Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Bringing That Antique Metal Stool Back to Life.... (I hope?)

We're glad everyone loved our 'Home Alone' stair sledding, but our game faces are back on and we are getting back to work! Remember this little beauty?  Well I guess I can't say beauty, but here's to hoping we can make it happen!  I picked this up a while back when I went antique shopping in Stillwater. As I discussed in that blog, I had been looking everywhere for a stool like this, because it's just like the one my grandma had.  The upside of this find, is that I got it for only $24 bucks, but it looks like this is going to take a lot of work to restore it. Oh, and I know Christmas is only 4 days away, but I was itching to start this since its been sitting for 2 months now. 
Here's a gratuitous close up of just how badly rusted it is. Don't worry, I recently had a tetanus booster, ha!

The legs are really bad! In case you are wondering (but I know it is pretty common knowledge) rust forms in small pits on the surface of metals when they are exposed to moisture. Given enough time, oxygen, and water, any iron mass will eventually convert entirely to rust.  It's even possible for rust to completely eat through metal. However, with the right tools, you can remove the rust, exposing a smooth new surface just waiting to be refinished (that is of course as long as the rust hasn't eaten though all the way). Eeeek!  What has this chair been through?  Don't worry, we will save you :)
 Since I was wondering what this stool has been through, I googled the brand 'Cosco' that I found on the foot step.  Easily, I discovered why these stools are so special! Cosco was founded in 1935 in Columbus, Indiana and in 1941 introduced patented all-metal kitchen stools; the first full line of household stools manufactured by one company. So that is where this style of stool came from which makes sense, maybe my grandma got one after my grandpa came back from WWII to put in their home? My mom even said she remembered that stool from when she was little as well.
Anyway, I about lost it when I found out you could just order one of these stools on their website!  Grrr! After all the time I spent searching, but really what's the fun in a brand new one?!? Back to my stool restoration...

I asked my handy hubby what the heck to use to sand off rust and this is what he came home with.  Rapid Strip attaches to a power drill and 'rapidly' strips off rust.
 So, we went down into Alex's workroom/ bike lair in the basement and I got to strippin' off the rust! 
 Check out the close up action, see all that shiny metal being uncovered?!?
 Alex scolded me for not holding it level a couple times so as usual I let him take over and got back to photographing our adventures. (PS he ended up putting on goggles, that tool shot stuff all over the place, if you use it wear googles!).
 Glorious shiny metal! Can you believe it?!?
 I asked him to try the legs to see if they were still whole underneath the rust...
 Thankfully, solid metal under that rust!
 We will keep you posted on the progess, but this will likely take as much painful sanding as my table and 3 stools. Also, not that we're dragging our heels (ha, heels!) on the projects we are working on, but we might have to wait until Christmas craziness is over before we can get any big projects done (which will be hard for me, I LOVE blogging!). We hope everyone is enjoying their holiday season fun and festivities! Make up your own tradition like we did this year!


  1. My grandma still has a couple of stools just like that!

  2. ooh, I think it's much more fun to re-finish your own (as you are) instead of purchasing one brand new... you'll definitely appreciate it a lot more :)

    Merry Christmas to you guys!!!

  3. I just had one like that given to me. I am having to redo it a little bit, but it's mostly is great great. It reminds me of my childhood.


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