Sometimes in the mist of everyday life I like to do a personal hobby project to mix it up and get those creative juices flowing. Having a part time interest in woodworking and DIY furniture, I decided one weekend to find a fun flip piece I could do a quick makeover on.
I found the sweetest side table for sale online for $50. It was in great shape, and because it had straight lines, with not too many intricate grooves or nooks I knew it could easily be sanded down. (You can see in the before photos the table had a dark stain on it, with some water damage on the top showing the lighter wood tones underneath.)
Who doesn’t love that light wood tone, moroccan stenciled furniture that you see all over Pinterest?! I’m constantly inspired by that style furniture, and am just obsessed with all the small details, and magical imperfections commonly seen in these pieces. I decided to give it a go.
Check out the simple steps on how to achieve this look below!
Step 1. Sand that baby down!
I love when wood is super duper smooth! So using a palm sander I started with 100 grit sand paper to get that dark layer off, and then worked my way up to 300 grit paper, making it really soft to the touch. Don’t forget your dust mask!!
Using folded pieces of sand paper I sanded out the indented accents, not quite as smooth but just enough to remove the dark stain.
Brush away any dust with a brush or dry paper towel.
Step 2. Stencil
I chose to use this stencil, I found in Michaels, because it was similar to the moroccan style designs you typically see, but with a little more of a floral, boho flare. (You can find two similar ones, here and here) I used spare paint we had around the house and a stencil brush. Starting with the accent squares, I taped off small sections of the stencil working one area at a time.
*A tip on stenciling – be sure not to put to much paint on the brush! Less is more – you don’t want your paint to bleed out the edges.
Finish by repeating the full pattern in the center of the top.
Once the paint was dry I took my palm sander to it again and gently went over the painted areas with 300 grit paper to remove any rough paint edges from the stencil, and to give it a slightly distressed appearance. This way it doesn’t look so fresh and new. The paint and wood are super smooth to the touch – You can’t feel a difference between the two.
Step 3. Seal (Optional)
I’m saying this step is optional because even though I had every intention to put a sealer on this piece, I found that every kind I tried was darkening the wood, and I really wanted to keep it light.
This darkening effect will most likely vary depending on what type of wood your piece is, but ordinarily I’d use either a finishing wax or water based polyurethane.
Because this piece of furniture won’t be used as much as say a coffee table, and because I was really hung up on the color, I decided to sand off what sealer I had applied and to leave it natural – no seal. Should any stains or imperfections arise in the future, I plan to just sand them out.
Step 4. Swap the Knob
I completed the piece with a new knob, and it really made a huge difference in the overall look.
I love, love, love this sweet side table. It is a awesome interpretation of an authentic moroccan piece of furniture, but for a fraction of the cost! A super easy weekend project that anyone can do at home. Hopefully it inspires you to do a quick, inexpensive makeover on a piece of furniture you have!