Now, everybody knows…
If there’s something strange in your neighborhood
Who you gonna call? Ghostbusters!
But did you also know that…
And call them I did! And it’s because I knew their stencils are la crème de la crème.
You see, I’ve had the opportunity to work with Royal Design Studio stencils twice in the past: first at their booth at Haven Blog Conference last summer, and second during the Share the Joy Service Project when my Central Florida blogger Friends and I made-over a local Children’s Home Office. Here I am working on the accent wall using their large Moroccan Key Stencil.
So, when it came to tackling the Roll-Top Desk Makeover last month, I knew we had so much surface area on that beast, it would be the perfect opportunity to add some stencil detail. And where better than on the recessed side panels?
The hardest part was choosing which of Royal Design Studio’s fantastic stencils to use. I ultimately opted for the Scallops Allover Stencil because I was diggin’ its beachy vibe. Also, that’s the style wave Mark and I are riding right now (awful pun intended).
And I opted for the 1.5” Stencil Brush to help me get the job done.
The stencil came with a handy step by step guide for how to make your stenciling dreams come true…but since I’m the sort of person who loves seeing steps in action, I thought I’d share my own play-by-play and tips for working stencils into recessed panels. Maybe it will spark some inspiration for your next furniture makeover!
How to Stencil on a Recessed Furniture Panel
Step 1. Use painter’s tape to mask off the panel edges. I found that if I could even work the 1″ tape around the curved edges if I went slowly.
Step 2. Mark the center of your stencil and the center of your panel, line them up, and tape your stencil down. Now, this was less important since my stencil pattern was so simple and my panel was not symmetrical; however, for the more intricate patterns, this is key for ending up with a finished design that looks even on the edges.
Step 3. Dip your brush in your paint…and then dab most of it off. Offload most of your paint onto your builder’s paper or a paper towel until your brush is almost dry. This is counter-intuitive, I know. But it’s oh so important if you want to avoid bleeding under your stencil.
And I just used the same Behr latex paint in ultra pure white that we used for the drawer fronts. Royal Design Studio also has their own line of stencil cremes, too, that I look forward to trying out!
Step 4. Apply your paint in gentle, small circles. Start at the edge of the stencil and work your way to the openings. I tried to be methodical in working my way from the top to the bottom. That way, by the time I got to the bottom, the top was dry enough to apply a second thin layer of paint. (Two coats of paint was sufficient for me.)
In fact, I would suggest practicing with your technique first on a piece of scrap wood. The key is really getting a feel for how to roll that brush in circular motions. Once I got in a rhythm, it went surprisingly fast.
I also recommend removing the stencil from your panel before it fully dries so it doesn’t stick to the furniture. And I usually waited at least an hour before re-taping the stencil to a new section.
Step 5. When working on the recessed edges, focus on flattening one section at a time. I rocked the rubber gloves for this part and worked on flattening one scallop section at a time with my fingers to really get into that recessed groove.
It worked like a charm!
TIP: I recommend using Murphy’s Oil Soap when cleaning the paint off of your stencil brush. Mine looks as good as new now!
Step 6. Peel away your painter’s tape and prepare to be amazed.
Step 7. Use a small paintbrush to do small touch-ups. It’s funny, I noticed that while my first side panel had several touch-ups where my white paint bled under the stencil, my second side panel had ZERO. Why? Because I really mastered the technique about halfway through – – and like I said before, the key is to really rid your brush of most of the paint.
When I first stepped back to take in the finished side panels, I couldn’t have been happier with the results.
In fact, I was so happy, I decided this desk needed more Allover Scallops!
So, I proceeded to stencil the desk’s cork memo board, too. I just took a roller to that puppy since I knew the cork was such a porous material anyway – – using the same method of offloading most of the paint first before rolling it on. And I knocked it out in under an hour.
Now, looking at the “after” photos, I feel like the stenciled cork memo board really completes the look for the Roll-Top Desk!
Now, that you’ve seen how do-able and transformative furniture stenciling can be, sing it with me now:
“I ain’t afraid of no
Where to go next…
If you’re curious to try out one of Royal Design Studio’s stencils for yourself, head to royaldesignstudio.com and start exploring their gorgeous designs.
Lastly, here are my other posts in the Roll-Top Desk Makeover Series to get your gears turning on your next furniture makeover project. Thanks for stopping by!
- Roll-Top Desk Makeover: Business on the Outside, Party on the Inside
- 10 Tips for Painting Furniture with Latex Paint
- Desk Styling 101: Say Goodbye to Styling Anxiety
- Adding Scallop Stencil Details to a Roll-Top Desk (you’re here)
Plus, you can see the other dramatic transformations of our Rustic Nautical Master Bedroom Makeover:
- Rustic Nautical Master Bedroom Makeover: How We Found Our Shared Style
- IKEA Hack: Whitewashed Fjell Wardrobe with Pallet Shelves
- How to Stain Wood with a HomeRight Finish Max Sprayer: Video Tutorial
- How to Build a Custom King Size Bed Frame
- So You Want to Build a Pallet Headboard
- IKEA Side Table Hack: Such Great Heights
- The Thrifty Girl’s Guide to Coastal Decor
- Nautical Anchor Pillow Tutorial
- Felt Fish Pillow for the Nautically-Inclined
Full Disclosure: I received a stencil and brush to facilitate this review and was compensated for my time. As always, all opinions are 100% my own. For more policy information, click here.