Let’s talk stenciling.
Now, I’ve done my fair share of stenciling (like on my pantry, toy box and end table), but it’s always been with a homemade stencil and it takes F.O.R.E.V.E.R. to do. Plus the final product always looks kinda wonky when you get up close and the design is very simple. Also it takes forever….that’s worth mentioning twice. So when Cutting Edge Stencils sent me a stencil to review I was super excited. I just so happened to have a spare dining room table sitting on my front porch (what, you don’t?) and it was begging to be experimented on. Before we get started with the how to, let me just say this…this table turned out awesome. I think it’s one of my favorite projects of all time. That’s saying something…also, nothing went wrong, so that’s always a nice surprise!
I chose the paisley allover stencil…it’s kinda country, kinda modern, and I’m kinda in love with it. No, I’m totally in love with it because these stencils are so easy to use. I’m not just saying that because they sent me a free stencil and that’s the nice thing to say…really, the whole top took me about ten minutes and turned out perfect. All I did was lay the stencil on the table, secure with a piece of tape, and apply the paint with a small foam roller.
It didn’t bleed or smear or anything…though I was really careful about not using too much paint. After it dried (so like two minutes) I distressed it with my sander and this is what I had.
I KNOW, I love it too. Stenciling by hand is for the birds.
Next I decided to stain over the stencil and give the table a more rustic look.
I used Dark Walnut by Minwax and applied two coats. It darkened the white paint to an uneven tan and brought out the wood grain underneath. It actually turned out just the way I wanted it too in my head…love it when that happens.
(Please soak up the dying plants, messy porch and double fly swatter yielding toddler…it does’t get much more real than this!)
As I was admiring my work I couldn’t stop looking at the legs. They just looked…blah. Boring, plain…bright. They were ruining the awesomeness of the top.
I decided to paint them turquoise and give em the old “dirty cowboy” treatment. The dirty cowboy consists of drybrushing dark stain over your painted surface, smearing, and sealing. It just makes it look like grizzled old cowboy furniture. (I’ll make a tutorial for the process and post it next. UPDATE -see the tutorial HERE)
To seal the top of the table I applied three coats of polycrylic (also by Minwax) and lightly sanded with 400 grit sandpaper between each coat. Doing this will give you a super smooth, super durable finish.
Here is the finished table!
I’m really wishing I had done something fun like this when it was in my dining room….everything I do for my own house is boring and white. It’s waaay more fun to paint color. I’m also wishing I had taken a close up picture of the wood grain showing behind the stain, it’s too late now though, I already gave the table to my (one day) sister-in-law.