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How To: Stencil Your Furniture

Terra George All Blog Posts How To

Stenciling is a quick and easy way of adding style to furniture. The key is choosing the stenciling method that fits your piece best. Don't think of only using stencils just for furniture, though! Stencils are equally ideal for all types of projects including stenciling fabric, crafts, accessories, and more!

Mylar Stencils:

Superior Mylar Stencils by Superior Paint Co. for DIY projects, home decor and furntirue refinishing

Add beautiful, classic designs to table tops, cabinetry and small craft projects using laser cut flexible Mylar (we suggest 5 mil thickness). There's millions of different designs to choose from we suggest visiting your local craft store, shop online or contact someone in your area who owns a laser cutter for them to custom cut your own design!

Or visit our Superior Stencil collection here!


Step 1:

Surfaces to be stenciled must be clean; remove all wax and dirt using TSP eco and a 300 grit pad. If you're wanting a back ground colour do so now.

Here's my project... a vintage trunk I purchased from The K-Town Emporium and refinished using Little White and stained the inside with Trainstation. BUT... I felt like it was missing something... So I gave it a wash using TSP eco and the 300 grit sanding pad.

Step 2:

Once dry it's time to apply your stencil. Lightly mist the back of your stencil with Krylon Easy Tack Spray and carefully position the stencil onto the surface. Make sure to press the stencil down firmly to prevent bleed through.

Stencil Spray

 I shook my new can of Kryon Stencil Spray for about  two minutes and very lightly misted the back of my stencil.

Step 3:

Apply your paint with foam roller, flat brush,sponge or HVLP sprayer. When applying the paint with a sponge or flat brush us a tapping motion, do not brush the paint up and down or side to side.

I decided to use Modern Masters Silver Metallic as my stencil colour and  I trimmed the top off a Poly Brush.

HOT TIP: The key to stenciling is not to apply too much paint to your roller, brush or sponge. If you apply too much it may cause bleed trough and you may loose your crisp lines. 

Step 4:

Repeat the process for each color of the design; make sure each color is completely dry before applying the next color.

My original plan was to only apply a couple stencils... but once I started... I couldn't stop I was having so much fun.

HOT TIP: Having a good quality small pointed painters brush handy in case you need to do any minor touch ups.

Red Sable round artist brushes are my absolute favorite brushes for touch-ups!

Step 5:

Seal and enjoy your masterpiece!

After the stencil pattern dried I sealed with 2 coats of Superior Paint Co. Semi Gloss Top Coat.

Stenciled Metallic Metal Trunk Makeover

Vinyl Stencils:

Our most common method in our shop is custom Vinyl Stencils made for our clients projects. As our clients can totally customize their stencil i.e. style, design, font, size etc.

The vinyl is sticky on the one side allowing you to perfectly place your stencil with the lowest chance of bleed through for a nice crisp finish.The only disadvantage is they are not reusable.


If your needing a custom design please contact Superior Interiors Kelowna to order your custom design!


Step 1:

Prep you're surface i.e. remove any hardware, make any repairs if need, clean with  TSP eco and 300 grit brillo sanding pad. Once dry if your wanting to paint or stain the background do so now.

Here's my project a pine sign I built and stained using Sapphire Skies.

To learn how to stain using Superior paints click here.

Step 2:

Place your vinyl stencil. Using a squeegee I removed all bubbles and ensured the entire stencil was secure.

Step 3:

Apply your paint. Make sure to let dry before removing the vinyl stencil.

I used Black Mountain for the lettering.

Step 4:

Seal your project and show off your masterpiece!

I used 3 coats of Superior Paint Co. Glossy Top Coat.

For detailed direction how to apply Top Coat click here.

Tape Stencils:

 Frog Tape Shape TapeRice Paper Tape

Tape can be used a variety of different ways to add charter to your project weather you want to add stripes/designs using Rice Paper Painters Tape or a pattern using Frog Tape Shape Tape.

Stencil tape


Step 1:

The surface must be clean, with all wax and dirt removed using  TSP eco and 300 Grit Brillo Sanding Pad. Once dry if your wanting a to add an underneath colour do so now.

I chemically stripped the drawer and stained using Saman Dark Walnut Water-based stain.

Step 2:

Once dry carefully press the tape along the surface; make sure it's straight, and at a consistent distance from the edge. Seal the edges of the tape carefully to keep the paint from seeping under it; press each tape edge firmly all along it's length with your putty knife.

Frog Tape Shape Tape

HOT TIP: We loving using the Rice Paper Masking Tape for striping/designs as it's stronger and thinner allowing less of a raised painted surface.

Step 3:

Apply the paint with a good-quality brush or roller roughly the same width as the masked stripe or pattern. Use enough paint to cover the surface completely, but smooth it out well; don't let the stripe get thick or uneven. Let the paint dry completely. Then remove the tape, pulling it gently away from the surface. Do not leave the tape on the surface for more than 12 hours, or it may damage the finish.

HOT TIP: For double stripes or designs with more than one color, let each stripe dry completely before you tape the next one. Apply tape very carefully where stripes cross, to keep it from damaging the earlier stripes.

OR Top Coat seal and let dry completely before applying tape.


Step 4:

Seal and enjoy your masterpiece!

I used Superior Paint Co. Semi Gloss Top Coat.

Chevron pattern using Shape Tape


Raised Stencils:

Also known as embossing your furniture. Raised stencils will give the look of hand carved designs with stencils, can be used on any vertical surface on the furniture piece you want to makeover.

We love using Saman Wood Putty for embossing as it's all natural water based product, easy to use, dries quickly and easy to sand (it goes on just like icing!). Best of all it comes in 19 different colours, durable and can be stained and waxed and/or painted afterwards!


Raised stencil - embossing furniture

Here's an example of a raised stencil using the Saman black wood putty and the Superior Paint Co. Square Tile Stencil.

HOT TIP: Before you start your project make sure to practice first on a scrap piece of wood or cardboard.

Step 1:

Make sure to properly prep the surface using TSP eco and the 300 grit brillo sanding pad. Once your project is clean and dry, spray the back of the stencil with Kryon spray adhesive and place your stencil onto the surface.

Here's my project for this tutorial, a mini side table drawer.

Once cleaned and dry I lightly sanded the surface using 120 Grit Sandpaper to smooth out all imperfections. Then removed the dust from sanding with a Tack Cloth.

Step 2:

Load Saman Wood Putty using a putty knife and lightly trowel a thick, even coat over and through the stencil. Carefully remove the stencil immediately.

Step 3:

Clean the stencil and putty knife right away with warm water.

To clean up the edges I used a slightly damp rag.

Step 4:

Allow your project to dry completely (overnight) before using a 600 grit sanding pad to smooth down the wood putty (if needed).  Remove sanding dust with a Tack Cloth.

Step 5: Paint or stain your project.

Embossing stencils

I painted the drawer using Superior Paint Co. Greytokes and dry brushed Little White.

For detailed directions how to dry brush click the link.

Step 6:

Once your happy make sure to seal your project with Superior Top Coat and show off your  masterpiece!

Embossing stencils on furniture

I sealed my project using Superior Paint Co. Semi Gloss Top Coat.

Embossing raised stenclis

When you have the right tools, products and inspiration the possibilities are endless!

I hope I've inspired you to think outside the box on your next DIY project and and give your piece a personal touch.

Happy Painting Everyone!!!



Wanna make my day? I love seeing everyone's Superior Paint Co. Makeovers!

Email photos of your Superior Masterpiece to:


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