Stenciling Science

If you follow the website “I F***ing Love Science”, you will understand why I decorated this table the way I did. That website, with its somewhat irreverent style, has over 6.9 million followers-apparently the founder is not alone in her love for all things scientific! (No worries, there is a kid-friendly mirror page as well :

Kennebunkport HarborThe last time we were in Kennebunkport, (nice segue-you’ll see in a moment…) we discovered these gorgeous decorative papers in a shop downtown.

Printed Papers

Since I bought them early in the spring, I had been searching for a clever way to use them, so when Coach brought this metal Sexton table home, to me it screamed science lab.

Sexton Metal Table

I went with it, using the Astronomy Chart as the inspiration.

Astronomy Chart

The table base was missing and was replaced with a piece of plywood, which I painted around the edges with my newest paint obsession Behr Stealth Jet.

Table Base Painted Frame

Then I clear coated the entire piece to prevent any bleeding through onto the beautiful paper. Measured and cut the paper to fit the plywood. If you don’t have a rotary cutter and a T-Square, you should. They make perfect cuts every time!

Cutting Paper to fit

Modge Podge application was up next to

Modge Podge

 affix the paper to the wood- you coat the wood piece,

Modge Podge on table

and the back of the paper, smoothing it into place, removing the air bubbles as you go. If it bubbles while wet, no worries, they disappear upon drying.

Adhering paper with Modge Podge

Once dry, added another coat of Modge Podge to seal and protect the paper. For the table top, I wanted to stencil some science-solar-system-type stuff.

Rough Sketch

I created a pattern on a piece of notebook paper (I think we were driving somewhere, hence the directions on the side), then transferred that to a paper the size of the table top.

Creating a Pattern

Began stenciling, starting with the 3″ letters spelling out SCIENCE in the center. These are available at any of your local craft emporiums, and if you have a coupon, which I always do- they are only a few $$ each. Totally re-useable!


Then I kept adding on words, trying different size stencils until I got the spacing correct. (Unfortunately, not all the words in my design in my head fit on the table. Guess my measurements weren’t quite scientific enough.)

Stencil Painted

With each word, I taped the stencil on, then spray painted the letters with Rustoleum Painter’s Touch in a dark gray that matched the bottom piece…

Rustoleum Painters Touch

…allowed to dry, then went on to the next word. I did find that the cardboard stencils allowed more bleeding underneath (the paint spread under the actual cut-out letter opening) so I switched to all plastic, and adhered each panel with a bit of this Elmer’s spray adhesive prior to taping down.

Elmer's Craft Bond

Once the top was complete, I finished it a clear spray coating for durability. At the last moment, I decided the base wasn’t jazzy enough, so I cut away the border of the paper and created a sunburst effect. Brilliant! This is the table in my shop last weekend-SOLD!!

Science Table at Vintage Thymes MarketApparently other folks f***ing love science too! Have a great weekend everyone-heading up to the Vintage Bazaar on Saturday-see you there! Susan


  1. Love the Table Susan! Altho I didn’t quite get the explanation of the striping on the bottom. Is that wallpaper or done by hand?


  2. Gorgeous!!! I would have bought it!


  3. Steve@AnUrbanCottage says:

    That’s totally cool! I especially love the bottom shelf with the rays of darkness emitting from the planets. That’s very well done.


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