Picture of Whiskey Barrel Bar Stools
Sun and weather take a toll on outdoor furniture. I had four outdoor bar stools covered with plastic resin wicker that had cracked and split. I priced new outdoor bar stools, ($75 and up x 4.) I figured I could renovate my old stools for about the price a single new chair. The plastic wicker had to go, but the powder-coated steel frames still looked good. I repurposed an old whiskey/wine half-barrel to provide all the material for the seats, backs and bracing. If you are even a little bit handy, possess basic wood working skills, and have some ordinary tools, you can knock this out over a couple of weekends. I wound up with great looking and very serviceable barstools from a single half-barrel and a hand-full of screws.
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Step 1: Remove Resin Plastic Wicker

Picture of Remove Resin Plastic Wicker
You can see how the plastic had cracked and split. I cut away the plastic wicker from the barstool frames using a utility knife; taking care not to scratch the powder coating.

Step 2: Materials List

Picture of Materials List
• 1-Oak Half Barrel w/ Hoops
• Barstool frames (up to 4)
• Zink Coated Phillips Screws (per barstool)
14 - #10 x 1-1/2” Oval Head
8 - #10 x 1-1/4” Pan Head
9 - #12 x 5/8” Pan Head
• 1 qt. 'Spar' exterior polyurethane - oil based
• 1/2 pt. Wood Stain - oil based
• Sandpaper - Belts (80 grit)
• Sandpaper - Sheets (120 & 220 grit)
Optional *
* 1 pt. Rust Remover (for barrel hoops)
* 1 qt. Wood Bleach (oxalic acid)
Brilliant. I have some similar chairs with some kind of non-plastic wicker on them that have been beaten by the sun.
This would be a brilliant option.
I'll keep my eyes open for some cheap wine barrels.
Thank you very much for the inspiration.
kminer49er (author)  Ricardo Furioso1 year ago
Thanks for the good words. Scout the big-box home improvement centers. This time of year you may find half-barrels that have fallen apart and they will sell for $10-15.
JohnMeng1 year ago
Fantastic. I am re-inspired to use the full length barrel stave I have stacked up in my junk room. Good looking chairs!
kminer49er (author) 1 year ago
Thanks. Try these three shortcuts to save some time. #1: Skip the bleaching process by sanding the staves down to the bare wood on both sides; #2: Take off the rust on the hoops with a 50/50 mix of linseed oil and mineral spirits and when dry, spray them with clear spar urethane; #3 Use a combination stain and spar urethane spray product which eliminates the two-step satin and finish process plus this cuts way down on the dry times.
Tazmjm691 year ago
They turned out really nice
kminer49er (author)  Tazmjm691 year ago
Appreciate the compliment. These will last a long time..
jarikcbol1 year ago
kminer49er (author)  jarikcbol1 year ago
chusgs1 year ago
Great! I have some old wine barrels and the chairs... now I only need time to put them all together. :-)