THIS CURB-SHOPPED STOOL GETS A FLORAL WOOD BURN DESIGN TOP | 7 BEGINNER TIPS FOR WOOD BURNING ON YOUR FURNITURE | YOUTUBE VIDEO
Hi beautiful creative friends! I’m not sure if I mentioned but my sister recently had surgery. She’s healing nicely and getting stronger every day but she’s not allowed to lift or do anything strenuous for several weeks. Because she’s used to being active and on the go, I wanted to find us something to do where she could stay seated yet create — so I pulled out this curb-shopped stool. Andrea suggested we keep it really rustic and try the wood-burning tool I bought at Hobby Lobby. Brilliant because Wood Burning on Furniture is something I have never tried!
As I mentioned last week, the amazing thing about curb-shopped furniture is it allows me to be more adventurous and try new techniques. NO GUILT if it doesn’t turn out. Both Andrea and I have mixed feelings about how this turned out so I can’t wait to hear what YOU think!
Here’s the curb-shopped rustic stool I started with. I found this on our Bulk Pick Up Day a few months back.
To give you a better look at this before without all the snow and junk, I took a before pic in my studio. This piece is super rustic and super cute. The seat folds down so it can be tucked away or hung on a wall.
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WOOD-BURNING STOOL MAKEOVER
If wood-burning your furniture (aka pyrography) is something that interests you, I strongly recommend giving it a try! Today I’m taking this curb-shopped flip stool and creating a wood-burn floral design to add interest to the seat. This is a 101 beginners tutorial because well…I’m a total beginner! But I’m also including 7 Tips for Wood Burning because it’s an art that’s EASY to learn!
This is one of those times I like to say if I can do it… YOU can do it! Here’s how it all came together…
This stool was found curbside and then sat in my garage for a few months so it needed a REALLY good cleaning. I used this White Lightning Cleaner, a TSP substitute, making sure the top, bottom, and underneath were spotless. When I share this video on Saturday, you’ll see how DIRTY this piece really was!
PICK A DESIGN
We tried about 6 different stencil designs on for size. Andrea liked this floral one best. I’m glad we didn’t go with anything more intricate. For a first-time wood burner, this larger design worked perfectly. If we had picked something more intricate, we would have been wood burning all day…lol. I’ve included the cost and time breakdown at the end of this post.
TRACING THE DESIGN
Once we positioned the stencil on the seat and liked the placement, we traced the design onto the seat using a pencil.
CHECK LINES ARE VISIBLE
We checked to ensure the pencil lines were visible before tracing the entire design.
WOOD BURNING TOOL
Now for the fun part! I picked up this wood-burning tool (similar) at Hobby Lobby years ago. It was selling for $29.99 but I had a 40% off coupon so it was a great deal! It comes with a stand to hold the hot pen when not in use and a variety of tips to get different looks. I have used this Pyrographic Wood Burning Tool once before on this Faux Brick Wall Project, but never on wood.
Before starting on the stool, Andrea and I tested the different tips on a scrap piece of wood. The rounded tip she is using in the pic below is the one we decided to use on the folding stool.
BURN YOUR WOOD DESIGN
To burn the stencil design into the seat, we took turns following the penciled lines. I found it much easier to control with a light touch. Also moving the pyrography pen slowly while letting the heat do the work is key!
We also found that moving the tool towards you (pulling) rather than moving it away from you (pushing) makes a difference. Depending on which way the grain of the wood is lined up with your design, you may find one way is easier than another.
Another tip that made a big difference in the smoothness of the design was making sure there was something to rest our hands and arms on. As you can see from the image below, my arm is firmly rested on the project while burning the design.
REMOVE TIP RESIDUE
While using the tool, we noticed some carbon or black residue would accumulate on the tip. Wiping it off on a scrap piece of wood before continuing the design made burning the wood a whole lot smoother.
7 TIPS FOR BURNING WOOD ON FURNITURE
And before I share the reveal, here are 7 Tips for Wood Burning a Design Onto Your Furniture.
#1 Safety First!
Work in a well-ventilated room and wear a mask. It’s also best to find a quiet space where no children or pets could tip the tool over. Also never leave the tool unattended and unplug it when not in use. Always use the stand when it’s not in use and be very careful – this tool is HOT! Keep some cold water close at hand for any mishaps that may occur.
#2 Pick a design that matches your wood-burning experience.
The more intricate the design, the harder and longer it will take to burn the design. If you’re a pro this is fabulous. But if you’re a beginner, start with something more simple.
#3 Practice on a scrap piece of wood or the back of your project.
Testing out the different tips will give you a good idea of which will work best for your design.
#4 Burn towards you for better control.
Dragging the wood-burning pen towards you will yield a smoother line rather than pushing it away from you. For a more controlled design and for safety reasons, keeping your hand and arm on the firm surface of your projects is very helpful.
#5 Rotate your project.
Keep rotating your piece so the pyrography pen does not get ‘caught’ in the grain of the wood.
#6 Take your time.
As you’re wood-burning, you’ll notice you can’t rush the process because the wood will burn at its own pace. Take your time. Enjoy the process. Listen to some music or share in some good conversation with your sister or a friend. 🙂
#7 Press lightly.
Press lightly and let the tool do the work. If you press too hard the pyrography pen tip gets caught on the wood grain. If this happens just lift and continue.
• Remove the carbon.
Remove the carbon or black that accumulates on the tip of your pyrography pen. You’ll notice that once you have a bit on the tip, it won’t burn as well. I wiped the tip onto my work table but having a scrap piece of wood nearby would work just as well.
• Buy the best Pyrography Tool Kit you can afford.
If you’re serious about this art form, buy the best pyrography tool you can afford. I bought a relatively inexpensive craft kit but I know I’m not going to use it that often.
• Enjoy and have fun!
Here’s a step-by-step tutorial on Youtube. If you have any problems viewing below, feel free to watch it on my Youtube Channel here… and don’t forget to subscribe! I can’t believe I hit 12.7K Subs! So exciting, thank YOU! 🙂
THE FINISHED STOOL
Here’s the end result! I’m so happy I stepped out of my comfort zone to try but I have mixed feelings about this finish. Andrea and I were saying that from a distance, it looks like we used a Sharpie to draw it on. 😆
Upon a closer look, you can see the stencil design has been burned into the wood.
I have to admit, this was a really relaxing process. Both Andrea and I got lost in this project and found it quite meditative.
This project took three hours from start to finish. The cost of the pyrography tool kit was $18 from Hobby Lobby (40% off coupon) and the stencil was around $20.00.
I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on this curb-shopped stool. My sister says it is perfectly rustic and that in the summer she will be using it as a plant holder on her front porch. I’m happy it’s found a new home but even happier it gave me the opportunity to spend some time and create with my favorite person. 💕
Here’s another look at this before and after. I hope it’s inspired you and given you some new ideas for your projects.
LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK OF THIS WOOD-BURNING STOOL MAKEOVER IN THE COMMENTS BELOW. AND, IF YOU’VE EVER TRIED PYROGRAPHY, I’D L*O*V*E TO HEAR ANY TIPS YOU HAVE FOR ME! I ALWAYS ENJOY HEARING AND LEARNING FROM YOU. IT MAKES MY DAY! 🙂
Happy furniture painting friends!