Furniture makeovers / kitchen / Projects / Silhouette Cameo / Thrift store finds

Reversed Stenciled Credenza

Thank God I’m cheap!!  A new thrift store (TROSA) opened last month where the Walmart used to be and I was so excited about a gigantic thrift store being here but the first time I went in there I did not understand their pricing structure so I was a bit appalled at the prices.   During my first visit  I spied this credenza, a perfect addition for my kitchen.  Problem was they wanted $30 for it and I  REFUSED to pay that much for it. I moved along.  I know I know, that is really cheap but I don’t have a lot of money so I am looking for dirt cheap.

A few weeks later, knowing I needed to find something to do about my lack of kitchen storage and my stuff over flowing all over the house, I went back to have another look around.  I found another cabinet that I thought might work for $12  but when I took it over to the pot section, I realized nothing would fit in it.  DARN IT. I spied the original credenza again, so I double checked the price and hot diggety dang…it’s now half price. Yes! $15  is my kind of price range. I flipped the seats up in my car (so the leather won’t get damaged) and it fit perfectly 12”D x 48”L x 25” H….I love my Impala!!


Once I got the table home I was a little worried about it being so low to the ground and damaging my kitchen floors so I wondered if I could put some legs on it.  I flipped it over and YES…leg holes.  (victory 2).  I went to Lowes to find new legs since the ones I purchased on clearance a couple of years ago were no where to be found in my creepy basement (after searching for over an hour).  I settled on these, which I think matches the credenza perfectly.

IMG_0506[1] IMG_0505[1]

They were much cheaper than the other styles but I felt like they match the credenza and I like the fact they have a cushion on the bottom to not scratch the floors.  Because the legs were taken off I knew there had to be an issue with the hole.  I also noted that the screws on these legs were VERY short (thus the cheap price I assume) so I wrapped the screws with plumbers tape then put some wood glue in the hole and screwed that puppy in.  Nice and tight!!

Now to restyle this from 1960 style to modern style…I went on Pinterest to see what other people were doing with theirs  and I stumbled upon these pieces which I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE (click the photo to be transported to their pages if you want to learn more about their projects)

P1081559    other piecesofme

I found myself going back to these photos over and over, no matter how hard I tried not to.  I admit I felt a bit intimidated, thinking that my project would not come out this beautiful and since neither of their blogs are open for comment  I knew if I did this I was pretty much on my own as I had no one to ask questions of.  None the less, this technique was calling my name.

I decided since this was going in my kitchen I was going to use Bombay Mahogany poly stain as the base color and the top color would be the same color as my cabinets Valspar’s “Cream in My Coffee”.  Please God don’t let this be a Pinterest fail.

I wiped the piece down and it did not look to be in bad shape.   It smelled horrid, like it had been sitting in someones basement for years and no airing it out would get rid of that smell.  I applied a coat of stain right over the credenza, as is.

IMG_0508[1]    IMG_0509[1]

I applied 3 coats of stain and :

  1. I let the stain dry 12 hours under a fan for the first two coats and 24 hours after the third coat.
  2. The piece was looking beautiful after the third coat and I was wondering if I should mess with it by painting it because it did look so good.
  3. But it still looked like something out of the 60’s so I forged ahead anyway

Next step was picking out my design …I went to Google and image searched for “ vectors” to make my stencil

There are plenty out there that are sure to confuse you beyond reason.  I changed my design several times but remembering how I like peacocks and Indian symbols I decided on these.  Not really a simple design and leaves more room for error.  Hey if I am going to commit, I am going to commit!!

ohm peacock

I purchased this Silhouette a while ago but I am still learning how to use it. Everyone has different techniques and I guess now I have mine.  In the Silhouette Studio software I made my work space the size of my credenza (12″ x 48″) so I could lay everything out and get my design the right size to fit the space.  Once I resized everything to fit I dragged each piece off the work area, resized the work area only to the size of the paper and dragged each piece back on it one at  a time to  cut them out without changing the sizes of the pieces.  Each time I made a trace of a piece I renamed the file so I had one for each design.  Does that make sense?

I picked this design for the sides:


and after messing with the top I decided less detail is better so I changed the design using maskings of color


And as you will see later i wound up taking out the flowers in the center.  I might hand paint them…not sure

For the front doors I picked out this design.

right door

When tracing my designs I noticed two things. There was an indicator stating that the resolution of my photos was low and my design was not solid so I played with the filters after reading some instructions online. Note that if I had purchased my designs off of Silhouette’s website in the first place it would have been cut already and only cost an average of 99 cents each. But I could not find EXACTLY what I wanted.  This is the design with no filters applied. Notice it is outlined only and not filled in.  Yellow represents solid areas and as you can see that is not what I want.


The high pass filter was set to 30 and I changed that to 125 which made my design nice and solid.  I also set my speed to 4, thickness to 4 and unchecked use cutting mat since I can’t find the darn thing anywhere.

clean line settings  test cut

In the end you want your design to be nice and solid


I always enlarge to make sure everything is solid and not giving out some little funky dots.  When you are satisfied hit trace and slide your original off the work area,  leaving only the red traced design.

Being “thrifty”, I used Contact brand removable adhesive creative covering (fancy name for sticky shelf paper)  to cut my design out.  It is in Almond, which happens to match the color of my paint.  If you try this please use removable contact paper, not the permanent one.  I have used the removable paper on my bathroom word walls and it is a year later and my words  are still up and perfectly fine. I believe they will not come off until I take them off….

I do not have any transfer paper so I decided to use masking tape from Walmart.  That stuff is so crappy it does not stick to anything which makes it perfect for my purposes but of course the rolls I picked out was the super sticky improved roll or something….  I couldn’t believe how good this stuff was sticking.

I am challenged when it comes to picking out colors so I chose the easy route of using the same color as my cabinets in my kitchen…Valspar ”Cream in My Coffee”.    It looks more like a creamy white with just a hint of coffee.  I also decided to paint the inside Valspars Crushed Oregano for a pop of color.

cream in my coffee crushed oregano

I purchased the sample bottles for $2.99 each in Lowes.  When I asked how much can you do with one sample bottle they said only  paint a door or a 4×5 square on a wall.  Not true!!  It works perfectly well on one piece of furniture and even if you have to wind up buying two bottles it is still cheaper than buying a whole gallon.    I love these small bottles and I pick some up each time I go to the Lowes.  Before I forget to tell you this:  Make sure when you finish using the bottle you don’t put the lid on too tight or you will never get it back off and make sure there is no wet paint on the inside of the lid (thread area).  I have a few bottles I could not get back into.  And that makes me maaaad….

This is one of those projects that once you begin you are committed to it and since you can’t see what the heck is going on below the paint  you have to have a lot of faith in your talents, or the Pinterest fairy, and we all know  she is not always nice to people…including me sometimes.  As I am typing this I am waiting for my paint to dry and to be honest I am not sure what the heck I have gotten myself into.  I was worried sick that this was going to be all messed up, and I wondered what got into me to even try such a project.  It was not super easy.  Well I take that back itis easy but the peeling the stencil off is tedious, so if you try this, take my advice and use a simpler design than I have.

Things I did:

  • Cut my contact paper down  to 13″ wide  (vs 12″) and this stopped all the slipping and sliding on the machine with no cutting mat.
  • Used masking tape to release my designs.  I also tried painters tape and it works also and it is not as sticky as masking tape BUT you can’t see through it so it is harder to get your placement right.  Forget drywall tape… people on Pinterest says that works so I brought some and I feel like I wasted my money because it does not pick up the design off the contact backing too well.  Not intricate designs like I was doing.

In placing my design on top the tape kept sticking to the piece and pieces got missing, wrinkled and all sorts of crap.  Lord please just let me get this right and I will do something simple the next time…


As I mentioned earlier, I scaled down the design of the side piece in the end


When I went to do the door I was tired of all the peeling so I decided to only put one desgn and split it between the doors  but OF COURSE I put the piece that should have been on the right on the left door  so I just put the two pieces together on the left door.


Then I cut out the word PANTRY and slapped it on.  A happy mistake.  At this point this project was SERIOUSLY working my nerves.


I primed the whole thing and painted the inside and the outside.  This is all you can see and I kept thinking “what am I going to find when I take the design off?”.   All sorts of scenarios went through my head and I have to admit, I was very nervous.


Oh and on top of that the one thing that gets on my last painting nerve is going over lines.  I paint the green and touch the white by accident then I touch up the white and get it on the green so I fix the green and accidentally touch the white again.  ARRRRGH.  It  was working my last effing nerve.


I painted three coats of each color on.  Yes out of ONE sample bottle of each color.  Now to give you an idea how far the paint goes I had about a 1/8 of the green left after using it for three coats inside and about 1/3 left of the cream color after three coats on the outside.  If I had decided to do inside and outside of one color I would have had to have two paint bottles.

On the last coat of cream in my coffee I  peeled the designs off while it was still wet.    I had to do a lot of clean up using q-tips dipped in  TSP.  The curious thing is that some of the stain peeled off in thin layers also.  At first I thought that was a bad thing but then I noticed it gave a little extra interest to the wood color.  I decided then and there I would top the piece with Modge Podge to seal everything in. Nothing comes off sealed in Modge Podge!!

I totally messed up one of the birds heads so I had to recut the head stencil and repaint it.  I tried to freehand fix it but heck to the no, that looked crazy.  I won’t even show you the photo. Of course the new stencil did not fit exactly so I worked with it the best I could.  After all this frustration I decided not to paint the doors.  I am leaving the stencil up and sealing it on with Modge Podge.  Good thing the vinyl nearly matches the paint exactly.   I had cut my “Pantry” word in my good pink vinyl so of course I had to take that off and recut it in beige vinyl of which I only had ONE piece of left…ONE PIECE.  If I mess this up its back to painting.  Thankfully it came out great.

I decided to hand paint in the parts that I took out of the side stencil.  It came out okay.  I wish I had some paint pens.  They would have done this justice.  I can use them better than paint brushes for some reason.

I want to put a few coats of clear poly on top of it all but I will leave that for another day.  I have two more projects I am working on.  If you have an questions feel free to ask.

IMG_0598 IMG_0599 IMG_0602

As you see I did not waste any time stashing stuff under it LOL.

before and after2

Oh and I have an extra stencil left, one from the front door that I did not use.  Its about 12″ high x 20″ wide

right door

 If you would like to have it, request in the comments and I will be glad to send it to you.  It is in tan vinyl.  Maybe you can do a little something something with it.

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