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. 😀
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.
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.
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!
On Amazon I found a really pretty stencil (template) that I liked: 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. 😀
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.
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!! 😀
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.
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.
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.
What do you think?? Is this a project you would attempt? I hope so, because it’s a SUPER fun technique!
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
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