Refinishing Your $5 Goodwill Find in 11 Easy Steps

We’ve been looking for a stool to put in our master bath for awhile now.  Of course there are lots that I swoon over but I cough cough cringe over the $100+ price tag.  (Oh CB2…you taunting little minx.)  So I lucked out and found one for $5 at our local Goodwill store.  About 6 months ago.  I have a real problem with my follow through…it’s been rolling white and dirty in our bathroom this whole time.  I have this limey green paint that I am contemplating using in a small alcove in the boys bathroom so this project seemed like a good way to see the paint without making the commitment on the walls.

Step 1:  Find your best politically incorrect painting shirt.


This shirt was given to me for free at a flea market by an old Cowboys fan who was disgusted that I was buying vintage Redskins glasses. I was just holding them for a friend! I swear!

Step 2:  This is the most important step.  Do NOT go to Home Depot before this project.  Do NOT assemble any necessary tools before opening the paint in front of your 4 year old.  Do NOT even check to see if you have a paint stirrer.


Supplies?? Supplies?! I don’t need no stinking supplies! I’ll Chuck Norris that paint on there with my bare hands!

Step 3:  Give paint can half hearted shake.  Open it and express surprise that it isn’t mixed.  Leave your 4 year old alone with the open can of paint while you frantically scramble around trying to find a paint stirrer.  And a brush.  And maybe even a roller.

How can this not be mixed?? I shook it .3 times!

Step 4:  Find old stiff brushes and a tiny roller designed for painting trim.  Express victory.  Try to smooth out the paint your child has so helpfully globbed onto the stool for you.


“It’s Stool ‘N Paint…And I Helped!”

Step 5:  Jedi mind trick your child into believing that painting is booooring and that stirring the paint is the coolest, most helpful job in the world.


Uh yes Alec…I’ll take ‘Bad Ideas’ for $100.

Step 6:  Make sure that the towel you have laid down underneath your project has recently been slept on by a dog so that every time the wind blows you get dog hair all over your work.  Congratulations!  It’s now a mixed media piece!


“I find that the dog hair speaks of the plight of man whilst the green symbolizes the rebirth of our dreams and the stool itself represents a place to put my shoes on.”

Step 7:  Decide that this would look super cool if you painted the underside a glossy white!  Tres chic!


Oooh two tone stool…you so faaaancy!

Step 8:  But absentmindedly do this instead.


Duh-oh. And lookey there…still has the sticker on it. 6 months later.

Step 9:  Take a break to listen to your 4 year olds interpretation of Picasso’s Guernica.  Get sad for a minute about the world we live in.  Decide that you don’t want to explain war. Or death. Or sadness.  Not today.


“See…that guy is mad because the other guys are being too loud outside of his house so he is sticking his head out to yell at them.”

Step 10:  Look up to see your no longer napping 2 year old standing in front of you positively quivering over the possibilities of an open can of limey green paint.  And the car that is only 3 feet away.  Realize the 2 year old has left the door open and the collarless dog has wandered out.  Make split second decision that might possibly change the course of your marriage to leave the children with the open can of paint beside the car.  Catch (50 lb) dog and carry her into the house all the while yelling back over your shoulder, “Paint HOT! Don’t touch! OUCH! FRAGILE! DIVORCE!”


Literally drooling on the floor.

Step 11:  Come back from putting up dog and act like it’s totally normal that neither child dunked the other ones head into the paint can in the 5 seconds you were gone.  Secretly vow to offer up a sacrificial lamb of thanks after the children are in bed.  Carry stool which may or may not be fully dry into the house.  Admire your work.  Take pictures from far, far away.


Don’t go zooming in or anything crazy like that!

(Bonus points if you giggled every time you read the world ‘stool’ in this post.)

Next project:  Painting a magnetic chalkboard wall behind the boys’ beds.  Each type of paint requires 3 coats.  Look for that project to be complete just in time to turn their room into a home gym when they leave for college.


11 thoughts on “Refinishing Your $5 Goodwill Find in 11 Easy Steps

  1. Ok this is hilarious! I tell Drake everything is HOT too when I don’t want him to touch!! So funny!!! and Omg the line, “Paint HOT! Don’t touch! OUCH! FRAGILE! DIVORCE!” had me rolling!

  2. My grandma calls toilets stool so when I began reading I was wondering what the hell you were going to do with a toilet from the goodwill… 🙂

  3. I could totally picture the green paint flying across the garage and in slow motion and you in slow motion running and hurling your body in front of the car going…noooooooooooooooooo.. Mom’s can fly right??

  4. Holy shit, Danielle! I like to think there are more people like you, because this is about how my life rolls, and no one admits it! But that’s why everyone laughs!
    Nice stool! *giggle*
    What DID you eat?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s