Projects to Up Your Stenciling Game

An Easy Cabinet Door Makeover
Think you've done all you can possibly do with stencils? Think again. These projects and ideas will open your eyes to a brand new take on the basic stencil.

Faux Runner

Mimic a chic table runner by stenciling a patterned stripe on a coffee table. We watered down our paint slightly to allow some wood grain and texture to show. Sand lightly when dry, and apply a clear sealer or wax coating.

Add pattern to a plain tray with this simple stencil technique. Our secrets to success will show you how to stencil like a DIY pro.

Stenciling Basics

Watch and learn the basics of stenciling and become a stenciling pro.

Outline 2.0

Rather than trace around a stencil with a simple line, surround the edges with small dots. We couldn’t resist the colorful tassels on this dusty blue accent pillow, but to give it a personal touch we used dimensional paint to add a modern monogram. Cut out a letter of your choosing, and use puff paint around the edges to show the outline. Go to the next slide to see the full how-to.

Put your personalized stamp on a plain pillow with this easy monogramming technique starring paint.

Monogrammed Pillow How-To

Watch and see how to make a monogrammed pillow in 30 minutes or less.

Reverse Effect

You don't have to use stencils to simply make a colored design. They can be used in a reverse effect, so color goes everywhere but where the pattern is. Here, a bright aqua peps up the back of a so-so chair, but the stencil design lets the wood grain show through. Hold the stencil in place by spraying the back of the plastic stencil with spray adhesive, then press the stencil onto the chair back. Tape around the edge of the chair back, and protect the seat, legs, and sides of the chair with plastic. Spray-paint the stencil openings and around the stencil edges to cover the seat back. Apply two coats, allowing the paint to dry between coats. Peel off the stencil and wipe away any residue left on the chair. Finish with a coat or two of clear gloss lacquer.

Nonstencil Stencils

Use objects as stencils for a fun take on stencling. In this project, silk flowers and greenery are used as stencils to create a reverse effect. The best flowers and leaves to use have defined shapes; avoid slender stems and wispy leaves or items that won't lay flat.

New Mediums

Expand beyond paint when stenciling and give markers a whirl. Metallic markings in a trendy ikat pattern add delicate detail to a basic slate-color lampshade. To get the look, purchase a stencil and position it along the bottom edge, then fill in the design with a metallic silver oil-base marker. Continue stenciling around the shade. 

Tip: You can DIY your own stencils in a few simple steps. Trace your design onto stencil acetate, then cut it out with a crafts knife (allow a 1/2-inch border around the perimeter). It's that easy!

Wonder Wall

Yes, stenciling a wall is nothing new, but give this a shot: Try a tone-on-tone look that's subtle and sophisticated. If you crave a little more pizzazz, choose a small element within the design to paint a different color. Here, we used a metallic gold paint to fill in small dots in the design.

Stencil your walls for an easy decorating update. Here's how to stencil and bring pattern to your walls.

Wall Stenciling 101

Watch to learn our secrets to stenciling success. In no time, you'll learn how to stencil like a pro.

Fun with Fabric

Use paint and a stencil to jazz up plain fabric. This houndstooth pattern gets an extra jolt with a few random spots of contrasting color. When stenciling a pillowcase, slip a piece of sturdy cardboard between the fabric layers so the paint doesn't soak through.

Striped Sensation

Stenciling doesn't have to be an allover commitment when it comes to walls. Add pattern to a wide strip of wall behind a sofa or bed for an updated take on the accent wall.

Fake Architecture

Beaded board or wainscoting not in the cards? Add texture and depth to your walls with a simple stencil paint job. Evoke the look of tiled wainscoting with your paint and stencil choices. Don’t overwhelm: Choose a white-on-gray combo for a whispery contrast.

See how to transform your kitchen cabinets with a simple stencil treatment.

Cabinet Door Makeover

Get creative with where you use stencils, and upgrade basic cabinet doors with a pretty stenciled design.

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