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Tolix Style Industrial bar stools

Quite some time ago, and a blog post I’ve not yet written, we refurbished our IKEA kitchen from a contemporary stainless steel style to a traditional look more in keeping with the rest of the apartment. As a result our breakfast bar stools were looking a little out of place and we’d been looking for some to replace them.

We came across some really cool Tolix industrial metal bar stools designed in 1934 by Xavier Pauchar on a couple of websites. We really liked the idea of mixing their classic pre-war industrial aesthetics with the traditional Gustavian feel of the rest of the kitchen.

Tolix Bar Stool

The only problem was that most of the suppliers we could find here in Sweden were quite pricey for these stools especially considering that we would have to paint them in any case to match our colour scheme. So we were delighted to find almost identical stools in Dromhuset, a local shop here in Stockholm that stocks all sorts of wonderful things, for less than half the price they were elsewhere.


Compared to a lot of the projects we’ve under taken on here this one was relatively simple and straight forward. First of all I lightly sanded the varnish on the stools to help the paint adhere. I then gave it a single coat of a water based half gloss metal paint. I would have actually preferred a flat matt finish but they couldn’t do it in a metal paint for the colour we wanted and as I’d be distressing them they finished up looking matt in the end.


Next came the fun part -distressing! I used a variety of techniques to get the finish we wanted. I bashed the stool around a bit with a pair of mole grips to create chips in the paint. I used sandpaper to rub through to the base layer of gray and I used a Dremel multi-tool with a grinder attachment to work right back to the bare metal surface in a few places.


I wanted to promote rust on the bare patches we’d created to add depth to the finish with the browns and reds of the rust against the blue and grey of the stool. I tried a couple of techniques including vinegar and leaving the stools in a plastic wet dust bin liner over night. I got varying levels of success so bought some rust promoter or oxidizer by Magic Metallics. It worked really really well and create the rust patches above in a few minutes.

So there you have it some distressed industrial bar stools. Thanks for reading the Shabbyside of Chic!

Tolix Style Industrial bar stools