A few weeks ago I mentioned that I'd gotten a step stool from a local salvage store. Here's a reminder of what it looked like. Cute, step stool but a little too shabby chic.
Then I started in with a water based alkyd paint. I learned this trick from Little Green Notebook. Cleanup is easier than an oil but has the same self-leveling characteristics that give a nice smooth finish. After giving the body of the stool two coats and letting that dry, I added the grey trim with a small brush. As you can see, I also removed the treads and painted those green. The black plastic was a little brittle so I cut it down a bit since there were some tears where I removed the previous nail heads.
Then came attaching the rubber treads with brass nail heads. This was a bit of an experiment. In my head I wanted a small-ish nailhead about half the size of your typical upholstery tack. I had originally bought some brass nails from home depot that ended up being too big and long. Instead of returning to the hardware store I sourced some doll house nails online. They were the right length but the heads on the nails turned out to also be doll house scaled. They were basically like tiny short straight pins - ridiculously small (this is when an online image would have been handy). Back to Home Depot. I bought some escutcheon pins whose heads were a little smaller than I hoped. I figured if I did enough of them around the rubber it could look cool. I also bought some brass thumb tacks as a back up. Well, the escutcheon pins took a lot of pounding to get in. Then they started bending on the last pound and were next to impossible to get out without ruining the painted rubber. So I went on to the thumb tacks which worked wonderfully. That is how I ended up with a pattern of thumb tacks and escutcheon pins on the front edge. I like the decorative look though and love how the brass dresses it up.
I also added a bit of green in the form of a small West Elm tray to corral various bathroom items that we keep out on the counter. I added a couple of silicone bumpers on the bottom to keep it off the counter and from getting wet (from the inevitable water creepage).