Does The Makeover Need A Makeover?

Your Opinion Needed!

Have you ever started a DIY project and was so excited about it, only to slowly deflate as the project progressed??….Let’s discuss my adventure in the end table makeover…or is it the end table nightmare?!

A couple of weeks ago, I found this cute little end table at a yard sale for $20.00. It’s nothing fancy, but it is sturdy and I like the somewhat oval shape of the top.

I went back and forth, thinking about what I wanted to do with this little guy and finally decided I wanted to do something with a stencil.

Now, keep in mind that I am a stencil novice. In fact, I haven’t even attempted stenciling a piece of furniture or a wall in probably 10 years. There’s a good reason!…I can not do it right! It always bleeds and I make a complete mess.

But, I thought, “Come on! You can do this!”

So I gathered some of my paints and did a little mixing of some gray and yellow…in which case I ended up with basically an off-white/creme color.

I did a light sanding of the top of the table and the drawer front and then put on a coat of Zinsser’s. It’s great because It covers stains and really gives the paint something to which it can adhere. I’ve used it on this chair project and this other end table

For the stenciling supplies, I headed to Michael’s. Everyone raves about Martha Stewart’s stenciling brushes, etc, so that’s what I went with for the brushes. I also picked up some monogram stencils because I threw around some ideas with doing a monogram, but I didn’t use them. The stencil I chose was from Plaid.

Here we go…

The paint I used for the stencil is a Valspar sample that I had mixed at Lowe’s. The label did not say the actual name of the color.

I used Frog Tape to hold the stencil down and began “dabbing” the paint on, which is what the instructions on the brushes said to do.

First, I would like to say that this is very tedious work! I’m really not sure that I have the patience for stenciling…maybe that’s my problem! Plus, I have a hard time with the lack of precision involved. I like a really neat, clean paint job.

But I kept going…

About half way through the job, I got so frustrated with the bleeding and the mess ups that I said, “forget it!” So I grabbed the paint and started painting over the stencil job…and then I stopped…and looked…and thought, “umm. That’s interesting.” So, I went with it..

I finished the stencil on the table top and then layered on some of the creme colored paint using a dry brush. I also used a rag to rub the paint off a little in some spots and then after it had dried, I sanded it in a few places.

It almost reminds me of croc skin!

Here’s the final product…but I’m not sure if I like it enough to keep it this way!?!? It’s definitely different…

I am still struggling with the “imperfect” stencil paint job. I just am not good at stenciling! I need to take a class!

I’m considering going in a TOTALLY different direction with it!

I feel in love with this bamboo chest that Kate at Centsational Girl painted a peacock-blue. Isn’t it gorgeous! Click here to see her tutorial on creating this beauty!

What about re-doing my little end table in a color like that?!?!? Granted, my guy doesn’t have the detail of Kate’s lovely bamboo chest, but I was thinking I could replace the shabby knob with an elegant drawer pull…

What do you think?

I think I should go for it. You too?

Oh! BTW…If anyone has some great stenciling tips…SEND THEM MY WAY! Thanks!


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  1. Brenda says

    I like to use the stencil cream paint, it works better than anything I’ve used. The consistency of the paint just males a neat job. And you have to starts out with a thin layer and build on that .

  2. says

    I think you did wonderfully and you came up with a new cool look! The bleeding is usually just from having too much paint on the brush. It seems to work best if you dab off a bunch of the paint before using it on the stencil. It might help to practice on something first just to get a feel for how much works best. I am going to try my hand at stenciling again soon, so we’ll see if I can follow my own advice. I used to do it a lot, but haven’t in a long time. I hope I have as good a result as you!

  3. Shari says

    Years ago, I use to stencil a lot and really enjoyed it. Once you get the hang of it, I think it’s kind of mindless and relaxing. Stenciling sort of fell out of fashion for a while so I’m glad to see it coming back into favor.

    Spraying the back of your stencil with stencil spray adhesive and then pressing all the edges firmly to the object you are stenciling helps stick the stencil in place and prevents some of the bleeding under the edges. As the previous commenters mentioned, it’s best to wipe the excess paint off of your brush so it is almost dry…like dry brushing except you don’t brush. Holding the handle of the brush straight up at all times, you use an up and down pounce, pounce pounce motion. However, you will sometimes see experienced stencilers use a swirling motion, working from the edges of the stencil in toward the center so they don’t push paint underneath the edge. Also, when using acrylic or latex paint, I think the sponge-like stencil brushes work better. In my opinion, the bristle stencil brushes seem to work best with the thicker cream paint specifically designed for stenciling.

    P.S. Found you over at HomeTalk and have enjoyed reading some of your posts so I’ll be visiting again. 🙂


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