French Provincial Furniture

Hand Painted Stenciled Furniture

Stenciling can be one form of adding genius to your painted furniture. Forget the country craft stencils popular in the 80’s, as todays modern stencils are more intricate, unique and timeless. Todays hottest painters are thinking outside the box when it comes to decorating their furniture with stencils. Lauren author of InDecorous Taste is fabulous painter with an incredible amount of talent who uses stencils in a new direction combining the natural wood and layering different patterns and opposite colors to create pieces worthy of rich empire looks.   Here she combines hand painted leopard trim against a block pattern in white with gilt accents on a beautiful chest.  While some of us are really good at block patterns, she is really talented at adding multiple patterns to form one design which works fabulously together.  Here she shows a hand painted throw animal print rug, and a french chair whose upholstery is hand painted in an elaborate tiger print.  Again, the hand painted landscape and the animal printed chair mixed in with fabulous french antiques is a room designed for royalty.   Her attention to detail islayered from the stenciled french walls, to the florentine mirror and paintings all with their own exquisite colors.   Featured in this link is a  faux-marble accent table in orange marble with white which looks superb against black wood.   Empire decorating, is one of the only styles which incorporates the most richest elements, such as marble walls, beautiful lavish colors mixed with natural features such as marble,  fur throws, flame mahogany, and gilt wood.   Lauren’s hand painted pieces show interesting ways of adding color and combining patterns that work together, and painting delicate details which might be other wise overlooked.  

Stenciled Wall Featured From Royal Design Studio

Designamourfeatured this outstanding picture of an entry way using Royal Design Studio’s Moorish Trellis stencil using black on black.  This is a popular approach to using stencils, and one of the most elegant patterns and the easiest.  Not only does it look timeless, but it is fairly simple to accomplish using any color.   

Using a suggested eggshell or flat paint as your base, and using the same color, stencil in your pattern in a gloss paint.    Lauren uses the same technique on a serpentine secretary and finishes the interior in a faux tortoise shell

Stenciled Walls and Window Treatments

In the past I have made my own stencils  to achieve unique looks I wouldn’t have otherwise been able to purchase in the store.  To make your own stencils, first search out a design you love.   Free resources such as free spray paint stencil catalogue, the Clipart from ETC, and rare 15th century free images  found from Old Books are some resources worth looking at.  

Don’t discount the common patterns you find in your local retail stores.  Napkins often feature the newest designs, and are quite inexpensive to purchase.  Your local fabric store will also have an array of different geometrical patterns that can be large enough to trace on a blank stencil sheet.   

Chinese Lattice Wallpaper From Bob-collins

Great French Bombe Decorator Painted Commode Dresser Ebay Seller Lake view Style

How do you go about making your own stencil? 

1.  Using a small tip permanent marker, transfer your pattern on to a Blank 
Airbrush Stencil Template. Using a  Black Sharpie Permanent Marker, Ultra-Fine Point  copy the pattern you intend to use on to your blank template.  Sharpie pens are excellent pens for transferring patterns because most of them are permanent.   You can also find blank Stencil Templates at {most} craft stores.  They usually come in thick clear sheets without patterns.

2.  After your pattern is transfered, use a Cutlass Stencil Cutting Kit tool which heats up and with its fine point, cuts your designs as you trace away at your pattern.  Be sure to use a piece of glass under your transfer sheet.  Using an X-ACTO Stencil Knife Set can create sharp edges, but comes in handy for small details that are hard to get to.  Use the heated cutting tool for the majority of your cutting.  It will save you lots of energy and time in detailed stencils.  Stencil knives should also be available at your local craft store, or buy all your items at Amazon in one bulk purchase. 


3.  Transferring the paint from your brush to your wall or furniture piece can be a little tricky. 

A: One way of  transferring your stencil is to use spray paint.  Obviously you would have to dry off your stencil with a paper towel in between two or more uses.  This is a quick way of getting the stenciled image  done quickly.  This trick also only works with flat surfaces, so you may have to let your piece dry and do the curved parts by hand.  By spray painting, be sure to cover your furniture and floors with a old sheet.  The overspray from the paint will be very noticeable after you are finished.  Spray paint is ideally an outdoor solution than an indoor fix.    

With any stenciling project, there is going to be mistakes with the color going outside the stenciled area.  After your piece is dry it will need to be touched up with the original color.    

Stenciled Fabrics Creative Home Magazine 05


Creative Home Magazine 2005

B.  Using a Wood Handle Stencil Brush, you can hammer in the paint with your stencil.  I have found in the past, that using a spray glue to keep the stencil in place only causes the finish to be messed up later as you use glaze and antiquing techniques.  ALTHOUGH, most people use spray adhesive, because it is very hard to keep the stencil in place. ( Use what is best for you. ) When I mention hammering,  you are apply the paint with your hand going vertically with slight force.  

C.  You can use a Foam  Stencil Ink Fountain Roller to roll on your paint.  This might be one of the easiest ways to stencil.  Each of these ways are easier, and do have limitations.  Figure out what works best for you to finish your small or large stenciling  job.

If you have more than one color for a complex pattern using a number of colors, do not try to do it all at once.  Let your project dry, and add the next layer. 

Stenciled Animal Print Bombe Dresser ~Source Unknown

To paint with stencils,  many people would recommend using latex paint or artists paints.  I have used oil in the past, but with oil it is very thick and will cause your stenciled area to be slightly raised.  You will have to sand down your pattern with a hand foam sander if your paint turns out a bit thick.  Sanding can give you a slightly distressed look, which can be nice, but again, it is what looks best in your eyes. 

The biggest trick to stenciling is to remove most of your color on to a paper towel before applying your paint brush to the stencil and on to your surface.  


When you apply too much paint, your color will bleed outside the stencil.  

Antiqued Chocolate Chest Blue Cottage Floral Accents Ebay Seller Mellery Hall

Stencil Includes 10 Stencils, Notably The Houndstooth, Chain links and Lattice

Stencil 101 Décor: Customize Walls, Floors, and Furniture with Oversized Stencil Art

Stencil 101 includes 10 reusable stencils.  1- Houndstooth 2- Butterflies
3- Polka dots, 4- Honeycomb hexagons, 5- Chain links (interlocking ovals)
6- Birds on a wire, 7- Lattice (interlocking squares) 8- 3-d Effect “stair steps”
9- Moroccan petals and 10- Quatrefoil 
Each design is meant to be tiled simply line up each corner’s registration marks to get a paint-your-own wallpaper effect.

The Encyclopedia of Monograms Great For Any Painted Dresser

The Encyclopedia of Monograms: Over 11,000 Motifs 

Geometric Patterns and Designs

Geometric Patterns and Designs for Artists and Craftspeople

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