Garden Seat Makeover {Ballard Designs Knock-Off}


Some of you may remember the thrifting and antiquing outing that I went on with a bunch of other home decor girls in Nashville. We had so much fun that day!  One of the treasures that I brought home were two oriental garden seats. I paid less than $14 for the pair! The other girls told me I had to get them because they couldn’t since they were flying.  No problem here!

My 2 year old likes them, can’t you tell?

When I saw that Ballard Designs is selling garden seats for $139.00 a pop, {oh my word, who would pay that??} I decided to get my spray painting on!

I picked up some Valspar primer from Lowe’s and when I walked outside on Saturday morning to spray paint the garden seats, I realized that the wind was blowing Mary Poppin’s style.  Seriously.

Have you ever tried spray painting in the wind?  Don’t. Basically you might as well just forget it because the wind blows the paint far far away…which is just completely pointless.  Who cares if the wind is spray painted? Ahem.

Moving on…

Before & After The Primer

I noticed that the primer really made the imperfections show, so I grabbed a sanding pad and smoothed down the rough places before continuing with white paint.

I already had a can of Krylon’s Satin Bright White spray paint, so I saved my $$ and used it. I did several light coats for each stool.  It just took time and patience. 🙂

To say that I’m thrilled with how the garden seats turned out would be a huge understatement.

For now, this garden seat is going to sit right beside my apple green vanity desk.  I’m not sure where I’m going to place the other one, but I can guarantee that it will be lovely. 🙂

Can you believe how similar these seats are?

Ballard Designs…I’m pretty sure I just “one-upped” you. Bwahaha!

Do you have garden stools or seats at your house? I obviously live under a rock because I had no clue that’s what these things were called until I was enlightened by Nester at Blissdom!  {blush}



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  1. I love it!! I like the before too. And, well, I’ll take the desk if you ever decide to part with it. LOL! I love Forsythia. I have to get at least one planted this year.

    Hope your toe is feeling a little better this evening. Goodnight, Myra!

  2. You did a great job and they look identical to the Ballard version! I have a “garden stool” my daughter found for me at Garden Ridge. It is in the shape of an elephant with the flat back to use as a side table. I love it!

  3. Amazing, You did one up Ballard. I love it beside your beautiful desk. You always inspire me with color, even if it is white.

    Cha Cha

  4. Wow! That turned out beautifully….I copied Ballard’s and made a shower curtain a couple of years ago. I posted it on Diddle Daddle’s blog today on her Amaze Me Monday post….scroll down to #31 (I think) and check it out entitled “Ballard’s Inspired Shower Curtain”. We can make our homes beautiful for much less!


  5. It looks awesome! I love how paint can change things so drastically (even if I hate painting) and LOVE how you copied that look so spot on! Great job!

  6. Oh, it turned out great! Great find! People pay so much for reproductions, when you can usually hunt up and find the real thing for the same (or less!) –and you get the fun of the treasure hunt too!

  7. I still can’t believe how identical they are to Ballard’s!! They look SO fantastic and I want the other one! 🙂

    ps–I tried to spray paint saturday too and nope, not happening. The wind was ridiculous!

  8. These look amazing. I live in Nashville and want to find out which stores you visited or if it was the flea market.

    Also, congratulations on also being featured on “Today’s Creative Blog.”

    1. Hey Wendy! Thanks! We were actually in Goodlettsville. We went to Goodlettsville Antique Mall, Rare Bird Antiques and the Teen Challenge Thrift store. 🙂

      I’m so glad you came over from Today’s Creative Blog! 🙂

  9. I’m in L.O.V.E. with those…. Great job!! And your apple green vanity has inspired me. I have an antique vanity listed on craigslist at the moment, but I think I’m going to be deleting that post and starting a project!!! 🙂

    1. Thank you so much Jen!! 🙂 If I find any more, I’ll figure out how to send them to you! LOL! 🙂 xoxo

  10. SO glad your friends *made* you bring these home – you have definintely one-upped Ballard. This one is really gorgeous next to your green desk – love it!

  11. Myra!!! I just love this!! Its great finding sales like this and seeing them in magazines for like way more!! That’s awesome!! 😀 I’m so happy for you! I cannot tell you how awesome parts of your home is looking!! I can’t wait to see it in person!! Its looking Fabulous!! 😀 Really and truly!! love you

  12. Nice! And I do like the forsythia twigs. Big Lots has some artificial forsythia that looks like the real thing…a nice big wreath of it and some twigs too!

  13. I didn’t know they had a name either! I bought two at Big Lots last summer for 19.99 each. I’ve had them outside in my flower garden but I may just have to paint them and use them inside. Y’all went to some of my favorite thrifting (and window shopping) shops in Goodlettsville. The Teen Challenge thrift shop supports such a wonderful cause and they have great prices.

    1. Tricia, that’s so awesome to hear that we were in your neck of the woods! I love Teen Challenge and was extra excited to experience one of their thrift stores! 🙂

  14. I have been meaning to do the same, I got some knock offs at Marshalls for $20 each…. but I’m really bad at spray painting.. I tried spray painting one side with the primer, and I get a very uneven, drippy outcome.. How do you avoid the “dripping” ?.. How do you get an even coverage??

  15. Fabulous!! May be THE best knock-off I’ve ever seen! What a great bargain! And I may live under that same rock with you because I had no idea what they were called either! 😉

    Mara @ Super Savings

    1. Thank you Mara! I don’t feel quite as uneducated as I did. Several commented that they didn’t know what they were called! 🙂 Whew!

  16. I just found your blog and I LOVE it! I’ve seen similar items at Pier 1 and have drooled over them (and freaked out a little over the price). Imagine how lucky you were to find these for such a fab deal. Thanks for the great inspiration!!

  17. Love the stool! I found one at Costco a couple of years ago that looks just like your new revamped one. It only cost me $40. Had I known how much they retail for at other stores, I would have bought a couple! Live and learn…If you are interested please visit my blog at Thanks again, and I too love spray paint!

  18. Wow! I can’t believe how similar these are and that someone thought it was smart to put large asian flowers all over them! I’m so glad the girls talked you into buying these. You are one lucky ducky. 🙂

  19. ok, so I had no idea what this thing is that my mother-in-law gave me! But apparently it is a “garden seat”! Super duper excited to know what to do with this thing now. Thanks a bunch! Love!

  20. This is such a great project! I am so impressed at how close yours is to the much more expensive Ballard one! Very well done!

    I’m here from Tatertots and Jello. It’s great to find your blog.

    Have a great weekend.

  21. Very pretty! I really really love those, where did you get the originals that you ended up painting? I’ve never seen them. Weird, probably the only one,haha. good job!

  22. I can’t believe you found that pair for such a great price. I have been envying these sorts of pieces for awhile – your transformation is perfect.

    Visiting via the Weekend WrapUP

  23. No freaking way!!!!! They are identical!!!! Really identical!!!! Goes to show you how much the mark up on these things are. And yours had a design on it too, which I am sure was tedious to do, and still only a few bucks!!! Just wow.

  24. What a great find! The similarities between yours and the Ballard Designs is amazing. I love how yours turned out.

  25. So I was at Ross today (do you have that store where you are?). Anyway, they had these…for $30 each. They were solid colors, identical style to yours and a nice variety of pretty colors, but $30 each, which is better than the $139, but still …OUCH! Your thrift find was fantastic and the even thriftier makeover is superb!!!

  26. Now that is being cre8tive! What a beautiful transformation, and it is the twin to the Ballard Design one, there is no difference in quality what so ever, yours might be even better, awesome job.

  27. I love drum stools….i have one similiar to yours and it came black and I did the same as you and painted it white. I actually have 4 in our home, one at the end of the sofa and everyone uses it for thier drink, one in the bathroom with towels stacked on it, another in the dining area and one beside my bed to hold my mags I read at night. Each and everyone I have are different. I will do a post on my blog about them and take pictures of each one. I absolutely adore your apple green dresser and the white drum stool looks beautiful beside it.

  28. Those turned out soooo adorable! They look identical to Ballard’s and what a steal!! And to say that I love your apple green vanity is a HUUGE understatement! That is fab! I am gonna be hunting down some apple green paint!!!! Great job!

  29. Hi…….I am visiting blogs tonight and found yours….fantastic job! Your garden stool looks identical to the Ballard one. I have two blue and white ones that I adore. Stop by and visit my blog when you can. I am new and loving this! Once again, I am just amazed at what you did here!! WOW

  30. Wow we did the same thing.. found one for $15 bought a can of green (lime) paint and then I saw it on the cover of Ballard Designs 6 months later. The exact color garden seat.. OH how I love mine !!!!

  31. I have a garden stool I bought at Big Lots last summer and some of the finish is starting to peel since it stays outside. I was wanting to try and spray paint it and now I know I can! I also LOVE that green vanity, going on my pinterest board right now!

  32. Wow! Now that was a STEAL! I’ve been looking for a couple garden seats for some time & the lowest price I’ve found was $85. However, I’ve also seen them as expensive as &495! I think I’ll purchase the $85 seats & paint them. Great idea, Thanks!

  33. You just made my day! I “googled” can you spray paint a garden stool? and it brought me to your blog! By the weekend I will have a beautiful pair of white stools for my home, all thanks to you! You’ve been added to my favorites list! xoxo

  34. I am so excited to see this post. I have yellow ceramic garden stool and the color just never works in any of my rooms. I wanted to spray it but my husband said you can’t spray something ceramic. Obviously he is wrong and I can not wait to go home and paint it.

  35. WOW! What a great find! I was just looking at a beautiful jade dreen one of these in a magazine today. Seriously, you lucked out! Great transformation!

  36. I am so jealous – I also look at the Ballard Designs and have coveted those garden stools for EVER. Will be looking at thrift stores for some of my own…
    They are beautiful and I am so impressed!!

  37. Walmart sells paint now with primer in it…around $4.75 a can. You use very little because coverage is so good!

  38. Ack! I’m soooo jealous! I’ve been drooling over those garden stools but I’m too cheap to buy them. If only my thrift stores had them! I’ll have to go digging again. Great job!

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