Stencil: How to Stencil a Bookcase with Royal Design Studios

craftsdecor & DIY

I have admired Royal Design Stencils for many, many years. While I haven’t stenciled a lot of projects myself, I am in awe of those artists and DIYers who do. Royal Design Studio has an incredible selection of stencils, too. Whether you want to create your own work of art or simply spruce up a time-worn piece, Royal Design has beautiful stencil options.

This project definitely falls into "spruce up" category.

stencil bookcase

We have this ‘ugh’ corner in the bedroom that seems to attract any item that’s misplaced. And there were quite a few stray objects on top of and surrounding this rather generic black bookcase.

When the opportunity arose to work with Royal Designs stencils, I jumped on it, knowing that boring black bookcase would be my stenciling project.

How to Stencil a Bookcase with Royal Design Stencils

Choosing a stencil proved to be the most difficult part of the entire project. There are so many scrumptious patterns and designs available. But it was love-at-first-sight when I saw the Eastern Lattice Moroccan stencil.

stencil bookcase

My first thought was to pry the back off of the bookcase, lay it down and stencil away. But this very "high end" furnishing has a cardboard backing. Cardboard! So my "Plan A" quickly shifted to "Plan B" and I just tipped the bookcase on its back to stencil from the inside.

stencil bookcase

I was tempted to paint it turquoise, but common sense prevailed and I went with the room’s wall color. (We accent the room with Turquoise in Spring/Summer & Red in Fall/Winter.)

stencil bookcase

With my widely extensive stenciling background of around, oh say, three projects, I thought I should position the stencil first to see how the pattern would line up. (Note: I had no idea what I was doing, but that wasn't going to stop me.)

stencil bookcase

I used two foam plates—one to hold the paint and one to work the paint into the foam roller. A standard paint tray would work, too, but this project took very little paint.

stencil bookcase

A foam roller definitely takes less time than a stencil brush that needs to be pounced, but the foam does require lighter pressure. If you push too hard, you might get some seepage underneath the stencil.

It’s a good idea to practice with a foam roller on another surface before you start your project, which, of course, I didn’t do.

stencil bookcase

Keep some newspaper handy to set the stencil on after each painting.

stencil bookcase

And plenty of paper towels to remove the excess paint after each application.

stencil bookcase
When it comes to aligning the registration marks: Practice. This stencil was clearly marked—don’t get me wrong—but I neglected to practice, so it didn't align as nicely as it could have.

stencil bookcase

But, all in all, not too shabby for my 3rd or 4th stenciling project, AND my first ever on furniture.

I was just so tickled when the stencil fit perfectly both horizontally and vertically, I had to stand up and do a little "happy dance."

stencil bookcase

The actual painting took less than a half hour. Cleaning the stencil and foam brush was a breeze, too. Cleaning the corner and finding places for the misplaced items? That took some time.

stencil bookcase

Have you done a stenciling project? What would you have done differently?

I received product from Royal Design Studio as compensation for this post. All opinions are mine. 

Colleen Jorgensen

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Colleen Jorgensen lives with her husband in Northern California, close to her three stepsons and grandson. She's a self-taught artist and has been painting murals and wall hangings for 17 years. She loves encouraging others to use paint for crafts and decorating and posts no-fail painting tutorials on Mural Maker & More.


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