Upcycling Sunday #3 - Stenciling

So last time I wrote about my test project which wasn't much of a project at all but did result in a slightly prettier looking bookcase for Jack's bedroom. This time I wanted to do something a little more creative and my subject was this old bedside table which was kindly donated to me by Carl.

Not very pretty is it? 

I have Pinterest boards for upcycling and interior design. Some popular patterns that seem to keep cropping up are chevrons and harlequins which I like because they're current and cool but also seem pretty simple - surely even I couldn't mess up a few triangles or some wonky lines, right?! So I ordered myself an A4 harlequin stencil from ebay and got cracking. 

I bought another tin of Rust-oleum chalk paint in a grey shade that I thought would work well with the Balmoral blue I already have. I had the intention of painting the whole thing grey but about half way through I thought it might look quite cool if I painted the top in blue. When it comes to cupboards and drawers, I've learnt that painting is pretty tough going. There are a lot of hard to reach nooks and crannies and I also struggled a bit with the side of the door and it's hinges. If I'm honest, I wasn't overjoyed with the paint job on this one because in places it looks splodgey and the brush strokes are too visible. But thankfully the stenciling takes some of the focus away from that.

Once it had dried I started the stenciling process, applying the stencil and sticking it down with masking tape to secure it. This is really important - even the slightest wobble can cause the stencil to lift up and then your lines are uneven (so to answer my earlier question, yes it seems I can mess up a few triangles!) I also had to take care when lining the stencil back up to make the diamond shape. It wasn't perfect but afterwards I used a tiny paintbrush to neaten up any discrepancies and overall I'm pretty pleased with it for a first attempt.

After waxing the whole thing down there was one last thing to do - replace the handle. I ordered a really nice quality handle from ebay for 99p which was an absolute bargain. The downside was that it came all the way from Guangdong - I have no idea where abouts in the world that is but it must be pretty far away as it took nearly a month to arrive! By this point I was so eager to finish it that I got a bit impatient when screwing the knob in. The screw was slightly too big for the hole and got stuck half way through...gahhhh! It wouldn't budge either way and I was convinced I'd buggered the whole thing up but luckily my granddad with his guns of steel was on hand to remove it. I drilled a slightly bigger hole and was finally able add the finishing touch. Amazing the trouble a little knob can cause...ahem.

So here it is.

This was another piece of furniture for Jack's bedroom so hopefully he'll like it. I'm thinking his room is probably due a bit of an update as it's not changed much since he was a baby. I've got some other projects in the pipeline and have ordered some cute soft furnishings so ideally it will all come together in time for Christmas. But I'll save that for another post.

As ever, I'd love to hear from anyone else who has any experience or thoughts on upcycling. 


  1. Looks great laura!! Inspiring me to do some stencilling! Love it.
    I love up-cycling but my attention span sometimes leaves things in the garage half done for months or "I'm going to do this" and never get round to it! Lol. I have made a wine rack holder thingy out of a wooden pallet before, not sure if you've seen them on pinterest, that turned out okay. I was too inpatient to paint it as I wanted to admire it on the wall so it's au-naturel. I made a planter out of one to for the garden. That was quite fun but more sawing and hammering than painting.
    Oh and I also bought a mouse sander to sand an ottoma which is fab tool.
    Add me on pinterest (Kelly Denise Hodson) I couldn't find you!! Xxx

  2. Awww thanks so much for the lovely comment Kelly. I'm exactly like you, I have to be in the mood for it and I tend to rush things towards the end cos I want to admire them haha (hence knob-gate!) Sounds like you've made some cool stuff. It's amazing what you can do with crates and pallets. I'm very much still learning so not great with the DIY side of it yet. I tend to pick up cheap furniture in charity shops - got some right bargains lately. I've just finished another cupboard which I decoupaged on top, going to write about that one next time. I get a lot of inspiration from Pinterest but some of the stuff on there is way beyond my capabilities lol. I've added you now so hopefully you can see me :) xx