Stenciled Top for Desk

The craftin’ part of this blog has been lacking :( I have done most of the projects in my room months ago and did not really take a lot of pictures, therefore posts about them would be boring and picture-less. However, I am going to piece together a few for you until I can work on some more when it warms up…

I have this cabinet in my room that my family used to keep a fish tank on.  When we got rid of the fish, I figured I would take it and use it as a desk. The wood tone is not my favorite…  In my head, I was picturing a painted cabinet (probably gray) with a pattern on the top.  That is when I ran into this blog.  I LOVED IT! The color, the stain, the stencil… it was perfect.

I still had a few problems, the cabinet is not real wood, so re-finishing the top was out of the question, so I decided to just buy a piece of wood to fit the top and stencil that!

This is what I started with…  Image

I went to Home Depot and found a cheap, thin piece of wood that would look okay stained.  (If you need something cut to size, Home Depot will do it for you, for free!)

While I was at Home Depot, I also bought a small can (1/2 pint) of Rustoleum oil-based white paint, (1/2 pint) Minwax Dark Walnut Stain, a few of those cheap foam brushes, and a (1/2 pint) of clear satin polyurethane.

The next step was finding the right stencil.   I went to Michael’s in an attempt to keep the project cheap and found a few options.  I decided on this one…(there were a few sizes and options within each kit).


As you can see, I just used painter’s tape to hold the stencil in place and went to town.  IT TOOK FOREVER, because I had to do two coats.  The most difficult part was lining up the corners so the stencil matched up.  I recommend planning it out first and taking your time.



Once the paint was completely dry, I just used a foam brush to brush on the stain and a sock to wipe off the excess.  I used 2 coats on the whole thing, and 3 in certain spots that were absorbing the stain weird.  After the stain dried, I coated the whole thing in polyurethane.  I used two coats of that, and did a light sanding in between and after to create a smooth surface. (I let each coat dry completely before doing any sanding).


It is not perfect, but I still love the way it turned out. (Note: Be careful not to get paint anywhere you don’t want it, it will stand out once stained; even though I tried to sand it away prior to staining)  Once the weather gets nice again, I will finish off the cabinet, paint it, and do a final reveal! Stay tuned!

Also, I highly recommend this blog if you are wanting inspiration for furniture! I especially LOVE this one, and will probably try it on a piece somewhere down the road.

5 responses to “Stenciled Top for Desk

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