How To Stencil Furniture

Want to add style to your wooden furniture? Try stenciling on them to create unique pieces that reflect your personality or to best complement the room’s theme. Stenciling is a decorative painting method that is not only fun but also quite easy to do. So, if you have a shabby-looking dresser or a drawer that doesn’t look quite right for your home décor, don’t let them gather dust by storing them somewhere in your attic or basement. Find a stencil pattern that you like and break out the paint. Take a few minutes to read this guide on how to stencil on your furniture and embark on your home improvement project.

  • Buy or create the stencil for your project. Grab a measuring tape or ruler and measure the area on the furniture where you want the stenciled design to go. Go to your local home improvement center or craft store and look through the patterns and designs that they have on stock. If the look that you want is not available, buy some Mylar and just make your own pattern. You will also need a stenciling pen if you decide to create your own stencil. Go online and search for stencil patterns. Print out the design and place this over the furniture surface. Check if the design’s size and look fits the piece correctly. Reduce or enlarge the printout as needed. Plug in your stenciling pen and let it heat up for a few minutes. Put your pattern on a flat surface and place a sheet of glass on the paper. Tape the glass onto the work surface to keep it from moving. Cut out a sheet from your roll of Mylar and place this on the glass. Make sure that the shiny side is facing up. Make sure that there is about an inch of allowance around the pattern before cutting your Mylar. Secure this to the surface of the glass with some tape. Trace your design pattern with a pencil and cut out the pieces using your stencil pen. If the design has two colors or more, create one stencil for every color. Make several small patterns instead of creating one large stencil if your design is quite complex
  • Prep your furniture’s surface. If your furniture is in bad shape, make the necessary repairs and sand the entire surface lightly. Wipe away dust and grime using a damp cloth or paper towel. Let the surface dry completely before moving to the next steps. If you want to paint over the existing finish, apply the base and allow it to dry before stenciling.
  • Paint onto the exposed surfaces. Fasten your stencil onto the surface of your furniture. Get a small amount of paint and place this in a paint palette or plate. Prepare separate plates and stencil brushes if you will be using different colors. This way, you won’t be mixing any of your colors accidentally. Dip the stencil brush into your paint and swipe the brush on the edge of the palette or plate to remove any excess. Use swirling motions to apply a light coat of paint onto the surface of your furniture through the stencil’s holes. Paint away from the stencil’s edge to keep the paint from going under the plastic’s edges. Doing so will make your design blurry. Check your work from time to time by lifting the stencil. Wipe off any smudges or mistakes while the paint is still wet.

Let the stenciled design dry for about two days then apply a sealer to protect it. If you plan to use just one color, it may be more advisable to use spray enamel. Just remember to cover any surface that you don’t want to get paint on. Spray thin coats and allow the paint to dry in between. Let the enamel dry a little bit, but not completely, before removing the stencil. Repeat the steps for every color in your design.


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