Reverse Stencil on Furniture


Remember the art project we all did in Kindergarten where you colored a piece of paper using every color in the crayon box, covered the entire masterpiece with black crayon then used a pencil to carve a design onto the paper?  This project reminded me how much fun it was to see the bright colors emerge from behind the dark wax..  I used the principles learned in my Kindergarten art class to bring life back to a salvaged nightstand.  You can do it too.  Here’s how;

Supplies:  furniture piece (a nightstand, dresser, or desk would work well), interior paint (color of your choice and black), vinyl letters and numbers, stain, paste wax, sander, brushes, razor blade

1.  Start by cleaning, sanding and dusting a piece of salvaged furniture.  It’s not necessary to remove the finish entirely.  Just sand enough to give the wood a bit of tooth for the paint to adhere to.  Be sure to remove any hardware that may be on your piece.


2.  Paint the piece entirely with your base color.  When painting furniture with drawers, I like to paint the sides and inside of the drawer to give a more finished look.

3.  Apply vinyl letters and or numbers to the drawer front.  I chose a random pattern using both but you could do a monogram, quote, or kiddo’s name.  I don’t have a fancy cutting machine. I just used vinyl letters I already had on hand that I use on real estate signs.  


4.  Paint the entire piece black.  This may take 2 coats.  I chose to leave the drawer sides green.  Allow it to dry completely.


5.  Now for the fun part.  Using a razor blade, gently remove the vinyl letter to expose the base color.
6.  Use the sander to distress the black paint finish and further expose the base color to your liking.
7.  Coat each side with stain, wiping away with paper towel as you go.
8.  Apply a light coat of paste wax, allow to dry for 15 minutes.  Buff with paper towel.

This piece will look great in a game room or kiddo’s bedroom.  When someone asks you where you got your new nightstand you can proudly respond, “I made it!”

Have a great weekend!



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