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ReFound Makes: Mandie Lowry’s record stool

Mandie Lowry is an illustrative artist from Belfast who has created some stunning items of upcycled furniture for ReFound. Her imaginative use of materials has seen biro, chalk paint and danish oil employed to create her pieces.

Mandie has put together a fabulous tutorial for Patchwork Quill readers to create their own Record Stool.

You will need:

  1. a wooden stool

  2. paintbrushes

  3. paint primer

  4. black gloss paint

  5. other paint colours (emulsion sample pots are inexpensive and come in a great range of colours)

  6. quality masking tape, ie. Frog Tape.

  7. PVA glue

  8. wood/ craft Varnish

  9. photocopy of your chosen record (see step 6)

  10. ultra-fine grain sandpaper


Step 1: Sand. This is vital, as you will need to remove any existing varnish/paint. Take care to get into the crevices and seams as paint will not adhere properly to any residue of varnish or wax.

Step 2: Clean. Even if your stool is a bare wood piece, Iʼd recommend cleaning it with sugar soap to remove any surface dirt. If you donʼt have sugar soap, use a damp cloth, but donʼt saturate the wood.

primed stool jpg

Step 3:

Prep. Apply an even coat of primer to the entire stool.

Tip: A spray primer is a great way to save time, just make sure you spray from approximately 20cm away and administer in light, even coats.

masking stool jpg

Step 4:

Mask. Using a high quality masking tape (eg. Frog tape), apply to the outer rim of the seat, this will enable you to paint the edge and underside of the seat without getting any colour on the top. (In photo I have already applied black gloss to the surface, before masking the rim, however Iʼd advise leaving the top till last!)

paint legs 2 jpg

Step 5: Paint. Bear in mind that the paint finish will only be as good as your brushes; cheap brushes tend to shed and will leave hairs stuck in the paint! Decide whether you want to paint all the legs the same colour, if so you can go ahead and paint all the lower area now. Should you choose to paint each leg a different shade, you will need to mask off the legs accordingly, waiting for the paint to dry on each, before applying tape.

almost finished! jpg

Step 6: Vinyl. In order to achieve the ultra-glossy look of vinyl on the top “record” you will need to use a good gloss paint (acrylic or enamel will do).

If you intend to paint the record label rather than using a copied image, you should mask off this centre area before painting (I have used a large jam jar lid, which I weighed down with a small paint tin, to keep it in place.)

If you wish to use a copied label, you can just go ahead and paint the entire seat in black. I recommend spraying the top if possible as this gives the smoothest finish – but be sure to COMPLETELY cover the lower part of the stool before you spray, in order to protect your paintwork (a plastic bag taped around the lip of the seat works well, but avoid using newspaper, as the newsprint tends to transfer onto the painted surface).

Once again, apply in light, even coats, allowing each to dry in between. Tip: lightly sanding between coats, with an ultra-fine grain sandpaper will result in the best overall finish.

Step 7:

You can photocopy a favourite record to make your label.

Detail. When in comes to customising, you can paint the centre ʻlabelʼ of the record yourself, or you can photocopy a favourite record to create the label. Youʼll need to get a good color copy, using better quality paper than your average printout. Then all you need to do is cut out the middle section, ready to apply to your stool. Alternatively you may choose to make a label by hand, personalised with a name perhaps. Apply your label using a light coat of PVA glue, or spray glue (such as Spray Mount) if you have it.

Step 8: Finish. You can use a spray varnish or a paint-on one over your stool, but be sure to allow to dry between each new application. It is very important to take care when applying over the surface of the recordʼs label, as you do not want to soak the paper and cause it to bubble – 1-2 coats is all that should be applied to this area. If you are using a spray varnish, treat the label beforehand with a light coat of PVA over the face of it, to prevent the spray from bleeding the ink. When the varnish has dried, your record should be complete. 🙂

completed stool 1 jpg


I absolutely LOVE this tutorial and can’t wait to pick up an old stool at a thrift shop and get to work!

Please get in touch with your pictures if you try this tutorial – use the form above or send them to me on Facebook or Twitter.

Don’t forget, ReFound are holding their Pop-Up Home event this weekend, 12 and 13 October, with a cocktail reception between 4 and 6pm on Saturday. See their Facebook page for more event details!

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