How to Stencil With Paper Doilies


Stenciling with paper doilies adds a permanent beauty to any paintable surface. It is a wonderfully inexpensive technique that will add a bit of whimsy to painted furniture. These instructions are done using a table, but use the technique to add a painted paper doily to chairs, dressers, cupboard doors and, well-anything that can be painted. The doily stencils are ordinary paper doilies used to line plates and trays and can be found in most store's stationary sections.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper doilies
  • Spray stencil adhesive
  • Acrylic latex paint
  • Spray paint
  • Paint brushes
  • Sand paper
  • Tack cloth
  • Clear polyurethane
  • Needle or pin
  • Sand the table surface lightly. This will give the paint a better "tooth" to adhere to. If there are any gouges or scratches on the table surface, this would be the time to fill and sand them. It is not necessary to completely remove the finish or old paint, as long as you have a sanded, smooth surface.

  • Dust and wipe the end table, being careful to remove all dust particles.

  • Basecoat the table using the acrylic latex paint. Allow it to dry. Repeat with additional coats if necessary for a smooth finish. Note that this color will be the doily color when the process is complete.

  • Spray the backs of the paper doilies with the stencil adhesive. Position the doilies on the table as placemats and one in the center. If any bits of paper are stuck in the doily holes, pick them out using a pin or needle.

  • Spray the entire table using the spray paint. Start with a light coat. Repeat for complete coverage. Allow to dry completely.

  • Pry up the edges of the doilies carefully and peel them off the table.

  • Touch up any spots on the painted doily table surface with matching paint and a small detail paint brush. Allow paint to dry.

  • Apply two or three coats of clear polyurethane to seal the table. Allow it to dry between coats.

Tips & Warnings

  • The nice thing about a project like this, is it's just paint. If you mess up, just paint over it.
  • Make the painted doily look like a flexible cloth doily, by draping the paper doily stencil over the edge of a dresser, table or chair.
  • Use Valentine heart paper doilies to stencil a breakfast in bed tray for your sweetie.
  • Decorate a tablecloth with a checkerboard design and paper doily stencils, using fabric paint. Mask off areas you don't want painted.
  • If painting a wall, you may want to brush paint, rather than spray paint and use a stencil brush on the paper doily stencil.

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