Turn your flea market furniture into charming masterpieces with a stencil. We turned a plain boring $20 bookcase into an Indianapolis theme stenciled bookcase with our WW234 Indianapolis Theme Stencil and chalk paint. If you are a DIY-er or interested in re-purposing, you know how personalizing a furniture piece adds value, interest, beauty, and in this case, fun! Stencils are a very professional low cost way to personalize your pieces. Stencils can be used on any smooth surface. Stenciled bookcases, tables, desks, headboards, chairs, flooring -are now easily customized with stencils. Supplies for this project are below:
- Plaster of Paris
- Latex Paint
- WW234 Indianapolis Theme Stencil
- Chip brush
- 4 inch foam roller
- 2 oz bottle of liquid acrylic paint (stencil paint)
- water based topcoat
I found this bookcase at a garage sale for $20. It was oak veneer and very sturdy. Typically, I don’t like to paint oak, but since it was veneer, I caved. I removed the wood back panel. Then I made my own chalk paint (see below), and applied two coats with a roller and chip brush, for the hard to reach places. Allow the first coat to dry thoroughly before giving it a second coat (about 2 hours).
Chalk Paint Recipe
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/3 cup plaster of Paris
- 1 cup latex paint (Antique White Glidden)
Mix water and plaster together thoroughly, then add latex paint. Only make what you think you will use immediately. I tried storing and reusing the chalk paint I made and found that the plaster started clumping or coming out of the solution. Play it safe and just make a fresh batch as needed.
I applied two coats of General Finishes High Performance water based topcoat. This topcoat turned yellowed the chalk paint just a tiny bit. There are some furniture pieces that I wouldn’t mind this effect, like this bookcase. But there are others that I would not. So if you are using this combination of paint and topcoat, beware, because it does yellow.
For the back panel, using a foam roller, I applied two coats of Diplomat Gray from Pratt & Lambert, lightened just a bit with antique white paint from Glidden, to achieve a medium gray brown shade. I used this same paint and applied 2 coats to the shelves.
After the back panel was dry, I laid it flat onto the floor. I then positioned the first section of WW234 Indianapolis Theme stencil onto the panel. I applied an off-white liquid acrylic paint using a half inch stencil brush. Don’t forget to offload on a paper towel to remove most of the paint before stenciling. For more details, please view our stenciling basics video.
I immediately removed the stencil and then repeated this procedure with the second section of the stencil. To add durability to the stenciled bookcase back panel, I applied two coats of General Finishes High Performance water based topcoat. I allowed the back to dry overnight and then attached the back to the bookcase with small nail brads. Voile!!