Tag Archives: crafts

Stencil Smarts


When it comes to painted furniture, I love the distressed look best of all. But, when a stenciled design is added to the painted surface, it takes on a richer and more interesting appearance. Whether it’s numbers, florals or geometric patterning, I love a stenciled design that adds a bit of whimsy or vintage inspiration to a piece.

I’ve stenciled everything from acanthus leaf borders to sailboats to numbers and letters to birds on furniture. My latest endeavor, as I begin the process of redecorating using a  shabby-coastal theme, is this little side table I found it at one of our many Goodwill Thrift Shops, here in Vegas. When I purchased it, it was missing a drawer,  which is funny because that is the kind of table I’d been looking for.  I’ve seen so many cute tables lately  using baskets instead of drawers, I really wanted to do the same. Here is what it looked like before the “makeover:”

Drawerless Table BeforePretty sad… It was dirty and scraped up, but very solid.

I decided to paint it a light, faded blue and to stencil it in white.  At, first I thought of using a floral design, but I came across a variety pack of beautiful stencils from Martha Stewart at Michael’s and changed my mind.

Last, but certainly not least, the hunt for the right size basket began. This proved to be a bit more difficult than I thought, since I was determined not to spend an arm and a leg on one. The whole point of up-cycling furniture is to recycle materials to make the entire piece affordable and “green.” I must have visited every thrift shop in Las Vegas, and that is saying something, yet could not find a rectangular basket in the dimensions I wanted. My husband, who by this point had also become involved in finding the “perfect” basket, saw some baskets on clearance at Lowe’s and told me about them. Something about finding the basket in the same place I buy my paint and other supplies seemed in line with my whole furniture re-do philosophy, so I headed to Lowe’s and not only found the perfect basket at a very low price, but did I mention it is woven of paper?

Here is how the table looks with its new “do:”

Drawerless Table AfterDrawerless Table After 2

I can’t wait to put my Coastal Living magazines on the shelf with some bleached seashells  and put this table next to my favorite wicker rocker out on the screen porch. The perfect spot for morning coffee…

For your viewing pleasure, here are a few more stenciled gems-


Big, bold stencils can make a real statement.

orange trunk

Love this color!

stencil birds

Love these birds!

painted filing cabinet2

Even office furniture is transformed with stencil magic! 

Painting and distressing furniture is fun, but using stencils is like adding just the right accessories to an outfit that makes it truly your style. Play, have fun, go forth and stencil!