This Painted Step Stool
is Perfect for Kids!

Finishing this painted step stool was so much fun!  I chose to use milk paint because you can create depth and character for each different piece.  I so enjoy when a project is so interesting to look at that people want to touch it!!!

I also chose to use a clear coat sealer as the top coat.  I had used a brown wax on a earlier milk paint project.  I liked how it looked, but not how it felt!  It was too sticky.  I like the smooth feel.

Check Out the Free Plan for This Painted Step Stool!

This free woodworking plan takes you from collecting materials and tools all the way through final assembly.  It comes complete with a free woodworking plan pdf.

Click here or on the photo to go the plan page. (The page you are currently on is the finishing page.)

The First Step in Finishing This Step Stool Was to Dye it.

This is a very important step when you plan on distressing or aging a woodworking project!  You do not want the exposed wood to look new when you distress the "wear spots".

See the photo below of a step stool where it was not dyed.

Raw Wood is Showing!

The raw wood started showing with the distressing done at the beginning.  As this step stool has been used many times a day over the last 5 years, more of the raw wood shows in the wear spots.

It is a constant reminder to use the wood dye first!  To see the plan for this step stool, click here or on the photo.

P.S.  This is a great plan for a very practical, useful step stool!  We have 2 of this style step stool in the house, and they are constantly getting moved from room to room!

The Second Step Was to Paint the First Layer of Milk Paint.

I love using milk paint!!  For this step stool I used white milk paint.  This photo shows one coat being applied.

After the wood dye and before applying the first coat, I sanded with a very fine sandpaper.

One Coat of Milk Paint is Not Enough!

The white milk paint obviously did not cover with one coat!  I ended up doing 3 coats with light sanding with a very fine (#220) sandpaper between each coat.

The Next Step is Distress "Wear Spots".

The outside of the side pieces were distressed using sand paper, an old brick, and scraping along the cement driveway.  The goal is to wear away the milk paint in the areas that most likely would have shown wear if the step stool had been used for many years.

Obviously, the focus for wear was at the bottom of the legs, on the edges, and around the handles.

The Step was Also Distressed.

I had fun with this - wearing away the paint where the little feet would likely have been if this stool had been used for years!

The Next Step Was to Protect the Painted Step Stool with Sealer.

Since my last milk paint project, I moved to a new house, and I couldn't find my clear sealer.

So I had to order more.  This clear coat was ordered from      I was impressed with their service!  And surprised when it was delivered within 2 business days!

Applying Sealer is Easy!

This stage of finishing is always fun, because you know you are almost done.

The bottle recommended 2 coats.  I again sanded with the very fine sandpaper between coats.  And, on the step piece, I used 3 coats as that is where there will be the most wear.

Your Next Step is To Put It All Together.

Now that you have finished your step stool to suit your needs, it is time to assemble it.

Click here or on the photo to see the easy steps for assembly!

This Painted Step Stool
Looks Great When Complete!

The milk paint and distressing gives it such character!

Please let me know what you think in the comments section below.

Free Woodworking PDF Available.

You may download the free, woodworking plan PDF for this painted step stool!  Have fun building it, and have fun painting it to fit YOU!

Click on the photo, or on this link, to go to the PDF for this step stool plan.

Check Out Some
Other Milk Paint Projects.

This Was a Special Milk Paint Project!

This little arched, Shaker bench was also finished with milk paint.  This project was one of my favorites!!  This little bench also gets used every day: for a coffee table, an ottoman, and, sometimes, as a bench.

Click here or on the photo to see the steps used to get the richness that regular paint can't give you.

The Aprons on This Sofa Table were Also Done with Milk Paint.

Milk paint was used to try to match the new aprons to the antique legs.

Even though I wasn't pleased with the final result, the owner was!

And I had fun trying something new!

Click here to see the steps to finishing this project.

Brown Wax Was Applied Over the Milk Paint.

This is the step stool that I referred to above.  It was finished with a bright blue milk paint that was significantly darkened when the brown wax was applied.

You can check out the steps to finishing that piece here.

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