August 27, 2012

Reverse Stenciling Technique

I thought I'd show you a quick table re-do and then realized I did not take any before pictures. 
So this is just an after of the little table. 
But I am going to tell you how to do a cool technique called reverse stenciling.
Reverse stenciling is when you mask off something you DO NOT want to paint.

Here is an example of a bureau I did with cherry blossoms.

It started out like this. Some really beautiful wood but not in great shape. I am a big proponent of trying to highlight a furnitures best features in different ways. Try not painting the cool details to actually make them pop more. See my round table as an example of this. So this had some beautiful wood that I wanted to show through so I decided that the best way to highlight this feature was to mask off portions of it. Then choose a paint color that would contrast nicely with the wood.

How did I mask off this detailed design. No I did not spend hours cutting Frog Tape into branches.
I found a gigantic wall decal of a cherry blossom tree. 
I pieced together branches and flowers until I was happy with the arrangement. If you look closely, you can see the plastic edge of the decal. This would not have allowed for a crisp design. Everything would have had a rounded edge and not looked very much like a branch so I painstakingly cut away all the clear plastic with my X-acto knife. Make sure you use a sharp new blade and you will make quick work of it. 
(I did look at this before painting it  and thought "I like this gold on the wood. Another dresser and another time will get this technique!")

I also cut into the wood a little in parts to give it some detail and look more layered. I added the flower centers by hand to minimize the chance of bleeding if I had tried to cut them out. Not worth it. I think I can paint an oval free-hand.

The turquoise and the brown look great together. Then you can further highlight some of the pieces good bones with some glaze or antiquing if you like.

My little table got the same technique because the top had some pretty wood and I thought it would look good shiny while the rest of the paint was matte. 
I just masked off the perimeter and then used a smaller masking tape to do the "X" and then painted it. 
You can use a wall decal like the bureau, plain old frog tape or draw a picture on contact paper, cut it out and apply. The important part is to burnish it very well with a credit card edge to seal the edges to the wood so you get minimal to no seepage under the tape/contact paper. When you start your first coat of paint, start on the contact paper/tape and go out. If you brush the paint from the outside in, you will have a greater chance of pushing the paint under the edge.Your second coat can go any which way as you have already created a seal with the first coat. 

I wanted the shelf to have the same "X" but it  did not have that same beautiful wood on it so I had to paint it. 

I used my same homemade chalkpaint recipe that I used on the cherry blossom bureau. It is so simple. Mark on a mason jar 4 equal marks with a sharpie marker. Fill the jar up to half the first 1/4 mark with Plaster of Paris (POP) and mix thoroughly with water. Then add your paint to the top mark and mix again, thoroughly. Add water as needed to keep it the right consistency as  you paint. I used a 2 oz. sample jar and had so much left over I am using it on a large vanity. And that still has paint leftover! Can you say economical? 

I like the mason jar because it is airtight and air is the enemy of POP and paint in general. I also stir it about every 20 minutes just to keep it uniform. Wipe your rim of the jar before closing and store upside down! Creates an even better airtight seal for longer shelf life. Do the same with your paint cans and these will last longer as well.

This was after I had waxed it so the wood wasn't shiny yet.

When you use chalkpiant make sure you give it a little sanding with 280 or 320 grit sand paper to smooth out the surface. You can distress then harder if you want but you will have a smoother surface to apply your wax on and you will use less wax that way.

Yes I am not a perfect painter. I just cleaned up this edge with a dentist tool that I have. DO NOT ask me where I got it. I have no idea how it came into my possession. But my teeth and my furniture both look squeaky clean!

All shined up.  Ohhhhh, how I love contrast

I highlighted the wavy top and the details of the top with gold glaze and then waxed it using Fiddes and Sons wax. Amazing stuff! I had only ordered the light and I wanted some antiquing so I put some on a Styrofoam plate and added a bit of stain I had already. Worked great! If it was too heavy in places adding some clear over top took it down a notch with no problem.

Using the dark wax over the gold definitely took the edge off of the gold but I like that it now looks more subtle and worn and not so "I just applied gold glaze to the edge!"

I hope you will brave the stenciling world and be a rebel.....
Go reverse!

Always being renewed,

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  1. Beautiful transformations!

    Have a great day


  2. I just love your blo. The cherry blossom bureau is simply gorgeous. I saw it in one of your posts just recently and was dieing to know how you did, thanks for sharing.
    I have a large dark timber dining table to restore and your little table with the diagonal stripes has inspired me. Yey cant wait to start.
    :-) Shelley

    1. thank you Shelley! I hope you'll share it with me and I can post photos!

  3. Simply a amazing. Cherry Blossoms are a favorite look of mine. You have inspired me to get off my duff and be creative.

  4. Beautiful, love the reverse technique, and will be giving it out a try. Love both your pieces, and the cherry blossom bureau is beyond gorgeous. Thanks for sharing your creative inspiration with Sunday’s Best – you helped make the party a success!

  5. I found your talented self at 'Stringtown Home's' linky party. I can't even tell you how much I love your dresser. It is simply Fabulous!

  6. oooooh reverse is awesome!

    hope you'll stop by for a visit and follow if you're not:



  7. Kim they're both beautiful!!! I love the way the wood shows through! Thanks for linking up - I featured you today!

  8. Beautiful work, Kim! Reverse?! Who knew it could be so fabulous! Thanks so much for sharing! :)

    Need to get together soon. I know. We always say that but where does the time go?! haha! Have a great weekend!

  9. This is so awesome! I've always wanted to try this technique. Yours turned out beautiful! Great job.


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