How to Upcycle a Small Table | Oak Lane Studio Folksy Bloom Table Project

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How to Upcycle a Small Table | Oak Lane Studio Folksy Bloom Table Project

Turn old into beautiful with Designer Stencils' Folksy Bloom Table Project! The Folksy Bloom Border Stencil is a bold floral Folk-Art pattern that will add a whimsical flair to any room. You can use this to embellish pillows, furniture, walls, floors, cabinets and even mirrors.

The table used in this tutorial was upcycled from a wooden pallet.

Supplies for Stenciling a Wooden Table

How to Prepare the Table for Stenciling

Begin by sanding the table you will stencil. We used an electric sander for this because it is faster, but you can also use sandpaper. Sanding the table is important for two reasons. First, it creates a good surface for the paint to cling to. Second, it will remove larger bumps or snags which paint could pool around and blur the stenciled design.

Sanding the table 

Because we painted a basecoat over the entire table, we sanded the entire table. After sanding, clean any residue dust off the table with a damp cloth. Dust and dirt will prevent the stencil template from adhering completely to the table.

Remove dust from sander Paint the table white

We painted our table with a base coat of flat white primer/paint combination. You can of course paint your table in any color you choose. The benefit to painting the table before you stencil is that a fresh coat of paint will provide the smoothest surface to stencil on. This will help prevent paint from slipping underneath the stencil template when you stencil. Paint bleed while stenciling is much less likely to happen if you stencil on a smooth and even surface. 

Once the basecoat on your table has dried, you can begin to prepare to stencil.

How to Prepare the Stencil Template

In this step we will show you how to prepare and position the stencil template for stenciling. First, spray the back of your stencil template with Repositionable Spray Adhesive. Do this in a well ventilated area away from the table you will stencil, you only want the back of the stencil to be sticky. Hold the spray can 6 to 8 inches away from the stencil template as you spray and keep your mouth closed while spraying.

spray and position the stencil template on the table

Wait 30 to 60 seconds for the back of the stencil template to become tacking before positioning the stencil template on top of the table. This is very important, our repositionable adhesive spray can be strong and if you position the stencil template too early you may have trouble removing it later.

Place the stencil template on the table where you want to stencil. We chose to stencil an off center, diagonal design, but you can place the stencil anywhere you want.

how to stencil a table

Firmly press the stencil template onto the table, make sure that all the small cutout design details lie flat along the table. Once the stencil template is in place, secure the outer edges with Frog Tape (our favorite painter’s tape). This will help keep the stencil in place and protect the table from any accidental smudges of paint that stray outside the stencil design.

If you want to perfectly center the stencil template on the table, use a ruler or measuring tape to find the center point of the table and position the stencil there. Then measure the distance from the stencil template to the ends of the table to make sure the stencil is equidistant from each side of the table. If you want to reposition the stencil, gently peel the stencil template off the table and reposition it. You don’t need to respray the stencil every time you reposition it.

Now that your stencil template is in place, you are ready to begin stenciling the table! 

How to Stencil with Multiple Colors

We stenciled our table with multiple colors of paint to create a lively floral design. Stenciling in multiple colors is a lot easier than you might expect and we will show you how to recreate this multi-colored stenciled design.

Here are our expert stenciling tips for how to stencil with multiple colors:

  1. Stencil each color with a clean brush. You can use multiple stencil brushes, or clean your stencil brush between each color. 
  2. Mask off the stencil cutouts you don't want stenciled in the color you are using with Frog Tape. This will prevent accidental smudges of the color in the wrong places. (We did not do this in our video, but it is really helpful if you are doing this yourself). 

pour stenciling paints

We stenciled our table with Americana Acrylic Paint. We used Celery Green for the leaves and Khaki Tan for the flower stems. We alternated the flower petals in Cranberry Wine, Georgia Clay, Burnt Orange, and Primary Yellow. We stenciled the foliage and flower disks with Payne Grey. 

Shake the paint bottle before pouring a small amount onto a paper plate. 

How to Stencil a Table

Stenciling is not the same as painting and a key difference is the amount of paint you use to stencil. Stenciling is done with a dry brush (or roller) using the "Dry Brush Technique". This means that you should only have a minimum amount of paint on your brush when you stencil, so that the brush is almost dry to the touch. If you stencil with too much paint, the excess paint will seep underneath the stencil template and blur the stenciled design, this is called "Paint Bleed". 

We recommend using the "Dot Test" to check that you have the right amount of paint on your brush before stenciling.

how to stencil without paint bleed how to stencil with a dry brush

 The Dot Test for Stenciling:

How to check that you have the right amount of paint to stencil with a paint brush.

  1. Swirl your stencil brush in your paint.
  2. Dab and swirl excess paint onto a paper towel. (We recommend holding a roll of paper towels in one hand and dabbing the stencil brush onto the roll).
  3. Make a dot of paint on a scrap piece of paper. Brush the dot with your finger. If the paint smudges you have too much paint. Repeat step 2. If the paint does not smudge, you have a dry brush and are ready to stencil!

Once you have a dry brush you can begin to stencil. Stencil by swirling or stippling paint into the stencil design cutouts, brush strokes are not used for stenciling.

stencil an upcycled table table stenciling stencil a table

At first, only a faint color should be present, this is normal. Don't add more paint to your stencil brush until the brush is completely dry. Color will gradually accumulate as you stencil more layers of paint. 3 to 4 layers of paint is normal, but you may need more depending on the colors you are using. If you are stenciling into a very small design cutout, stippling is easier and more precise than swirling.

 how to stencil flowers on furniture how to easily paint furniture how to paint flowers on furniture

For this multi-colored project, choose one color of paint to start with. Mask off the stencil cutouts nearest the area you will stencil in that color and begin stenciling with the "Dry Brush Technique". We started with the Cranberry Wine acrylic paint. 

Remove the stencil DIY stenciled table

Stencil each color with a clean stencil brush. When you are satisfied with the colors (you can lift up a corner of the stencil to see how the colors look), wait until the paint has dried before gently peeling off the stencil template and Frog Tape.  

How to Clean the Stencil Template

Our stencil templates are easily washable and reusable!

For this DIY stenciling project, we stenciled with a water-based paint which is exceptionally easy to clean off of stencil templates. To clean the stencil template, first soak it in hot water for five minutes, this will loosen any paint that has dried on the stencil. Then wipe away all the remaining paint with a cloth and store the stencil template for future DIY stenciling projects.

For more information on how to clean stencil templates, visit our FAQ page.

Watch our How to Stencil a Table video tutorial: 

* A note on our stenciling supplies:

We prefer Frog Painter's Tape to any other painter's tape. Frog tape is an effective adhesive and gentler than other painter's tape, so it is less likely to peel off paint when you remove it from your project.

Our Repositionable Spray Adhesive will enable the entire stencil template to stick to the table, even the small cutout details, but you can still remove the stencil template later, and even reposition it if you want to stencil somewhere else.

Congratulations, you've stenciled an upcycled table!

Learn more about how to stencil your home and create beautiful home décor in whatever style you like. Visit our Stenciling Blog, or Video Gallery for how to stencil tutorials and projects tips. Browse our home décor stenciling projects Photo Gallery for ideas and inspiration on how to use stencil templates to decorate your home.

Send us a picture of your upcycled furniture stenciling projects or share your DIY stenciling projects with us on social media! We love seeing stencils in action.