Accent Table with Raised Stencil

See the vintage drum table below? My Mom gave me this table over a year ago and it has sat collecting dust in my basement until about a month ago when I decided it was about time that it received a makeover.

I cannot lie. Refinishing this table has been a real struggle for me! It has taken me over a month to finally finish it and it is has seen no less than 4 different finishes during that time. Really, for only a small table? Well, it has been one of those projects! You know, one that you procrastinate on because your indecisiveness is getting the best of you? Lately, this has been happening to me more than I care to admit!

So when I had set out to work on this table, this is what happened…

First, I stripped the top of the table because it originally was in terrible shape, as you can see below. I then stained the top with my favorite whitewash stain. I really was loving how it was looking so far.

Then I primed the base with gray primer and painted it with two coats of creamy-gray paint. Something just wasn’t right with this look.

Moving on… next I glazed the table with a burnt umber glaze to try to bring out some of the details on the pedestal base. Nope, not working either.

How about a coat of watered-down homemade chalk paint? A little better, but still not there.

Lastly, there was the gray glaze that I made with watered-down acrylic paint that was applied over top of everything and the distressing that I did. Now we’re talking! So I thought…

The more I looked at this table, the more I wasn’t totally happy with what I had done. Don’t you just hate it when that happens when working on a project? At this point I was about to give up and just sell this table instead of keeping it for myself. I had already put so much time and hard work into it, not to mention the supplies that I had used up. After a glass of wine and a bit of contemplation, I decided to take a step back and let it sit untouched for a while until I had a vision as to what it should be like.

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This table sat there for a couple of weeks until one day last week when I had a “Eureka” moment! The reason I didn’t like this table was because it was too plain. I thought that the french-style top was really cute but the base and legs weren’t anything special to look at.

How about if I added some wooden appliques around the drum of the table to give it some style? Hmmm… that wouldn’t work because the table is not totally flat. Well, how about doing some raised stenciling around it instead? Perfect!

Here is what my table looks like all finished! What do you think?

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As you can see, I carried the stenciling all the way around the drum. I decided to not stencil the drawer at the front because I thought that it would compete with the handle that was there. I also added one raised design to each side of the legs to give them more interest.

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It’s hard to tell here, but in real life it almost looks like this table is covered in embossed leather. Very cool!

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Here you can also see a close-up of the whitewashed stained top that I did.

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I found out that it is very hard to photograph a whitewashed finish without it looking all washed out! In person, this finish is greyish-white with grey streaks running through it and touches of greyish-yellow here and there. I’m so happy with how it turned out!

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In this close-up of one of the raised stencils you can see that I also used a bit of crackle medium. I made sure that each raised stencil was a little bit different looking. Some have cracks, some don’t. Some are more aged then others, some aren’t. No two designs are exactly alike!

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Here on the pedestal, you can see the distressing that I did but not so much of the gray glazing that is there. It is much easier to see indoors where the sun doesn’t wash out the finish.

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I painted over the original brass drawer handle with gesso and crackle medium. After the crackle medium had dried for at least an hour, I put on a light layer of gray craft paint to bring out the cracks. I added more white gesso to the raised parts of the handle to highlight. Finally, I coated everything with a layer of Mod Podge for protection.

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For my decorative book project I had used Golden’s Light Molding Paste to do the raised stencils. For furniture though, you will want to use something that will not crack or chip off. You want it to stand up to everyday use. For raised stencils on furniture, you will want to use Golden’s Molding Paste. It is much heavier in weight and texture than the Light Molding Paste and much more durable.

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This is the cute little stencil that I decided to use on my table. I covered over the small flowers with happy face stickers (that’s all I had handy at the time) so that the molding paste wouldn’t seep through when doing the raised stenciling. I thought the addition of the flowers would just make my table look too busy and I liked the simplicity of the medallion by itself.

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To stencil my table, I first found the centre of the back of the drum and made a small pencil mark. I made sure my stencil was level and then used my Anthropologie membership card (again, all that I had handy) to spread on the molding paste. It’s just like icing a cake! I carefully scraped off all of the excess medium back into my jar and then lifted my stencil up from one end in order to not disturb my pattern.

As I mentioned in my previous tutorial, molding paste is a PITA the get off your tools if you let it dry. You will want to wash your stencil and tools immediately with soap and water before moving on. Also, it may make your stencil all cloudy so don’t use this medium on your prized stencil unless you don’t mind it getting a little messed up. My stencil is still useable. It just doesn’t look pristine anymore. It doesn’t bother me!

After I did my first set of stencils, I left them to dry, which only took about 20 minutes. Then I worked on the opposite side of the center stenciling in the other direction as to not mess up my fresh stencils. I placed my stencil over top of one of the previously stenciled designs and continued on. This helped to keep my stenciling in a straight line. By the time I got to the last set of stencils on each side I found out that this stencil fit perfectly within half a centimeter from the end on each side. No cutting needed and no half design to deal with. This was the perfect stencil for this project.

After I finished all of my raised stencils I let them fully dry for about 2 hours before painting. To paint my raised design I first glazed it with medium gray craft paint. Then I re-applied my stencil over top of my raised design and stenciled on a coat of white gesso. I then applied crackle medium randomly and once that was dry I sparingly glazed over the cracks with more gray craft paint making sure to wipe away the excess immediately.

Finally, to protect my table, I coated it with three coats of my favorite clear finish sanding in between coats.

This drum table was a labor of love for sure! It is definitely a keeper now!

Drum Table with Raised Stencils Product List:

Table top:

Circa 1850 Soft Strip, Minwax Whitewash Stain, General Finishes High-Performance Waterbased Topcoat in Satin

Table base:

Water-based Glidden Gripper Primer tinted in Behr Dark Gray, Martha Stewart’s Sharkey Gray paint, white acrylic gesso, DecoArt Americana Driftwood acrylic paint, Minwax Polyacrylic Topcoat in Satin

Raised Stencils:

Golden Molding Paste, DecoArt Americana Driftwood acrylic paint, white gesso, DecoArt One Step Crackle Medium, Minwax Polyacrylic Topcoat in Satin

Drawer Handle:

White acrylic gesso, DecoArt One Step Crackle Medium, DecoArt Americana Driftwood acrylic paint, Matte Mod Podge

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