Step Stool to Planter




Step stool that has been stained and painted then decorated with plants.

Changing an ordinary step stool into a beautiful décor shelf for plants was a fun and quick project that was surprisingly easy to do. The combination of a darker wood stain and a light paint color on the step stool gave the piece more interest. It was the perfect accent to bring attention to my freshly painted wall.

Behr’s Featured Colors

Step Stool – Stain: Tamarind TIS-005, Paint: White 52

Wall – Paint: Broadway PPU18-20

Stain swatch with a medium brown color.
An image of open paint cam with a white color in the can.
An image of open paint cam with a black color in the can.


A drop cloth with open stain and paint cans and other tools used for the step stool project.

Tip: When staining, make sure you are in a well-ventilated space. Outside is always best, but if you are in your garage, be sure to work closely by an open door. Make sure to stir thoroughly before using each product.

Step 1Prep

A step stool showing a person sanding and then wiping so that it can be ready to stain.

Sand entire surface lightly. Wipe away sand dust with a cloth or rag. Use painters’ tape to create the edge for where the stain will stop. Using a nylon brush apply a thin and even coat of pre-stain to bottom area of stool. Let dry.

Step 2Apply Stain

A step stool showing a hand applying stain, then wiping, then applying poly.

Use a nylon brush and apply Oil-Base Stain liberally on the entire bottom section. Let sit for 2-3 minutes then wipe off any noticeable excess with a clean cloth. Let dry for at least 12 hours then apply a thin coat of Oil-Based Poly. Repeat with a second coat of Poly to protect the stain.

Step 3Apply Paint

A step stool showing a hand taping and area and then applying paint.

With painters’ tape, tape off the top edges where the stain sits. Use a nylon brush and apply paint to the top area of the stool. If needed, let dry before applying a second coat. Gentle remove tape. You can clean up any messed-up edges with paint if needed.

Two step stools side by side. First one is unfinished wood, the second is stained with a medium brown color and painted in a white color.

Decorate with plants, books… anything you want!

Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind before starting your stain project:

  • If you can’t stain outside, make sure to work in a well-ventilated area.
  • Stir product before and during. DO NOT SHAKE.
  • After applying product, wait 2-3 minutes, then go back and remove any excess product that has not penetrated into the wood.
  • Make sure to let your products dry completely between coats.
  • Let everything dry overnight before assembling.

Behr® Interior Wood Stain Products are currently only available in select stores. Find out if it’s available in a Home Depot Store near you. Find a Store. If not available at your local store, order online at

For more inspiration on Interior Stain & Paint Projects, visit

Colorfully Yours,


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