How to Paint a Raised Stencil on Furniture




Introduction: How to Paint a Raised Stencil on Furniture

About: My love of making things started young, with a mom who was always coming up with projects and a dad whose tool collection still gives me envy. I got my love of bright colors from mom and my love of working wi…

Raised stencils can add a touch of texture to an otherwise flat piece, which is why we wanted to show you how to add a raised stencil to a piece of furniture. However, we went a little different route than most and did a color-on-color pineapple stencil so it could be seen up close but didn’t scream "coastal" from far away.

This resulted in an elegant and understated addition to a piece of furniture that would have otherwise been too kitschy if it were done in a contrasting color.

This is actually a part of a larger project we just completed—my childhood dresser restoration. We pulled this piece out in case someone wanted to learn how to make a raised stencil on furniture but didn’t want to dig through the longer dresser restoration how-to.


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Cutting Machine (I have the Cricut Maker) –

24” Standard grip map -

Oracal Oramask 813 stencil vinyl -

Coarse texture -

Regular paint (we used semi-gloss latex paint) -

Mixing cup -

Foam brush -

Painter’s tape -

Matte Mod Podge -

Step 1: Create Your Stencil

One of the best things about having a Cricut cutting machine is the ability to make your own stencils. Of course, you *can* use a pre-made stencil for this, but it’s so much fun to be able to have your own unique design. We used a Cricut Maker, but there are no special blades required for this, so any Cricut cutting machine that accepts the size vinyl you’ll need will work.

Gather the following materials: computer, Cricut machine (or other cutting machine), related cutting machine accessories (mat and blade), stencil vinyl

Follow these steps:

1. Create preferred graphic in Cricut Design Space.

2. Adjust dimensions until graphic is the desired size.

3. Click “Make It” to send the project to the cutting steps.

4. Adjust graphic on your digital mats so you have enough of a border on each side to tape down the stencil, once made.

5. Click "Browse All Materials" and search for "Stencil Vinyl"

6. Select "Stencil Vinyl" and click Continue.

6. Adhere Oracal Oramask 813 stencil vinyl to a Standard Grip Mat.

Tip: Be sure your vinyl is completely flat on the mat to ensure a clean cut.

7. Load mat in machine and press the Go button.

8. Weed out excess vinyl, keeping in mind that what you want to leave is the outline of your shape.

9. Remove vinyl from mat using a large scraper to ensure that the backing stays in place.

10. Trim any excess vinyl, if needed. However, remember to keep a good sized border around your stencil.

Step 2: Adhere Stencil to Furniture

This is probably the most precise step in this process. You’ll want to be sure to get your placement right on your furniture before adhering it. Once it’s in place, you’ll need to ensure a firm adhesion before proceeding on to the next step.

Gather the following materials: stencil, scraper, painter’s tape, furniture

Follow these steps:

1. With the backing still on the stencil, lay it on the furniture where you plan to paint.

2. Center the stencil by measuring around it.

3. Hold the stencil in place and remove only the bottom part of the backing.

4. Secure bottom part of stencil by pressing it firmly to the furniture.

5. Slowly roll the backing away, securing the stencil in place as you move up the design.

6. Lay the backing paper on top of your stencil and use a scraper to firmly adhere stencil.

7. Press down along all edges of stencil with your fingers.

Step 3: Seal Your Stencil

So many people who try to do stenciling get “bleed,” where the paint seeps under the stencil and ruins those pretty lines. To prevent your paint from bleeding under the stencil, you’ll want to seal it first.

Gather the following materials: painter’s tape, foam brush, matte Mod Podge.

Follow these steps:

1. Cover any holes in your stencil vinyl with painter’s tape.

2. Depending on your painting style, it may be beneficial to also put painter’s tape around the entire stencil.

3. We did this after sealing but should have done it before.

4. Use a foam brush to apply a thin, but full, layer of mod lodge over your entire stencil, ensuring that ll edges are covered.

5. Let Mod Podge dry (until there is no tackiness to the touch). For us, this was approximately 30-45 minutes.

Step 4: Apply Textured Paint

You’re almost there! Now that your stencil is applied and sealed, all you have to do it add your paint! For the raised effect, we’re going to add some texture to it. We decided to do a color-on-color raised stencil to add some flair with elegance. We wanted the design to be seen up close but not “scream."

Gather the following materials: base paint (we used a semi-glossy latex paint), coarse paint texture, mixing cup, mixing stick, new foam brush.

Follow these steps:

1. Mix your base paint with the coarse texture in a mixing cup to desired consistency. We mixed enough until it didn’t run off of the mixing stick.

2. Apply paint mixture to stencil using a dabbing (straight up and down) motion.

3. Once the entire stencil is covered, smooth out the paint using light strokes with your foam brush.

4. While the paint is still wet, gently remove stencil, starting from the top and pulling it up perpendicular to the board.

Step 5: Enjoy!

Whether you decide to do color-on-color like us or go with a big contrast, adding a raised stencil to a piece of furniture will no doubt add some extra flair. With that, we hope you enjoyed this project. Be sure to let us know if you make it!

In the meantime, if you liked this project, please head over to for more tips, tutorials, back stories and more. And if you’re interested in checking out more of our tutorials, check out our Instructables profile or head over to our YouTube channel.

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    2 years ago

    I loved itttttt!!!!!!!!!


    Reply 2 years ago

    Thank you!!!!


    Question 2 years ago

    I'm confused about the Mod Podge step. Do you paint it over (into) the stencil shapes (here, the leaves and diamonds of the pineapple)? Or do you cover those with painters tape? Or just avoid them? I thought the stencil adhesive was designed to avoid bleed.
    I don't stencil - or at least I haven't. But I have a new Cricut Maker and this looks very interesting...


    Answer 2 years ago

    Hey! I'm SO sorry for the delayed reply - we weren't getting notifications of comments on our instructables. First, congrats on getting your Maker! You're going to love it!

    We covered the outside of the stencil with painter's tape to cover the parts of the door that were not covered by the stencil. It's easier to see this part and why I added the painter's tape in the video.

    As for your second question: The stencil *is* adhesive, but unless your surface is 100% flat (think sanded up to like 600 grit), you're going to have the potential for bleed. The Mod Podge goes over the area you want to paint. It essentially seals the edges of the stencil.