Decorative Painting with Stencils!

This decorative painting page starts with a weathered old sea trunk that someone way back when decided to use a pickling paint technique to update. The object was to bring back some of the character of the piece.

You'll find several projects and ideas on this page and throughout this site. Many of the project ideas come with free printable stencils.

Stenciled Sea Trunk from

The Sea Trunk Re-do

Before any stenciling could be done on this old sea trunk, the background had to be set. The strapping, corners, all the metal clasps and locks were painted black with spray paint. When the paint dried I taped over those areas with painter’s tape and then spray painted the remaining areas a light tan color.

When the light tan spray paint dried, a sponge was used to dab a thick layer of light brown acrylic paint into each square taped off (that’s right – leave the tape on the straps and corners for this step). While the paint was still very wet, a comb was used to run through it horizontally and then vertically. This created the appearance of a cloth covering like burlap, which was traditionally used to cover old sea trunks. You can find a tool specially made for this at your local craft supply store or a regular hair comb that is even will do the job.

Now, for the stencils! I used the stencils from Old Fashioned Luggage Labels & Travel Posters (see below for book details) and put one in each square. Of course this was not an easy task because there are 15 different Vintage Luggage Label Stencils but the effort was well worth it.

Stenciled Sea Trunk from

Here is the finished project.

This unique trunk can be used as an end table or even a coffee table. It looks great with these old suitcases and the bowler hat.

If you don’t already have one in your attic, these old sea trunks can be found in Thrift Stores, Flea Markets and even on the curbside on trash day. If you run across one, now you’ll know just what to do with it.

One of the most popular images of decorative painting is the pineapple. So please don't miss the free Pineapple Stencil and a little trivia about why it is so loved.

A fun and exciting decorative painting project would be designing your own Stencil Wall Murals. Below is a video for you to follow along as a beautiful Garden Mural is created using stencils and two simple paint brush strokes.

Lion Head Door Knocker Stencils from

The height of creativity comes with Trompe L'oeil. It's hard to trick the eye into believing that a painting is the real thing but with a stencil it's easy. This lion head door knocker is a stencil. Check out the Trompe Loeil Stencils Door Project and find out how much fun you can have with this decorative painting technique. Most of all don't miss the book below.

Like frogs? Well, for another furniture painting project that includes the kind of cute amphibians with the big red eyes that live in the rain forest, check out how a few frog stencils transformed an old dresser.

See what happens when you invite a few tiger stencils into a nursery. Decorative painting for children is so much fun because there are no stops to the imagination!

If you are you passionate about decorative painting and have been searching for tole and decorative painting information, then please visit our friends at Your Decorative Painting Resource.

Toile Stenciled Pillow from

Toile is a very rare design for a stencil. As a complex and detailed pattern, it's just not easy to make a stencil of Toile. But we have free Toile stencils with a decorative painting project idea.

OK - We've talked about decorative painting on wall and furniture but what about clothes. Well, it's a great way to make a wardrobe unique or add new life to something you were getting ready to throw out. Check out the free eagle stencil and see how it looks when it's painted on a pair of jeans, a t-shirt and a denim jacket.

Stenciled Koi Art Print from

If you like the beautiful art that comes from the far east, you can create some for your home. Just check out Oriental Stencils for ideas on decorative painting for arts prints and much more!

We are thrilled to introduce our selection of downloadable and Printable Stencils. Instant gratification at its finest! You don't need a special printer - these designs are specially formatted to print straight from your home computer on standard letter sized paper. Once downloaded, you will have your complete stencil booklet with patterns and instructions. Just click, buy and print!

I think you will find the books below to be good images for your next decorative painting project. Each book will come to you as a downloadable pdf file in your e-mail. Just check your e-mail after purchase for the link to connect to your file and print or save. It's that easy!

All designs can be adjusted to fit your project size. Instructions are included. Pages are 8.5” x 11”.

If you'd rather get your Stencil Books in Print, just click the blue button below each book.

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Old Fashioned Luggage Labels Stencil Book from

Old Fashioned Luggage Labels and Travel Posters

Paint some travel posters or decorate an old steamer trunk with these 15 designs. 5 are Hotel Advertisements, 5 are Transportation Ads and 5 are Destination Ads (like Paris and New York).

This purchase is of a PDF file with 102 pages.

Price: $9.95

Add to Cart

To get this Book in Print for just $32.95 click here:

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

Fleur de lis Stencil Book from

Fleur de lis: Book of Stencils

The Fleur de lis is an essential design for any decorative painting plan. This collection includes 22 designs. Ten are easy single overlay. Six have 2 overlays and six have 3 overlays.

This purchase is of a PDF file which has 63 pages.

Price: $9.95

Add to Cart

To get this Book in Print for just $19.95 click here:

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

Antique Door Hardware Stencil Book from

Antique Door Hardware: A Book of Stencils

This collection includes 5 designs- Lion Head Door Knocker, Key Bow, Lock Plate and Mail Box Plaque (with two word options). These images should add a little fun and even some humor to the doors in your home while they introduce a touch of the past.

This purchase is of a PDF file with 25 pages.

Price: $9.95

Add to Cart

To get this Book in Print for just $19.95 click here:

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

Frogs Stencil Book from

Red-Eyed Tree Frogs

This book contains 4 cute Red-Eyed Tree Frogs for your next decorative painting project. Bring a little of the rain forest to your home. There are 37 pages in this pdf file which includes the stencils of all 4 frogs (each has 5 overlays) and complete instructions.

This purchase is of a PDF file with 36 pages.

Price: $9.95

Add to Cart

To get this Book in Print for just $19.95 click here:

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

Oriental Stencils Book from

Oriental Designs: A Book of Stencils

This collection includes 16 designs- Chinese Dragon, Bamboo, Oriental Figure with Coolie Hat, Ying Yang Koi, Bonsai Tree Stencil and 3 Cranes plus 10 Chinese Symbols (Eternity, Friendship, Happiness, Harmony, Long Life, Peace, Prosperity, Tranquility, Truth and Dragon.

This purchase is of a PDF file with 40 pages.

Price: $9.95

Add to Cart

To get this Book in Print for just $19.95 click here:

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

Wine and Spirits Stencil Book from

Wine & Spirits: A Book of Stencils

This collection includes 4 designs- a Wine Glass, a Chianti Bottle, a Wine Bottle and a Bunch of Grapes with Leaves.

This purchase is of a PDF file with 31 pages.

Price: $9.95

Add to Cart

To get this Book in Print for just $19.95 click here:

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

At the Seashore Stencil Book from

At the Seashore

Aaaahhhh...the lazy days of summer at the beach. This collection includes 6 designs- a Fish, a Crab, a Seagull, a Conch Shell, a Scallop Shell and a Seahorse.

This purchase is of a PDF file with 32 pages.

Price: $9.95

Add to Cart

To get this Book in Print for just $19.95 click here:

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

Secret Garden Stencils Book from

The Secret Garden

Create your own private garden retreat. This collection includes 12 designs-fountain, bleeding heart, iris, bee, butterfly, foxglove, grasshopper, hummingbird, trumpet flower, morning glory, stone wall and stone path.

This purchase is of a PDF file with 51 pages.

Price: $9.95

Add to Cart

To get this Book in Print for just $19.95 click here:

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

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Hey! Don’t forget that I (and everyone else) want to see what you have done with your decorative painting stencils. Just click on Stenciling Projects to get your masterpiece showcased here on this web site. Won’t that be exciting! Or if you have any questions or want to share information join in on the Stencil Blog. Well, I hope to hear from you soon.

Happy Stenciling,


P.S. Since we are talking about decorative painting, here is a video on Painting Stencil Wall Murals (the one I promised you above). for Fun and Exiciting Crafts and Ideas.

The designs used as samples of decorative painting on this web site are courtesy of Designs From Penny.

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Please share your ideas and any variations to this project you have!

Learning anything is so much easier when you can watch it being done in live motion. So, don't miss the very informative Art Videos that will step you through the many processes of using stencils to create art.

If it's Free Stencils you are looking for you'll find more than you can imagine here. It's my mission to get you motivated to creating art with stencils so I've created all the most popular stencil designs but some rare designs too (like Toile Stencils ) and they're all Free!

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