Stop painting the same thing over and over. This unique stenciled furniture finish will set your painted furniture apart from the rest in no time! Check out this must see tutorial on how to stencil furniture with a distressed raised texture.
Get more furniture makeover ideas here!
I’m sure you have seen details painted on furniture all over the place. Some people hand paint these details, and others use a stencil to paint details onto furniture. We’re taking it one step further though by adding texture to those details, AND by tinting the texture brown so it looks like it is wood detailing.
What does that even mean?
Well, you can use a stencil, some special powder, and some paint to make these stenciled details look like they are part of the dresser, and part of the wood.
That’s what is so unique about this painted furniture finish!
Okay, so here’s how you can get this look.
How to Stencil Furniture with a Raised Texture
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Paper or Plastic Bowl and Fork
If you’re a visual learner, you can watch the process unfold on what was a LIVE Facebook video. But we recorded it so you can watch it over and over right here.
*There are a lot of details about painting furniture that I won’t cover in this tutorial. Just because I want to really focus on this specific stenciled dresser technique. It’s really that good!
How to Choose the Best Stencil
I’ve created this finish many times with a different stencil each time. But you don’t want to pick just any old stencil. You’ll want a stencil that has a lot of small detail, and not so many straight lines. That’s the reason I chose the craft stencil instead of the wall stencil, even though Royal Design Studio has the exact same stencil, just on a larger scale.
Another thing to consider is the size of the stencil. You’ll want one that covers a lot of area, especially if you’re planning on adding texture to a lot of places on your furniture. I personally love the 12″ x 12″ stencils, or stencils that are at least as wide as the drawers are tall. This particular one is smaller than most, but I fell in love with the pattern that I decided it was worth a little bit of extra work.
If you do get a smaller stencil, you’ll just have to keep moving it around until all of the area is covered, which isn’t a big deal. It might take about 5 minutes longer to stencil everything that way.
What’s so special about the Texture Powder??
There are so many reasons that I love the Texture Powder by Country Chic Paint. But first and foremost, I love that you can tint it whatever color you want by adding paint to it. The powder is colorless, so it doesn’t change the color of the paint at all. So really, you could have a raised stenciled design in any color! You could match it to the paint color you’re painting on the rest of the piece, or make it a fun color to really stand out. The possibilities really are endless.
I also love that it’s all natural, so I don’t have to worry about any harsh chemicals at all!
And, I love how versatile it is. You can dabble it onto wood to create a weathered texture finish, or you can mix some without paint to create spackling to fill in small holes in the wall. (I also want to try it for filling in wood grain.)
Let’s Get to the Process
Okay, you have your products, and you have your piece of furniture all prepped and ready for paint. Now it’s time to create your stenciled furniture finish.
I personally love to add an overall raised stencil finish to the drawer fronts of dressers or nightstands. And then I leave the rest of the furniture without texture. But, I have also used a single stencil to add a circular detail to a cabinet door, making it look like a wood applique or carved detail. The concept or process is the same either way.
Decide Where to Put the Stencil
First it’s best to decide the placement of the stencil. So, I decide if I want it to be exactly centered in the very middle of the drawer, or if I want it centered lengthwise, but maybe have the center of the stencil up just a bit, so it doesn’t look too perfect.
For this stencil and dresser, I found the center of each drawer’s length. When I placed the stencil, I put it in the exact center, and then I moved it up just a bit so it wasn’t in the exact center.
Once you’ve decided on where you want it, tape the edges just a bit with painters tape to keep the stencil from moving.
**It’s best to start in the middle of the drawer and work out, just so you have the same details all the way around the drawer.
Mix the Powder and Paint
Mixing the Texture Powder and Paint is super easy. Just use an approximate 1:1 ratio of powder to paint. To be honest, I never measure. I just pour some paint into a paper or plastic bowl, then I pour about the same amount of Texture on top. I use a plastic fork or spoon to mix the two together, making sure that there aren’t any clumps of powder. You’ll want it to be the consistency of peanut butter at room temp.
The texture powder will dry out if it’s left uncovered for a while. I only mix a small amount at a time, and then I put a damp paper towel and tin foil tightly wrapped over the bowl if I leave it.
Spread the Texture All Over the Stencil
Now it’s time to spread the texture all over! Just grab a straight-edged tool, put a little bit of texture paste on it, and then spread it all over the stencil. You don’t want to get the texture too thick, and you don’t want it to go under the stencil. So it’s best to work with a small amount at a time. Make sure to get it into all of the details, and then spread the texture so it’s flat and smooth.
Work in small sections, and then lift the stencil, line it up, and lay it down on the next area. Just be sure to not ruin the texture you’ve already laid down. You may need to take the tape off at this point so it doesn’t get in the way, but you’ll want to hold the stencil in place with your fingers.
You can also wait for that section to dry before moving on.
Let it Dry
Once the texture is completely spread across the drawer front, leave it to dry completely. I leave mine overnight.
And don’t worry, if you mess up, grab a wet rag and wipe it off. You may even be able to wipe it off the next day with a little bit of elbow grease, water and a rag.
Time to Paint the Textured Stencil
Once the texture is dry, it’s time to paint! For this dresser we used a creamy white paint in Behr Interior Flat. Then I used our favorite homemade chalk paint recipe to create chalk paint. I really love making my own chalk paint because I hate to be limited in my color choices. But, I really love the feel of chalk paint and how it distresses.
Per usual, I sprayed the paint on with my favorite paint sprayer, the cheap and easy to use one that doesn’t even need an air compressor or anything extra! It really makes painting whites and creams so much easier. Actually, it makes painting any color so much easier! Here’s where you can find more information about how to use a paint sprayer on furniture, and the steps I take every time to avoid getting paint everywhere!
The Finishing Touches
After the paint is dry, it’s time to distress to really make the stenciled texture pop! It’s really simple actually. I usually take a small piece of 220 grit sandpaper and wrap it around an old sanding block. Then I go to town lightly sanding all of the texture. The edges of the texture will start to show up brown, making it look like distressed wood.
Once the texture is all distressed, I move onto distressing the body of the dresser. I like to distress it more heavily than usual, just because the drawers are distressed so much.
Then it’s best to vacuum and wipe all of the dust off with a lint free rag and then seal the paint. Sealing the paint really provides a durable finish and it makes the paint feel nice and smooth. I like to spray on 3 coats of this Varathane Polyurethane to seal it.
Replacing the Dresser Top
One last detail of this dresser makeover was the top. When we found the dresser, the top didn’t go all the way to the back of the dresser. That’s usually where a mirror or a back splash would go. So we grabbed a new piece of wood and replaced the top.
I hope you’ll try this technique! Please let me know if you do! In the meantime, here are some more pieces with the same technique for more inspiration!
- The Light Grey Nightstands with a Lace Stencil
- The Navy Blue Dresser with a Floral Stencil
- The Light Grey Dresser with a Damask Stencil