all the instructions on mixing your cleaning agents with water and dip a clean piece of cloth or cotton rags in the solution, rinse out excess water to avoid dripping, and wipe the whole furniture. Note this is the safest way to clean all vintage stools you wish to rejuvenate, and also, it helps to keep the old finish, so keep an eye on your washing detergents.

Hint: You can make your cleaning detergent by mixing mild tbsp washing soap with one or two gallons of clean water.

2 Fix the White Rings

Use any petroleum jelly to fix any white rings from step one; you can achieve this by rubbing the petroleum jelly into any white rings and soap marks left by spilled liquids over the years or sun cracks. You can apply this jelly and let it soak overnight to allow the jelly finish or replace nay watermark or hidden cracks. If the jelly doesn’t work, you can opt for wood and vintage-designed products to remove rings and old marks. Ensure that you test all the products on a small spot because some can bleach or change your step stool color.

3 Repair and Replace Broken Parts and Cracks with Wax or Epoxy Putty

Always select wax or epoxy putty to repair or something that matches your step stool color. Break off all the chunk in the wax or putty and shape the binder with your fingers to fit in the cracks and chips. At all costs, ensure that the wax or the epoxy putty flush with the step stool surface for a perfect finish. You can get these binders in your local stores; luckily, they also have some specifications; for instance, the wax is recommended for smaller damages while putty for larger spaces. Note that you will require to mix two parts to achieve the best flush or crack filling when mixing the putty.

4 Apply a Stain Gel over the old lining to Restore the Missing Stool Color

Use a soft rag or cloth to work or smear the gel stain into the step stool if the old color stain has faded or worn off. You can wipe off the excess stain gel with a piece of soft cotton cloth and allow it to dry for at least twelve hours away from sunlight. Ensure you don’t strip off the old lining when restoring the step stool’s original color with stain gel. Gel stain is the best option because it has a faster drying ability and maintains and holds the original stool’s color.

5 Wipe on a Stool Finish to restore the Initial Shine and to Add a Protective Shade.

Apply any wipe on wood or steel finish with a soft cotton rag in a circular motion and ensure that all the cream covers the whole stool. Wipe off the excess finish from the stool’s surface and ensure no excess options are left in the wood’s grain. You can achieve this by wiping the excess cream towards the wood’s grain, not against the grain. Allow your step stool to dry overnight for it to complete its rejuvenation process. At this stage, any type of wipe-on finish will work; the most preferred options are the oil-based polyurethane wipe-on finish.


Factors to Consider When Restoring a Vintage Step Stool

restoring old vintage step stools

Before making any steps towards restoring your stools, some factors determine the approach and methods to be used in restoring any stools.

Cracks and Broken Parts

Restoring your stools depends on the number of cracks the stool has and the number of parts broken. If your step stool has some broken parts, then you need a replacement for the broken pieces. But if your step stool is only old, the process applies. So, the initial condition of the chair determines the starting point in your approach.

Type of Wash-on and Wipe-on Detergents

Wash-on soaps have a direct impact on your initial step; if you end up with a poor or a wrong wash-on soap, then the chances are high that you won’t get the exact color and finish of your old stool. Ensure you make a wise choice when looking for a wash-on soap. It doesn’t directly impact a wipe-on soap since the chair has taken shape, and its original color has been restored. It is only wise to consider buying all oil-based polyurethane options since they have a better drying ability and a better finish. Other factors like the cost of restoring should play a role in your decisions. Sometimes the cost of restoring your step stool can be expensive than the initial price, and it is wise and economical to work with something that is favorable to your pocket.



Some step stools hold more than family legacy, and that is why restoring them is the only way. The guide has done the best research on better ways to ensure you achieve the same and restore your family vintage stool. We have also outlined better choices when it comes to wash-on and wipe-on options that will guarantee you not only a perfect finish but also an economical approach.

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