Need an easy project for a piece of furniture in your home? Here’s how to stencil furniture in ten minutes.
When I posted the picture of this armoire on Saturday I got about a ZILLION questions.
People wanted to know how I stenciled the front.
Other people wanted to know how I made the bow.
One person even asked me how I added the wheat to the center of the burlap.
First of all.
You know how much I love a question.
Second of all.
The only thing better than a question is a question that is SO EASY to answer.
So today I want to walk you through how I got this look. Just between us? It’s so much easier than it looks. I actually made it up years ago when a BHG magazine was coming to take pictures of the farmhouse for fall.
This armoire and this bow and this fall wheat display have all been in a magazine before. And in amazing news, you can recreate this look in under an hour.
And here’s how to “get the look.”
Let’s start with the armoire.
Here’s what it looks like before I added the bows to the front.
It was a pine armoire before and I painted it with SW Mindful Gray.
I knew it needed a little something. So I added a little stencil to the door. If you take nothing else away from this post—you don’t have to stencil an entire piece to make an impact. Sometimes all it takes is a little stencil on a door like this. It’s such an easy project and not that time-consuming (or expensive) and you can truly transform a thrift store find.
HOW TO STENCIL FURNITURE IN 10-MINUTES
white acrylic craft paint
stencil (this one is super similar)
small painting brush
step 1: paint the furniture
The key to painting any piece of furniture is to make SURE you prime it.
When you buy something from a thrift store—you never know the life it has lived before. You don’t know what that finish is or what the original paint was or what the surface was before.
So you want to prime. It gives a good solid foundation for the paint to adhere to. Then let the primer dry and you are ready to paint. I like to use a satin finish for most of my furniture paint projects.
For this project, the armoire was primed and then painted with SW Mindful Gray.
You know I love a good gray paint so CLICK HERE to see my favorite gray paints that I use over and over again. (#4 is my favorite).
Also–here are all of my favorite paint colors for furniture.
step 2: choose your stencil
I love a stencil like this that looks a little hand-painted. Just look at the details like the dots. I did this project so long ago that I don’t even remember which stencil I used. So I found this one that’s similar.
You can see it here.
It’s a little smaller, but it’s the perfect size for a 10-minute stencil project like this.
step 3: best stencil tip ever
This is my BEST tip if you are going to stencil quickly.
Repositional Spray Adhesive.
This is the spray I use that I got at Hobby Lobby.
For a flat surface like wood, it made the project SO MUCH EASIER.
If you want to see how to stencil other surfaces than wood, CLICK HERE to see how I stenciled concrete.
Simply spray the back of the stencil, then press into place.
Simple tip: make sure to spray LIGHTLY. You don’t want to overspray and have it dripping down the sides of the furniture.
step 4: add paint
Take your stencil brush (you want to make sure you have a brush with a flat head to prevent paint from seeping under the sides of the stencil) and lightly pounce the paint into the corners of the stencil.
I wanted these doors to have a faded vintage look, so I only used one coat of paint and applied a light coat.
One thing that I want to point out with this stencil project is that there’s not that much contrast between my two paint colors, so just between us?
It made stenciling easier.
If you want to learn how to stencil on wood with high contrast project (for example—like a navy piece with a white stencil pattern) then you would start by painting the base coat on the stencil, letting it dry and adding two coats of the white. It will take a lot longer because you have to let the paint dry between stencils, but your pattern will be clean and crisp.
All you are doing is stenciling the door panels, so the project goes super quickly. Just let the extra stencil hang off the edge of the panel and only stencil the part that’s on the door. Also, you can see I tried to mimic the same pattern on each door, but I didn’t overthink it (please act surprised) so it’s not perfect.
Step 6: seal finish
You’ll want to make sure and seal the stenciled finish so it doesn’t chip or wear off.
If you use a sealer on the project, you want to make sure it’s water-based. Water-based products will dry clear and not yellow over time as oil-based products have a tendency to do.
It comes in satin, semi-gloss and gloss. Choose the finish that you want and paint a coat on with a brush.
Here are just a few of the things I learned along the way to make this project easier:
- If you have wipes, keep them close to you. You’ll need them to wipe away any excess paint.
- Keep the stencil coats light, you don’t want too much paint or it will glob on the surface.
- If you want to know how to prevent stencil bleed, stencil with the brush straight on, not at an angle and make sure to use the stencil adhesive to prevent the stencil from buckling or pulling up.
- Using craft paint when you stencil cuts down on drying time and makes the paint dry faster.
This stenciled armoire is finished.
Now it’s time to fall it up.
How To Make a Burlap Bow With Wheat
Step 1: Find your ribbon
- I added this step because there are so many different types of burlap ribbon. I had no idea how many different types there were until I asked where the burlap ribbon was and they pointed me towards an aisle.
- There are wired, non-wired, big, small, medium, printed, and colored burlap ribbon. The burlap ribbon makers are working overtime.
- For this project, I selected a really big burlap ribbon.
- The bigger ribbon makes it so much easier to make a bow that’s fluffy and the bow also looks so much harder to make than it actually is.
- Also—please note I’m showing you the steps with a ribbon with a pattern, but the bows on the armoire are actually made with non-pattern burlap ribbon (does that even make sense)?
Just my burlap ribbon .02.
Step 2: Fold ribbon
- Decide how wide you want your bow to be.
- Fold the ribbon halfway. The edge will already have a hem on it, so there’s no need to cut it to start. Just begin folding.
- The end of the folded piece of ribbon is where the center of your bow will be.
- This half a bow measures between 4 and 5 inches, so my entire bow is between 8 and 10 inches.
Step 3: Continue folding the ribbon
- Each time you make a fold make it just a little smaller than the previous fold (as shown).
- Cut last fold of ribbon so it ends in the center.
- Trim the ribbon where you want it to be and place the rest of the ribbon away for your next bow project.
- For ribbon as large as the one I selected, I typically make three folds.
- If your ribbon is smaller, you will want to make more folds to make the bow fluffier.
Step 4: Wrap florist wire
- In the center of the folds, wrap a piece of florist wire around the burlap.
- Tie it off as tightly as you can. It has a tendency to loosen, so you’ll want to make sure it’s extra tight when you tie it.
- Twist the ends together.
- Leave the ends of the florist wire hanging.
Step 5: Wrap center
- Wrap the center of the bow with a piece of burlap and fasten at the back of the bow with florist wire.
- Make sure you cut it long enough so that the bow has “tails” after you wrap the center.
- Trim the burlap bow tails to about 6″ in length.
- Cut the ends in a diagonal line.
- Tuck 2-3 wheat stalks into the center of the bow.
Step 6: Hang on the door of the armoire and fluff
You can hang the bow on a small metal command hook (make sure you get the ones with the small metal hook). Then it’s time to fluff. This is my favorite part.
This is the part where the bow comes alive.
- You twist the folds this way and that until you have the exact look you want.
- The wonderful thing about burlap is because it is so thick, it holds its shape really well.
- The burlap has a natural curve with it. Work with the curve, not against it. You can see the curve in the drape of the end of the ribbon in this picture.
- A typical spool of ribbon will make two bows.
Burlap bows like this are perfect for fall.
I have them all over the house on wreaths or mantels or vases or pillows or slipcovers. The best part? They only take minutes to make. This is great news if you are planning a wedding or hosting a family reunion or inviting the governor over for sweet tea. I think the first bow took me about 10 minutes to create, but after that, I could make one in about five minutes.
This was a VERY long answer to some of the questions you asked and I had so much fun putting it together.
Also, here are all the supplies and a few other home decor pieces you can use to recreate the look.
It’s a fun project and the perfect way to add a little fall.
Keep those questions coming.
My inbox is waiting. 🙂
disclosure: affiliate links used in this post.