How to Update a Cabinet Door with Multilayer Stenciling

Give a plain brown cabinet door old-world style with multiple layers of stenciling. We show you how.


What You Need
  • Screwdriver
  • Sandpaper
  • Tack cloth
  • Latex primer
  • Painter's tape
  • Brushes: Paintbrush, stencil brush, foam brush, spatter brush
  • Wiping cloth
  • Stencils: rope motif, tile motif
  • Stencil adhesive
  • Cream-color flat-finish latex paint
  • Flat-finish acrylic paints: Burnt Umber, Titanium White, Pure Black, White
  • Glazing medium
  • Polyurethane
How to Make It
  1. Remove cabinet doors and drawers, and then remove hardware. Lightly sand all cabinet surfaces to be painted. Wipe away sanding dust with a tack cloth. Lay the doors flat and apply primer on sanded surfaces; let dry. Apply two coats of cream latex paint, allowing the paint to dry after each coat.
    Note: The tile motif consists of a base stencil and three overlays. The rope motif consists of a base stencil and two overlays. To get these results, paint the tile and rope motifs using a monochromatic color scheme, adding shadows and highlights later.
  2. Lightly spray the back of the tile stencil with adhesive. Center it on a cabinet door. Working from the outside in, paint using Burnt Umber and a stencil brush; let dry. Add a little Titanium White to Burnt Umber, then stencil the first overlay and let dry. Add more Titanium White to Burnt Umber for a lighter shade; stencil the second overlay and let dry. Repeat for the final overlay.
  3. Shade the tile-motif edges with medium Burnt Umber; highlight the center with Titanium White; let dry. Shade with Pure Black, and highlight with white; let dry.
  4. Use Burnt Umber to stencil the rope motifs; let dry. Use two of the tile-motif paint mixtures to stencil the two rope overlays.
  5. For the drawers use the center portion of the tile stencil, taping off the other areas; apply the same colors as on the doors; let dry.
  6. Thin Burnt Umber with water. Use a toothbrush or spatter brush to spatter the mixture on the cabinets; let dry.
  7. Create a 2:2:1:10 mixture of Burnt Umber, Pure Black, Titanium White, and glazing medium. Apply mixture to cabinets with a foam brush, and then wipe glaze mixture off with a cloth, leaving extra in the crevices.
  8. Let the glaze mixture dry for two days.
  9. Apply two coats of polyurethane, letting each coat dry thoroughly.

See complete instructions for this kitchen makeover

Sources for Stencils

Dressler Stencil Co., www.dresslerstencils.com; L.A. Stencilworks, www.lastencil.com; Design Studios, www.royaldesignstudio.com; Trimbelle River Studio & Design, www.trimbelleriver.com


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