Old Dresser = New Storage

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Tropical Stencil Furniture Makeovers

Kick up the heat on your home's style with bright stencil projects that import the feel of the islands.


    Everything in this slideshow

    • Tropical Punch

      Stencils are a simple, yet effective way to add design to furniture. All it takes is a fun pattern or shape and some bright paint for instant glamour. See how we use tropical shapes and colors cheer up outdated furniture and makes them party-ready.

    • Save a Seat

      Enliven a plain metal or wooden chair with bold hibiscus blooms. Choose flat-finish latex paint the color of ruby-red grapefruit to fill in the stencils. Apply the paint in a pouncing motion using a flat-bristle stencil brush or a foam brush. When dry, spray on two coat of clear polyurethane to protect your handiwork.

    • Leaf It Out

      Give a cabinet personality with a facade of large tropical fronds. Stenciled on an artist's canvas from the crafts store, the fronds are rendered in three green hues. Stencil one leaf color, let it dry, then reposition the stencil, slightly overlapping the first to add another color. Turn the canvas into a door by screwing on hinges and a painted wooden knob.

    • Test Run

      Work out color combos on a sample board to make sure you like the palette before you paint your final project. Here, a sample board tests out slightly overlapping the leaves which results in layers that create a jungle effect.

    • Add Your Stamp

      Look for ways to add quick style to your favorite flea market finds, such as this plant stand. A stamp designed for a decorative border helps transition it into a tiki hut-style refreshment server. Paint the stand a soft gold hue using flat latex paint. Then use a small paint roller to load a stamp with ivory paint.

    • Top the Table

      Welcome guests to your table with a pineapple motif--a universal sign of hospitality. In a reverse stencil technique, paint the table ivory using flat latex paint. Then cut the pineapple pattern from adhesive shelf paper and stick it on. For graphic pop, place the pineapple off center and let it bleed past the table edges. Paint the table again using an orange hue. When dry, peel off the shelf paper and reveal the pineapple.

    • Screen the View

      Play chameleon behind a screen painted to look like your board shorts. Paint the panels ivory, then stick on irregular circles cut from adhesive shelf paper. Splash on a juicy watermelon hue, let dry, then peel off the circles.

    • Roll With It

      Foam rollers make for quick, uniform work on large surfaces such as walls, furniture, and fabric. Spray your stencil with stencil adhesive, position it on your surface, then simply roll over your design with crafts, fabric, or wall paint.

    • Try Some Spray

      For small-scale projects, such as cards, T-shirts, or artwork, stencil paint sprays can't be beat. Tape off your stencil to prevent paint bleeds, then simply spray over your stencil.

    • 10 of 11

      Pounce to Action

      Use a stencil brush and a pouncing motion--perfect for intricate designs and blending colors--to paint small to medium-size stencils.

    • 11 of 11
      Next Slideshow Drab-to-Fab DIY Furniture Projects

      Drab-to-Fab DIY Furniture Projects

      Have old, boring furniture sitting around? Not anymore. Thanks to these fab makeovers, your tired dressers, hutches, chairs, and nightstands are just a project away from a new lease on life.
      Begin Slideshow »



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