I could have stripped, primed and painted this thing, BUT it was already covered with SEVERAL layers of globbed on paint and I really did not want to deal with taking all of that gunk off.
So I just sanded the whole thing to smooth off the old paint drips, washed it down with soap and water, and painted over all of it. Rustoleum makes these great pre-mixed paints, so for this project I used their heavy duty indoor/outdoor paint in glossy black. Because it can be used on wood, metal, masonry, plaster, or unglazed ceramics, the consistency of the paint is a little different. It's super THICK, which means far fewer drips, but it's also harder to get a smooth finish.
I decided to upholster the seat using a fabric remnant we found at the store for under $5. I chose it because I liked the color and pattern, but also because it is an outdoor fabric so it should hold up really well and be somewhat stain resistant (important since you can't exactly toss a stool in the washing machine). For the seat I used a piece of 1/4 in particle board that Lance brought home from work for me and some 1" high-density foam from the fabric store. There's a good tutorial on DIY upholstering here, if you would like more info.
The brackets on the bottom are for attaching it to the inside of the base later on. I've done square upholstery before and had no problems, but as I found out from this project, doing something round is WAY different. So while I'm not thrilled with how it turned out, it's going to be on the bottom and not even noticeable, so I'll just chalk it up to a learning experience and move on.
And so, here is the final product- all ready to go to the antique mall: