Leafy Green Ikea Bench Makeover

Tova Pearl
by Tova Pearl
5 Materials
I had this Ikea Nornas bench that was needing a bit of sprucing up. Because Ikea's great, but who wants to feel like they've got the same piece of furniture as everyone else on the planet?
I painted the bench with two coats of dilutable water-based white paint, sanding lightly between each coat, to smooth it out. I diluted the paint to about 30% water to keep the wood grain a little bit visible. I distressed the edges with sandpaper just a tiny little bit.
I went to the dollar store and bought some pvc drawer liner plastic for cheap. (Basically anything made of thin plastic would do - but that was what I found). Then I traced out the leaf pattern I wanted and cut it out of the plastic with an exacto.
Then, i took some acrylic paints and used them to tint the white paint. Normally, you'd use a product made specifically for this, but I decided to use what I had on hand, since I wasn't going to be painting a big area. I mixed a little bright green and a little black into the white to get a light sage green color.
Now the fun part: Tape your stencil down with painters tape, in the location you want. (Measuring helps, but in this case I just eyed it.) Use a very very dry brush, preferably with stiff bristles, to lightly paint in the stencil, holding the stencil steady with your fingers. Do not glop on the paint or it will ruin the shape! Use thin thin layers of paint. In this picture you can see how just the tops of the bristles are covered with paint.
Keep going! I stencilled all over the top of the bench, and kept the natural imperfections of the stencilling without filling in them later. So some of the parts have a green which is a little lighter, some are a little darker. All good.
Here is the bench!
My daughter helped a little...

Now I just need to clearcoat with a matte sealer and it'll be good to go!
Suggested materials:
  • Acrylic paint
  • Stiff bristle brush
  • Acrylic clear sealer
See all materials
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