2.29.2016

Powder Coated Bar Stools

Finally I have some new barstools for the zinc table in the kitchen.

These are fake Harry Bertoia stools. I would love to own the real deal like these babies here, but those aren't really in my budget (although at the end of the day for sure buying vintage real ones would be a solid investment).

I bought these from the online site Instyle Modern. I got 4 for $412, but as you can see they were in a chrome finish. Some of the welds weren't the neatest, but still very passable for their cost. 

Before I bought my stools, I had seen a blogger that I really admire for her original content spray paint her faux, chrome stools in the original cream/black Bertoia style. I was completely seduced by this. I say seduced, because I kind of knew in the back of my head that you can not spray paint chrome. It just will not adhere with any usable durability. For reasons I cannot understand, I jumped anyway.

The stools arrived and I did some technical research online. I spoke with the folks at Rustoleum.  I learned that my best bet if I wanted to DIY these was to first sand the surface and then spray them with self-etch primer, but even that stuff isn't really intended for chrome. Chrome is a bitch to paint. Even with some significant prep that stuff easily scratched off.

I accepted defeat, and switched gears. The best way to achieve that two-toned awesomeness was to get them powder coated. I found this place in Oakland and they worked out great. At 120$ per chair, it essentially doubled their cost, but I think it was worth it. They look perfect and the finish is rock solid durable. 

The original knoll stools have all sorts of seat padding options. Of course mine came with a pebbled fake leather seat. I'd like to replace it with a tan cowhide like I have on my dining chairs. This sounds awful but I promise you it's subtle and lovely. 

For now I have them draped with little sheep skin hides (those little 29$ ones from IKEA). The seats are pretty comfortable without but even better with. I think they look grrreat either way.

The guy that did the powder coating removed the feet and then reattached them to preserve the raw steel foot which is a nice little detail. To save my floor, I've got little felt pads on there which will flatten down a little after some use.

If you are curious about what I had for seating around this table before, you can catch a glimpse of them from this post. They were cute, but weren't optimal for a few reasons -the lack of back made them really tough for my younger guy to sit in for any length of time and they had a tendency to tip over, which sent the cat and dog scurrying. I am amassing a bunch of stuff for a big Craigslist sale and the old set will be on the list. 

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