Transform an old table into an enviable accent piece with this nifty idea: stenciled tabletops. Simply follow the procedures below.
Choose a table.
Use a secondhand wooden table. If you don't have any, drop by a yard sale or secondhand store. Any type of table will do, whether it's a sizeable dining table, a coffee table, or a bedside table. Just make sure that you're up for the work -- a larger table entails more stenciling, obviously.
Sand and strip the table.
Sand the table to smoothen its surface or remove paint, if any. If the wood has varnish, use a varnish-stripping solution, available at many hardware stores. Follow the manufacturer's instructions on the varnish stripper.
Apply base paint (optional).
Once the table has been sanded and/or stripped, paint it over with the base color of your choice, or leave bare, if you please. (Take note that it's easier to "erase" any stenciling mistakes on bare wood -- simply sand off the paint, and do over.)
Choose your design.
Look to the Web for a wealth of designs. If you're a novice at painting projects, start with a simple design that you can apply on the center or along the edges of the tabletop -- flowers, circles, geometrical shapes, and other clear-cut figures. But feel free to use an intricate pattern if you're a seasoned craftsman. Print out the designs on paper or cardboard. Cut out the design, as intended, using a cutter.
Secure the design onto the table with painter’s tape. Using spray paint or a paint roller, apply your stencil onto the tabletop. Sand away or paint over mistakes and do over. Refine the stencil by using a fine, pointed brush to do over edges or tricky spots. Let dry once complete, then apply finish or varnish as protective coating.