Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Reverse Stenciling

So a couple years ago, when I was feeling drawn to tree imagery, I'd repainted my room.

At the same time, I was working on refinishing an old desk (which had been my mother's ... I love that legacy stuff :) ).

I left it a little distressed on top, because I didn't want to erase its whole past, but I smoothed out the major scratching on the surface, and of course added some blue flair to the edges and legs.

I also (to my knowledge) invented for the First Time Ever the Most Gloriously Cool Technique for a Reverse Stencil Art on a Wood Surface!
Woo hoo!

Here's what I did.

First I stripped the top of the desk, and sanded it to my heart's content but did NOT finish it yet (how-to posted here.)

Then I made two tree stencils. I just sketched the trees onto the backs of old cereal boxes, and cut them out with my trusty Exacto knife.

I placed the stencils where I wanted them, and then with the foam brush I painted the varnish on within the stencil.

Once the stenciled varnish dried, I poured some regular acrylic paint onto the varnished part, and then using a dry cloth rubbed it over the varnished surface - the paint stays on the raw wood, but wipes off of the varnish easily, creating a halo effect that illuminates the tree shapes!

After that had dried, I finished varnishing the surface as I normally would, sealing in the trees at the same time!

(Sorry the photos aren't very clear ... it's hard to get the light paint color to show up properly)


  1. Nice work!!
    just wanted to drop over and say hi and say thanks for following me!
    Looking forward to seeing more of your great projects!

  2. That looks flippin' amazing!!!
    Thank you for swinging by my blog.