Raised Stencil Tutorial


How to achieve a raised stencil with vinyl spackling / Clockworkinteriors.com




Hello!   As promised, I’m back today with a tutorial on how I created the raised stencil on the farmhouse dresser I recently shared.   And yes, I’m fully aware that those pictures were so poor, many of you may not have realized that the stencil was actually raised!   Mastering my camera seems to be one step forward, two steps back, but I’m still chugging along.  😀




Raised Stencil Tutorial with vinyl spackling / Clockworkinteriors.com



I’ve wanted to try this technique for years, but like the majority of my Pinterest pins, I  never got around to it.  I thought it would be a cool technique to add a little detail to plain drawer fronts.   I never anticipated I’d be using the technique for a full blown stenciling project.  But it’s super easy, and I really enjoyed working on this project.




Raised stencil tutorial / Clockworkinteriors.com




If you recall, there was damage to one side of the dresser that I wanted to camouflage.    Yep.  I made another rookie mistake, and this Craigslist dresser was bought out of a dark garage.   I was so busy checking that all the drawers worked properly, I neglected to check the body of the dresser as thoroughly as I should have.




Farmhouse dresser with damaged side / Clockworkinteriors.com



The addition of light colored paint (Pure Home Paints “Storm”) (love this color!) just made the waviness more prominant.   Such a shame.   My guess is that someone at some point left a wet towel on this sweet dresser.    Regardless, I needed to come up with a new plan for this makeover, and an all over textured stencil seemed like a good solution!



How to easily achieve a raised stencil with DAP Vinyl Spackling / Clockworkinteriors.com




On Amazon I found a really pretty stencil (template) that I liked:  Kaisercraft 12 x 12 “Leaves” Template.



Kaisercraft 12 x 12 "Leaves" Template



I’m going to guess that a less detailed stencil would be easier to manage, but I thought the delicate leaves and branches really complement the style and color of the antique dresser.   Plus, I was inspired by the gorgeous cherry blossoms that were in bloom at the time.  😀   I was a little nervous about ordering a stencil that I hadn’t actually touched, but Kaisercraft has a good reputation, and it says right on the packaging, “THICKER template to suit a variety of mediums”.  I’m pleased with the quality, and it was definitely sturdy enough to handle the vinyl spackling.   For the amount of stenciling I did on this dresser, I’m not sure how a flimsy, lighter weight stencil would hold up.     If you have any doubts, It’s definitely worth doing a test on a scrap piece of wood before jumping in.   That’s what I did.  😀



How to achieve a raised stencil with DAP Vinyl Spackling / Clockworkinteriors.com



Before you start stenciling, you need to plan out your project.  What’s your vision?  There are so many different looks you can achieve with a raised stencil.   Do you plan to paint directly over your design and bring out the details with distressing, light wax, dark wax, or a glaze??    Or do you want to achieve the look of a raised tin ceiling??   In that case you will want to darken or tint the DAP Vinyl Spackling Compound, which is the product I used to create my raised design.




DAP Vinyl Spackling Compound



I love the combination of light gray with a soft white, so I didn’t plan on painting over the spackling, which is already light colored.   For durability, the vinyl spackling needs to be covered with something.   Being realistic, I knew I wouldn’t want to restencil with paint after the vinyl spackling had dried.   (However, with a less detailed and smaller scaled project, that is certainly a good option, and it would be quite easy!)   Because the dresser’s slight flaw will ultimately affect it’s sales price,  I was willing to take a risk, and I added a bit of white paint directly to the DAP Vinyl Spackling, which I had all ready to go on a paper plate.  Don’t add it directly to the container!   I felt like quite the rebel going rogue from the original pinned project, but it worked!  Whatever you decide, please remember your spackling will need some sort of protection.


The first thing I did was create a border with painter’s tape.   It’s been my experience that Frog Tape is better at blocking out bleed thru, and it’s less likely to lift off fresh paint than the blue tape will.   Sorry 3M!!  But I still love your Scotch Tape and Post-it-Notes!!  😀



Getting ready to stencil DAP Vinyl Spackling (joint compound) / Clockworkinteriors.com



Can you see the mistake I made in the picture above??  By centering the stencil, I created a whole extra pass that I would have to stencil with the Vinyl Spackling.   Unlike when you stencil walls, where you’re supposed to start in the center, I could have started on the left side or the right side of the dresser drawers!  Dang!!  I really created a lot of extra work for myself, because now I had to start all of the drawers in the center or they wouldn’t have lined up pretty.   Lucky you, that you can benefit from my careless ways !!  😉  


To reiterate, I put a bunch of DAP Vinyl Spackling on a paper plate, added a bit of white paint to it, and mixed it together.   It was actually quite fun.   A lot like mixing icing or frosting.   It gave me a serious craving for frosted doughnuts!  For reals!!



You’ll also have to determine what tool works best for you to “spread” the “icing.”   Through my practice board, I found out that I had more control with an old credit card!!    What can I say, I guess I’m just really comfortable with a credit card in my hand!!   😉   One thing I will add is that whatever tool you use for spreading, you’ll want it to be flexible and have some give to it.   Anything too stiff or sharp may start lifting up the stencil.



How to achieve a raised stencil with DAP Vinyl Spackling / Clockworkinteriors.com



Once the whole stencil is covered, you scrape off the excess vinyl spackling, place it back on your plate, and you’re ready to carefully lift up the stencil, and move it on to the next spot.


I found that I could do a couple of  passes with the stencil before I had to rinse it off with water.   Then I would blot it dry with an old towel, and tape it in place.



Applying DAPVinyl Spackling (joint compound) for a raised stencil effect / Clockworkinteriors.com



I think the photo above is a good example of what one pass of the stencil looks like after the DAP Vinyl Spackling has dried.


I waited for the vinyl spackling to complettely dry before realigning the stencil for the next pass.


It also should be mentioned that you could use a spray adhesive for the vertical stenciling if you find that easier than taping the stencil in place.   (I ended up placing the dresser on it’s side so I could continue with horizontal stenciling, which made it easier for me to really “push” that vinyl spackling in place.

When everything was all stenciled and dry, I lightly sanded the design with 220 grit sandpaper.   This DAP Vinyl Spackling is awesome stuff.   It dries super hard and there was no cracking whatsoever!!    Then the whole dresser was protected with two coats of Pure Home Protective Finish in Matte.



How to achieve a raised stencil with DAP Vinyl Spackling / Clockworkinteriors.com



What do you think??   Is this a project you would attempt?  I hope so, because it’s a SUPER fun technique!




Raised stencil tutorial / Clockworkinteriors.com



As always, I’m here for you if you have any questions or comments!   I’m too excited not to share, so I’ll let you know what’s in the pipeline at my house.   I’ve started painting my dining room furniture!   😀  The whole room is getting a makeover, and it’s a huge job.  Mostly because the furniture is so big and heavy (a hutch, dining table and 6 chairs, buffet).  I’m also going to attempt to make slip covers for the two slipper chairs in the room, paint the walls and tray ceiling, and hunt down the perfect light fixture and rug.  Phew!!  Wish me luck!!  Till next time, Cynthia




How to achieve a raised stencil with DAP Vinyl Spackling / Clockworkinteriors.com



FYI, I participate in the Amazon Affiliate Program.  If an Amazon purchase is made from a direct link to this post, I may receive a small commission, but this in no way adds to your sales price.  Thank you for your support.


Sharing at these sites:


Confessions of a Plate Addict  …  Celebrate and Decorate  … Our Hopeful Home …  French Country CottageUnique JunktiqueThe Painted HingeThe Boondocks BlogFunky Junk Interiors …… Finding Silver Pennies …  … Between Naps on the PorchCoastal CharmSavvy Southern Style … My Repurposed Life … Love of Home … Thrifty Decor Chick  …



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DIY Salvaged Junk Projects @ Funky Junk Interiors


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25 Responses

  1. Rebecca M

    I would definitely try it on a small project! Your project turned out great!

    • Cynthia

      Hi Rebecca. Thanks for stopping by today! So glad to read that you’ll give this technique a try. It’s super easy and soooo much fun. Plus, there are so many different ways you can personalize it to suit your style. Happy Memorial’s weekend to you! Cynthia

  2. Kimberly

    You make it sound so easy! I love the outcome. I have a dresser in our guestroom I need to make over. Or maybe I should just have you come visit and do it for me?!?!

    • Cynthia

      Kimberly, my friend!! It IS easy! 😀 You’re going to laugh. I’m heading to Minnesota tomorrow (long, sad story) and my sister is putting me to work painting a dresser in her guest bedroom! She’s requested the same blue as the little coastal table I just shared. I would love to come visit, and you know I’d be very willing to paint some furniture for you! 😀 So nice to hear from you! Cynthia p.s. Hope to receive Charlotte’s graduation announcement! 😀

  3. Pinned this Cynthia to share and refer back to. Like you, I’ve been wanting to try this technique for a couple of years. Reading your tutorial solidified that I must try this sooner than later. Love the dresser makeover!

    • Cynthia

      Thanks so much, Marie! It’s a fun technique. I think you’d enjoy it!! Mary also has an excellent tutorial, where she used a textured specific product, on a smaller scale. I’m really happy with how the vinyl spackling worked, so I can’t wait to try it in different ways. Thanks for stopping by today! Take care, Cynthia

  4. What a stunningly beautiful dresser. I am really impressed with this project… I love the colors and the overall look. Those raised leaves just “pop” and give such a nice effect. 🙂

    • Cynthia

      Thank you so much for the kind words, Joy. It was a fun project. I’m going to use the same technique on some pots to give them a more custom look, but I need to find the right stencil first. Thanks for stopping by today! Take care, Cynthia

  5. I was waiting for this tutorial, and as always you deliver a great post! Pinned for sharing !

    • Cynthia

      Glad you liked it, Brenda, and thanks for the pin. I have to miss your party this weekend, but I’ll link it up next week for the party people. Hope you have a nice holiday weekend! Cynthia

  6. The bent angle spatulas I use for frosting cakes would work well with this. The raised design is so pretty and now I’m thinking of doing it on a cake. Thanks for the inspiration and for sharing this with us at Celebrate Your Story. Have a great holiday weekend!

    • Cynthia

      Oooooh, Sandra, I bet that would look beautiful on a cake! Happy I could inspire 😉 Hope you have a relaxing and wonderful Memorial Day weekend! Take care, Cynthia

  7. Kathy A.

    Your dresser is beautiful; lovely job. I love the color. I think I would have been tempted to also do the top like a crocheted dresser scarf but it probably would make it too busy!

    • Cynthia

      Thanks for the kind words, Kathy. It’s appreciated! Thanks also for stopping by today. Take care, Cynthia

  8. […] AND BLUE TABLE DECOR by Building Our Hive     I love this chest. Have you heard of the RAISED STENCIL TECHNIQUE? Me neither, but see it at Clockwork Interiors!     […]

  9. […] TABLE DECOR by Building Our Hive       I love this chest. Have you heard of the RAISED STENCIL TECHNIQUE? Me neither, but see it at Clockwork Interiors!     […]

  10. I love furniture transformations! But this tutorial for raised stencil is something else. It turned out gorgeous… great idea, thank you!

    • Cynthia

      Thanks so much, Christina! I hope you’ll give the technique a try sometime. It’s super fun! Thanks for stopping by today, Cynthia

  11. Beautiful Cynthia. The detail and dimension makes the whole piece pop. I would have thought twice about using that stencil but, WOW, after seeing how your antique dresser turned out, I’m definitely going to have to think again

    • Cynthia

      Thank you, Michelle! I was a little nervous about doing an all over stencil, but I really had to to try to cover the damaged area. It’s a fun technique. I’ll definitely be using it again … but most likely on a smaller scale ! LOL Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment today! Take care, Cynthia

  12. […] Raised stencil leaf motif on a dresser by Clockwork Interiors […]

  13. Not only did you tackle it but you tamed it as well. This is such a cool project. I am happy to always learn from you and yes you should always go outside of the box! Oh and that color… gorgeous!

    • Thanks so much, Mary!! It really is a fun technique. I’ve also heard of people using caulk, that comes out of a tube, to achieve a textured stencil. But the DAP worked so well, I’ll stick with that. 😀 Hope all is well! Take care, Cynthia

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