Practicing For Haven

By Bruce Johnson

In this post, I will be demonstrating how to stencil. I started by sealing the wood with two coats of Minwax® Polycrylic Protective Finish to prevent the stain from seeping beneath the outline of my stencil.

Since my stencil is very large, I sprayed a light coat of aerosol adhesive on the back, then let it dry so that the back of the stencil is tacky, but not wet with glue.

While my spray adhesive was drying, I gathered my tools:  a sea sponge, Minwax® Express Color™ Onyx, paper towels, and a scrap piece of plywood to hold them all.

After dipping my sea sponge lightly into a small puddle of Onyx stain and finish, I pressed it onto the paper towel to remove the excess stain that might seep under my stencil, then carefully and lightly began dabbing a thin layer of stain atop the stencil. Don’t get impatient and apply too much, as it will run under the edge of the stencil.

By repeating the process, I quickly began building up thin layers of stain over the stencil.

In less than ten minutes I had covered the entire stencil on my practice board.

Then came the first reveal as I carefully pealed back the stencil.

Beginning to get the picture?

And here is my completed practice stencil for the top of the kitchen cart! After it dries I will protect it and the wood with an additional coat of Minwax® Polycrylic Protective Finish.

About Bruce Johnson

Author-craftsman Bruce Johnson has introduced millions of do-it-yourselfers, craftspeople and antique collectors to the world of wood finishing and antique restoration. As the official spokesperson for Minwax®, the leading manufacturer of wood finishing and wood care products, Bruce motivates people to take the initiative to beautify their surroundings. Through his many books, magazine articles and columns, as well as frequent appearances on national television talk shows, Johnson is recognized as an authority in the do-it-yourself community. Appearing on PBS, HGTV, The Discovery Channel, and currently hosting “DIY Woodworking” and “Build A Log Cabin”, on the DIY cable network, Johnson has brought the illustrious craft of wood finishing to the forefront of the American home. An expert in wood refinishing, antique restoration, and home improvement, Bruce has published more than a dozen books on these topics, including Fifty Simple Ways To Save Your House, The Wood Finisher, The Weekend Refinisher, and The Official Identification and Price Guide to the Arts and Crafts Movement. For more than 20-years, he penned an antique refinishing advice column, "Knock on Wood," which ran in dozens of antique/collectibles publications. Currently, he writes a column on Arts & Crafts for Style 1900 magazine. A rare combination of craftsman and journalist, Johnson began his career as a high school English teacher, but left teaching to set up his "Knock on Wood Antique Repair & Restoration" shop. He spent the next 10 years as a full-time professional refinisher, but eventually returned to writing. Yet, Johnson says, he won't ever be without a workbench and a couple of refinishing projects down in the basement. Johnson is also the founder and director of the Arts and Crafts Conference and Antique Show held every February in Asheville, North Carolina, at the Grove Park Inn. The conference, which includes the largest Arts and Crafts antiques show, attracts more than 1500 Arts and Crafts collectors each year to its many seminars, tours, demonstrations and exhibits. Johnson is proud to have played a role in reviving interest in designers like Gustav Stickley, who founded the Arts and Crafts movement. His latest book, “Grove Park Inn Arts & Crafts Furniture,” was awarded the 2009 Thomas Wolfe Literary Award. These furnishings are treasured by such collectors as Steven Spielberg and Bruce Willis, among many others.

One comment on “Practicing For Haven

  1. Etta Kelley

    Bruce that is a great tip. I have never figured out a way to stop stencil bleeding. I have a question on a project I’m working on. I want to stain unfinished red oak with Minwax water based stain and then a couple coats of Minwax Polycrylic. Before I put down a coat of stain I want to put down one coat of Transtint dye mixed with water. I am supposed to then use dewaxed shellac to keep the water based stain from lifting the dye. I have been trying to find a replacement for the shellac because I have to do this in my house since it’s to cold in the garage right now. I have some Minwax water based pre-stain wood conditioner and was wondering if you think this could be used to replace the shellac.

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