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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Mid Century Cosco Step Stools/Chairs

The wife and I just finished the restoration of this retro, mid century Cosco step stool. The convertible seat and fixed steps make this a rare find not to mention a very cool, handy piece. Although we fell in love with this little piece of history, everything has a price so feel free to bring an offer! 
Just added to this post was the Cosco Step Stool painted white with red vinyl. Although the overall design of the stool (with the flip up seat) remained the same, a padded, upholstered back rest that sits a little higher, adds a bit of comfort.


  1. Can you explain how you got rid of the rust and repainted the white metal on the steps while leaving the black Cosco rubber intact? Did you take it all apart, sand it down, and spray paint it?


  2. Thank you for your inquiry...
    Yes, the stool was completely dismantled in order to eradicate all the rust. It was primed & painted (with a spray gun), reupholstered then reassembled. It might appear to be more work but thoroughness is what counts when restoring anything. Taking the piece apart made the job much easier and faster.

  3. Thanks for the information. What about the original Cosco rubber pads? Did you pull them off and glue them back down? Can I ask what kind of glue you used for that to reupholster the vinyl? And did you use epoxy enamel spray paint for the white? It's very lovely, and I have a similar one that I have started cleaning up, but am afraid about the original rubber pads and if gluing down the vinyl on the seat would be difficult. Thanks!

  4. Yes, you will want to pull the rubber pads off as there is probably more rust under them. Use 2 way tape to put back on. The tape is very thin yet very, very strong. You will want to purchase 1/4" foam along with whatever material you choose to cover the seat. I used an all-purpose spray adhesive ("Duro" is the brand name)to install both the foam and the vinyl. (Whatever glue you choose to use, make sure it won't "eat" the foam). If your stool is exactly like mine, the seat is in 2 pieces. It's very easy to remove and re-install. Just lift the tabs to remove the seat. When ready to put back on, insert the tabs through the holes and bend back in place. The nice part about this is you will want to re-install the seat right after gluing as the pressure will force the vinyl and foam to dry and stick very well.
    I chose to apply an oil based paint. I'm sure you can achieve a very satisfactory result with Rustolem spray paint. Just apply a couple thin coats. (Don't forget to spray it with primer first).
    Good luck, I'm sure you will do great!

  5. One more thing...If you still have the stickers under the seat use painters tape to cover (or remove and glue back in place when done) prior to painting.