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Raised Stencil Tutorial

Hey!!  Today im back with a quick post about a quick way to add a pretty little detail to your painted pieces.  This is super easy and quick and adds just the right amount of character to a piece that might be on the plain side.

I saw a raised stencil a few years ago, then forgot all about them.  But i was reminded of them again when i saw some pieces from Kristin from Tattered Perfection.  So i chatted with her about how she went about it, she gave me a few tips and i got on my way to trying it out :)

Sweet Pickins - Raised Stencil

Sweet Pickins - Raised Stencil

When i 1st tried this, i picked up my stencils from Michaels.  They are the Martha Stewart brand.  They are ok – but they are really thin.  I didnt realize how thin they were until i ordered some from Etsy – the place i ordered them from was a much more heavy duty, better quality stencil.  But either will work fine.

So all you need is your stencil, some spray adhesive (makes it a little easier), your vinyl spackling (this is the stuff to go with, its dries really hard and wont flake off when its dry and you touch it), a flexible putty knife and tint if you would like to darken your putty.

Sweet Pickins - Raised Stencil

For this sofa table, i did tint my putty.  I used a brand called TransTint n a dark brown color.  I just picked this up @ Woodcraft.  Its not necessary to tint your putty – it just gives it a little different look.

Sweet Pickins - Raised Stencil

You just add the tint right to your putty and mix up – i added enough to get it a dark brown.   Looks like chocolate frosting – yum :)

Sweet Pickins - Raised Stencil

For the next step, ive done it both ways – and both work.  You can either just hold up your stencil and apply the putty, or you can spray a little bit of adhesive to the back of the stencil (let it dry for a minute before applying to your furniture) so that it sticks in place.  You just need to try it and find what works best for you.  Some people also cut their stencils too – i havent done that yet but may have to if working in a tighter space.

Im not a measurer, i just eyeball it and stick it down to where i think it looks best.

Sweet Pickins - Raised Stencil

Then you just take your putty knife and smear the putty over the stencil so that its all covered.  I found its really important to use a flexible knife – its makes it much easier.

Sweet Pickins - Raised Stencil

After ive got the design covered, i just take the putty knife and lightly go over the stencil to remove any highspots and excess putty.  If you were going for a more textured look – you could for sure skip this step.  You could also dab the putty with your fingers to give even more texture.

Even with wiping a good amount of the putty off – you will be surprised at how thick your stencil is, so dont worry about how thin the stencil is – it will work, i promise.

Sweet Pickins - Raised Stencil

Then – you just pull the stencil off and you have a raised design!!

If the stencil isnt perfect, you can take your finger or a small brush and clean up the design or wipe off any extra putty as needed.

Normally i can use the stencil about 4 or 5 times and then i have to clean my stencil up with some water.

You can see in the 1st pic that i painted my piece 1st.  I actually just did one coat of milk paint, then added the stencil and then did one more coat of milk paint over it.  In the 2nd pic, i just used the putty in white and painted 2 coats of milk paint over that.  Either way works – but i think its important if you need the stencil to be durable, that paint is applied over the stencil to seal in the plaster.

Sweet Pickins - Raised Stencil

Sweet Pickins - Raised Stencil

After the stencil is dry which takes about an hour or 2, i just take a fine sanding sponge and lightly sand it to remove any high spots.

Sweet Pickins - Raised Stencil

Then just paint as normal and either distress your piece to show the lines of the stencil, or even better is to add a little glaze or dark wax over the stencil so it highlights it!  The pic below shows just the stencil distressed and clear waxed…

Sweet Pickins - Raised Stencil

Heres the same spot with it dark waxed as well – so pretty!!!

Sweet Pickins - Raised Stencil

Sweet Pickins Raised Stencil tutorial

Sweet Pickins - Raised Stencil

Moody Blue Sofa Table - Raised stencil tutorial

This piece i used the stencil in just white and then used our Aging Dust over the milk paint to highlight it.

Sweet Pickins Raised Stencil tutorial

Sweet Pickins - Raised Stencil

Sweet Pickins Raised Stencil tutorial

And there ya have a quick and easy way to give your piece a little character and dimension!



14 Responses to Raised Stencil Tutorial

  1. Christy Keyton January 6, 2015 at 7:12 am #

    I love this! So pretty. Will have to try it on furniture. I have done this with embossing plaster on some signs.

  2. Elisabeth January 6, 2015 at 3:15 pm #

    Wow! Yet another great and easy idea which makes loads of impact! Thanks so much Sausha.

  3. Khristine January 14, 2015 at 4:50 pm #

    What a great look!! If you had told me you made that with a stencil before see the whole process I wouldn’t have believed you!

  4. Julie @ follow your heart woodworking January 19, 2015 at 4:49 pm #

    Looks beautiful, thanks for sharing your techniques!

  5. deanna January 31, 2015 at 4:50 pm #

    i love this look! everything you put your hand to is beautiful! I’ve done this before on furniture, but not in quite awhile, time tpo do it again! thanks for the inspiration!

  6. Mindi February 17, 2015 at 10:40 pm #

    This is sooooo awesome! Sausha! pinned!

  7. WG&R Furniture July 21, 2015 at 11:45 am #

    This is really interesting…and doesn’t look that hard to do. Sometimes that’s all you need to make a piece uniquely yours! Thanks for the pictures, which really help with the instructions.

  8. Ashley Akana September 1, 2015 at 11:39 pm #

    I love this! What shop on etsy did you buy this Stencil from?

  9. Tina September 13, 2015 at 11:44 pm #

    My daughter just asked me to stencil a wall in her bedroom. Ive always wanted to try this…and I think it would be amazing on a wall. Glad I found this page…for instructions.

  10. Wilna Smith December 20, 2015 at 11:35 pm #

    Thank you so much for this lovely tutorial. It’s easy and straightforward. I have a19 drawer tallboy and this has just solved my problem of what to do to the sides of it.

  11. Rebeca January 17, 2016 at 5:51 pm #

    Beautiful! I want to try this! I also want to try your paint too! Love it! Thanks for sharing!

  12. Wendy Maxwell February 18, 2016 at 10:06 pm #

    Hi Sausha … Thank you for this terrific tutorial! I’ve been thinking of trying to do something like this myself as it’s sooo hard to find appliques here in Oz … So, I thought about how else I could achieve the same look … & decided this would be the way to go, if only I could buy stencils thick enough … I even thought about cutting my own, but as my hands have bad tremours & I can’t even butter toast, I decided that wasn’t going to work for me … lol … You can imagine my excitement at seeing your tutorial!!

    Would you PLEASE tell me, or give me the link for the Etsy shop where you bought your stencil from as I’m sure that I’d spend a fortune (postage to Oz is horrific!!) … & end up with something thin & flimsy … Even the thickness would help as I could then ask for the thickness before ordering online? So, I’d be really grateful if you could let me know please.

    Would you also let me know the name of the putty that you use? I only see oil based putty over here. Maybe I can try a hobby shop for men who make toys, etc.

    Sadly (for my product needs/wants), we have such a small population compared to USA … (we hit 25million 3 days ago! lol … & your population is like 330million!) … so quite a difference in population means that we don’t have the same demand for the wide variety of items that you do, or the quantity of customers to make it profitable for our manufacturers to make them, or for them to import such a wide variety. I soooo often envy you for all that you have available to you … & at suuuch relatively cheap prices too!!

    I LOVE your work … as well as your tutorials & videos. Thanks for your generosity of spirit in sharing your knowledge probably gained by many trials & errors. :)

    Cheers, Wendy from Oz.

  13. jolanta February 24, 2016 at 3:13 pm #

    HI Sausha!! I leave in Australia and we dont have this products u r using for raised stensil,,,,,any other idea what i can use here in au ? thank you Jolanta

  14. Jenn November 28, 2016 at 12:06 am #

    I’ve seen this technique before but a product called Water Putty was used in place of the spackling. Also, Aleene’s makes a paste called 3D Accents Design Paste to be used with their line of 3D stencils, which are just stencils made of thick craft foam. I’m curious to how the three products compare in terms of durability, ease of use, etc. Have you tried this technique with any other products?

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