Hand-Painted Detailing That Looks Like a Stencil

4 Materials
20 Hours

My favorite pieces of furniture to work on are dressers and buffets (or Chest of drawers.. whatever floats your boat). They tend to be pretty simple makeovers with little to no surprises and I can USUALLY get them in and out of "To-do" pile pretty quickly. But every now and then I'm a glutton for punishment and decided to complicate things a little for myself. Today I am showing you how take a normal buffet and turn it into a truly unique piece with hand-painted detailing that looks like it was done with a stencil.

My victim

I applied a base coat of Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint and lightly sanded so it was a smooth surface to work on. 

About 3 coats for the base.

I mixed up combination of different whites of Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint for the detail work.

I free-handed some lines and twists with some chalk before starting on the most time consuming part.

I used a small, art brush and with small strokes, painted little petals and buds along the lines and swirls.

I handled this project in bite-size pieces. I worked on it when I could and I started with one drawer and completely finished it and than copied the other two to look as close to the first as possible. I used that same method for the rest of the piece.

The milk paint can have a little texture to it because it is mixed from powder soooo....

I then gave the entire piece a light, LIGHT, distressing with 120 grit sandpaper to smooth everything out and keep the piece from looking too new.

As always, I finished the dresser with one coat of Minwax Polycrylic Protective Finish in Matte.

I've done this technique several times before and even though it is VERY time consuming it is always one of my favorite things to do and I love how it looks when it is done.

From start to finish this piece took every bit of 20 hours to complete. That includes: prepping the piece, base coats, detail work, distressing, protective coat, fixing the drawers & attaching a new back (thank you Kyle). 

Totally understand if this one is a little overwhelming for ya to tackle but maybe I was at least able to take some of the guess work out of it for you! If you would like to see more pictures you can check the project out here on my BLOG or Checkout the video on YouTube HERE.

insta: amandasmercantile

Thank you!

Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Hometalk may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page. More info

Top Hometalk Projects

The Easiest Ways to Grow a Bumper Crop of Tomatoes
31 Space-Saving Storage Ideas That'll Keep Your Home Organized
31 Creative Ways To Fill Empty Wall Space
31 Creative Garden Features Perfect For Summer
Try These Gorgeous Ideas And The Mailman Will Never Miss Your Mailbox!
How To: Make Hot Glue Placemats + More Crafts Ideas!
Grab Some Pool Noodles And Copy These 3 Ideas
3 Absolutely Adorable Ways To Display Your Plants
25 Fabulous Feather Projects That You Don't Want To Miss
Live Life In Color With These Amazing Ideas For Your Home
Check Out These 15 Beautiful Flower Ideas For Spring
25 Decor Ideas That Will Add Some Spring to Your Home
15 Affordable DIY Projects You Can Do Right Now!
23 Adorable Ways You Can Make Your Own Coasters
Does Your Staircase Need an Update?
Amanda's Mercantile

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

2 questions
  • Jewellmartin
    on Aug 22, 2019

    I used a stencil on part of an old sewing machine table. I think I could start with a stencil, and add lines and flourishes from there. I used different grades of sandpaper, but how do you get a very light touch on the sanding? I’m good at distressing, but I think my sanding might be too forceful. Any tips? Jewell

    • Amanda's Mercantile
      on Aug 22, 2019

      Hi Jewells! I think thats a great idea starting with the stencil and adding to it. If you think your distressing might be too forceful you can up the grit on the sandpaper. So instead of using 120 grit try 200 grit.

  • Barbara
    on Mar 18, 2020

    Why has chalk paint become so popular?

    • Heather Ruiz
      on Mar 18, 2020

      Its easy to blend colors and has great coverage. You dont have to sand the pieces your painting to bare wood and a list of other reasons.Once you use it you love it!

Join the conversation

2 of 102 comments
  • Lindsay Dillon
    on Mar 18, 2020

    Awesome job and way to go on the transformation. One of my fav pcs is a very very similar style and color dresser I made over with a color like yours yet mine was latex with cream handles.. i noticed you used the polycrylic and glad to see you had success using it. I completely cried over my table i painted yrs ago and still havent replaced but cried bc the polycrylic DID yellow on me 😔😭 but nonetheless i luv your lil transformation greattttt job its gorgeous

  • Jo Tucker
    Just now

    this Is such a beautiful piece you have done. You should be mighty proud of yourself. !! It flows just gorgeous.

Your comment...