Sponges: The Anti Stencil

Man, I love the look of stenciled walls. I long for a stenciled wall. Alas, I am absolutely not capable of stenciling. I’m not going to stop trying to, but I am going to recognize that the problem is me and not the paint, or the wall, or the stencil, or anything else I try to blame it on.

ANYWAY since I did not make it to the top 10 of the Vintage Revivals Epic Room Makeover (my entry is here) I’m taking it upon myself to make my bedroom epic. I already customized my bureau and I felt the need to customize my tv stand as well. I thought I’d try a stencil-like look without the chaos of a stencil.

Here she is before (& blurry, sorry):

Just a regular old Target tv stand we bought two years ago, I think it was around $60

Inspired by this post over at Vintage Revivals, I thought I’d try to use a sponge to fancy this stand up a bit. First I took a regular kitchen sponge, traced the circular bottom of a candle onto it with a Sharpie, then cut out my circle. I chose a candle only because when I walked around the house looking for things that were circles, the candle was the size I liked best. My method is highly technical.

Next, I took some leftover paint from our half bath and a painters tray and did a few test stamps on a piece of paper. It looked awesome. So I cleared out the shelves and put painters tape around my borders:


This method is supposed to look imperfect, it’s how I got around the whole inability to stencil thing.  I went up and across stamping rows of circles with my sponge:

Sometimes I went top to bottom, sometimes I went across. Basically, the amount of paint on your sponge determines the look of the stamp and I wanted varied and random application.

I just dipped the sponge in the paint, wiped the excess off in the painters tray, and then stamped 4-5 times before reapplying new paint. Sometimes I pressed the sponge on hard with the palm of my hand, sometimes just around the edges- this method, and rotating the stamp as I went along, got me the look you see above.

The side wall circles don’t go all the way in against the back or the top, but for the back wall they do- I just cut the sponge in half to fill my gaps. It’s not perfect, but remember it’s not supposed to be.

Once I was done I decided it need just a little bit more somethin’ somethin’. I got some cream colored craft paint and an angled painters brush and filled in some of the spaces in between the circles:

I just did this at random, three on each side and four in the middle. It took two coats and less then fifteen minutes.

Overall the sponge stamping took just over an hour and the craft paint about fifteen minutes, which makes for a super easy facelift.

Ta da!

I think it looks awesome, the circle shape ties in with the pattern of both the bedspread and the chair in the room and the uneven stamping gives it this cool industrial vibe that I really dig.


Overall I am really learning that just because I buy a piece of furniture one way doesn’t mean it has to stay that way. On big bang projects like this- projects that permanently change the look of something- I sit on it a bit and make sure it’s what I really want to do. But I don’t not alter something just because it’s fine the way it is- fine just doesn’t cut it for me.

On the other hand, Matt says it’s “kooky” and “interesting” which is code for he hates it. Sorry love!

Have you ever stamp furniture or walls before? Any tips to help me learn how to stencil? I’d love to hear from you!


Linking up with:

House of Hepworths

Someday Crafts

The Shabby Creek Cottage

504 Main

Hi Sugarplum!

5 thoughts on “Sponges: The Anti Stencil

  1. I love this! I could have swore I commented on this before…hmm..anyways..I have never painted furniture but watching all the things you have done..I am starting small and working my way up! The biggest thing I will be doing once the weather warms..is paint the kitchen cabinets!! They are from oh probably 1940’s. Used to be a one room school house [1842 built] and when put into a house…in the 30’s-40’s…nothing has been done! Might even do the countertop! Have you ever painted a counter top?! I love the backsplash in the kitchen of yours tho!!

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