When we first started working on the house, we made a list of everything that NEEDED to get done and prioritized everything, with the most important on the top and the least on the bottom. So of course, since I have zero patience, I started doing things at the bottom of the list. Did we have the floors in? Nope. Did we have the kitchen bar even usable? Definitely not. But I thought making the bar stools was obviously what I should be doing with my time. So while my dad and the BF were tearing down walls and replacing the huge window, I was making bar stools.
I modified the plans from Ana-White, my DIY idol. She has plans for some outdoor bar stools. They don’t have any curves on them so I figured they would be somewhat simple. However, I refuse to pay for a Kreg-jig until I find something I literally can’t do without it. So this project ended up taking about a few weeks to put together when I probably could’ve finished them in a weekend.
Since I didn’t want to see any screws, I decided to connect everything together using dowels. Planning ahead was very important. I drilled each piece of wood wherever a dowel would go before gluing each piece in and clamping it together. It is important to get everything together per side at once. Otherwise it might be impossible to get pieces where they need to be. The clamps need to be holding the wood together for a full 24 hours to make sure everything is set. Patience really is a virtue here. If i were to make these all over again I would probably go and get a Kreg-Jig and do it that way. Getting the dowels to line up perfectly is near impossible, so a lot of the times my dowel holes were larger than needed and I used wood glue to secure everything in place.
Once they were all built and beautiful, I carefully sat down on one of them. And I mean very carefully. They didn’t creak or anything and seemed pretty sturdy, but this was my first real project and I was so nervous! I called the BF over to come see my new pride and joy, and he jumped on to one, with no hesitation at all! And the chair held!! Oh man, I was so scared it was going to collapse!
I knew I wanted to make them look antique, and that I wanted them to have color, since the floors were going to be hardwood and the bar is oak, except for the tile top. After much research I decided on using Milkpaint, and I gotta say, I love it! I stained the chairs first using Minwax Dark Walnut and then mixed together my Milkpaint following the directions and kept adding water until I got the consistency I wanted. It was going on a little grayer than I was hoping for at first, but after adding some more blue and then letting it dry, it turned the perfect blue! I chipped some parts away (and got a little carried away on some parts, but it’s “antique”) and sealed it using Polycrylic sealer and voila! They are perfect! And I love them!
I’ve attached the link to Ana’s bar stools. I made mine 1 board shorter on the seat depth and also quite a bit shorter to fit an indoor bar height. After measuring my bar height I went with a 30″ seat height. Apparently indoor bars and outdoor bars are different heights, which I notice all the time now.