DIY: Spice Up Old Wooden Furniture

I did these DIY projects a few years ago, but I still love them. As with any DIY, I found the inspiration on Pinterest. You can see the original post here.

tableI loved the idea that I got to stencil the pattern, because I am useless in the art department. I was also about to move into a new apartment when I found this and figured it was as good a time as any to fix up those old kitchen and coffee tables that I had.

What you’ll need:

 A piece of wooden furniture: You’ll be sanding the furniture down, so it doesn’t really matter how dark the existing stain is. The coffee table I did was dark, and the kitchen table was light, and both turned out great!

Plastic stencils in any pattern: It’s really hard to find big stencils of patterns, like the one pictured. I got a pack of smaller stencils from Michaels, like these.

Sanding paper

Wood stain, any colour you wish

White paint

Small paintbrush

Refillable paint dobber


1. First, you need to sand the entire surface that you intend to paint your pattern on. Be sure to remove any existing topcoats.

2. Stencil on your pattern with white paint. I personally had a lot of trouble finding a tool for this that wouldn’t bleed underneath the plastic stencil. After a few trial and errors, I found that a “foam pouncer” worked best. It applied just the right amount of paint! Time consuming – the whole project was though, to be honest – but the best results. I used a small paintbrush to fill in any little holes and what not. Let the pattern thoroughly dry.

3. Lightly – emphasis on the lightly – sand the entire surface again. This will create a smooth surface to stain over.

Screen Shot 2014-01-21 at 6.25.02 PM Screen Shot 2014-01-21 at 6.24.50 PM

4. Apply the wood stain to the entire surface. I chose a dark colour. The white paint shows right through! Be sure to allow ample drying time, and apply as many coats as desired until you achieve the look that you are satisfied with.

5. Apply a top coat.

Screen Shot 2014-01-21 at 6.18.14 PM Screen Shot 2014-01-21 at 6.18.01 PM

The kitchen table is a bit blurry, and I did one more coat of stain after this picture. Just to get the right look. The coffee table pictured is the finished product. I painted the legs of each table a bright colour as well, just to add a little pop. The kitchen table took probably over 10 hours – stencilling all that pattern was a serious job – but it was really relaxing at the same time. And now I have these really lovely, personalized pieces in my home!


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