I am blog hopping today with some of the members of the StencilGirl Talk team. We are celebrating the release of new 12″ x 24″ StencilGirl Home Decor Stencils. A really big stencil means an opportunity to work on a bigger canvas than usual… a piece of furniture!
My husband and I often say that we bought our 1923 bungalow for the front porch and the wood trim inside. For a long time we simply decorated the porch with a pair of white rocking chairs. I really longed for a porch swing though and knew that since there were hooks for one in the ceiling that one really belonged on our porch. I casually mentioned to David that I would love to have a porch swing there one day. He happened upon a vintage one needing a new home one day and surprised me with it. It inspired a happy little front porch make over project last year.
From the moment David hung up my swing (which he stripped, restored, and painted for me) I knew I wanted a little table or bench to set in front of it. You need something to set your glass of lemonade on after all! I looked and looked and couldn’t find what I wanted. One day my mom texted me and asked if I wanted a bench she had. It turns out that it was the perfect size to pair with my swing. The bench had a white milk paint finish that wasn’t sealed. I didn’t think much about that as I put it on my porch. After it sat there for a year, I realized that the weather hadn’t played nice with it. I decided that it now needed a makeover too and while I was at it, I might as well give it a little personality too!
Here is a secret about me… when it comes to paper crafts, I don’t mind projects that take time and have a lot of steps. When it comes to home projects that involve painting, I like fast and simple. I am a terrible painter, I like putting on one coat of paint thick and hoping it does the job. After checking out different paint options, I decided chalk paint was the best choice for me. It has great coverage, even with one coat and requires very little prep work. I simply wiped down the table with a wet rag and started painting. I tried to not paint too heavy so that I didn’t get drips, but truthfully, I was “generous” with the paint in places so I ended up with drips. After two coats of white chalk paint my table looked brand new!
(I used Folk Art Home Decor Chalk Paint in White Adirondack. It comes in a really large jar and I thought I would need a ton of paint for this table. Chalk paint really goes a long way. You could definitely use a smaller jar for a table this size.)
One of the cool things about chalk paint is that you can layer it in colors that are revealed when you sand it. I love that look which goes really well with my love of all things vintage and shabby. I chose a golden yellow (Delta Ceramcoat Chalk Paint in Marigold) to add a real punch of color. I will admit, that when I began applying the yellow I had a small freak out moment. The color was much bolder than I anticipated and I was pretty sure I had picked the wrong color. I am a soft color kind of girl and I wasn’t sure that mustard was going to work with my celery green swing. I pushed on though deciding a layer of white over the yellow would be a good way to tone it down.
I followed up the yellow layer with more white. The white covered the yellow wonderfully. (Seriously, the coverage of that white paint is incredible!) I made sure to apply this layer of white in really thin dry brush like strokes so that the yellow could peek through. The result was a wonderful creamy soft yellow and white mixture, perfect for the soft colors on my porch.
When it was time to sand the bench, I turned that task over to my husband and his power sander. He sanded over the surface to reveal some of the darker yellow and to reveal some wood. He also managed to sand away all the drips of paint that I made from my sloppy painting technique. (I may have also gotten a lecture about if I would slow down and use less paint, I wouldn’t get drips… sigh).
Next it was time to add some personality! StencilGirl has brand new home decor stencils that are 12″ x 24″ and exactly the size I needed to fit the top of my table! I fell in love with the Bellflowers design by Jennifer Evans because it reminded me of flowers on the vintage tablecloths I collect. I have pillows on my swing made from some so I thought this design was a perfect tie in.
I placed the stencil on top of the table and added a bit of washi tape around the edges to hold it in place.
I picked three colors of Folk Art Home Decor Chalk Paint in 2oz bottles– Vintage Mustard (a perfect match to the Marigold used on the table), Vintage Victorian, and Spanish Moss. I loved that they offer these paints in small bottles! I poured a small amount of paint into a paper bowl and used an ink blending tool with a foam pad to pick up the paint. I dabbed it on the bowl to tap of any excess. When stenciling with paint you really want to use small amounts of paint at a time. If your brush (or foam) is too juicy, you will get seepage under the stencil.
Why did I use an ink blending tool? My other home decor true confession, I am terrible about cleaning brushes. If I can use something disposable, I will. Also, since I use this tool a lot, I felt comfortable with it and felt like it would help me control the amount of paint I used. I have used brushes before to stencil furniture and I used too much paint, remember, I tend to overload brushes.
With the ink blending tool, simply dab the paint onto the surface through the stencil. Less is more when it comes to the paint, add multiple layers to get the coverage.
I added a bit of green to the base of the flowers so that I would maybe get a hint of it when sanded.
Next, I added the pink for the flowers.
Before painting the yellow centers, I added wash tape around them to mask off the flower. This helped to keep the yellow out of the flower.
After finishing one half of the table, I flipped the stencil over and repeated the process for the other side.
Finally I used a sanding grip to sand over the stenciled area to add age and wear to the design. I wanted it a bit softer and faded like an old piece of furniture would be.
I still need to seal it to protect it from the weather on the porch but that will have to wait for the humidity to drop. It is a bit too humid now for the sealer I plan to use.
I absolutely LOVE the way the bench turned out! It looked great with the fresh paint, but adding the stenciling took it to a whole new level! The adorable bell flowers have such a sweet and vintage feel to them, which ties in perfectly with my porch decor and my little yellow bungalow!
PS. Check out more StencilGirl Home Decor Stencil ideas on the StencilGirl Talk blog today here: StencilGirl Home Decor Inspiration.