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Using Stucco Dust to Create a Raised Stencil on my Desk Makeover

A pictured step-by-step guide of how I used Stucco Dust to create a raised stencil effect on my vintage desk makeover using Good Bones Chalk Type Paint and a paint additive...

I bought this desk years ago when we first moved to Murphy. It has always been one of my favorite pieces of furniture because of those really cute, chunky feet.

I have painted this piece several times... None of the finishes I gave her felt quite right until I gave her this new look. I will show you the others as well... Keep in mind, this is early on in my business so you will see the difference in painting style and skills along with staging and photography....

the first finish
Finish #1


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Second finish
Finish #2

I actually kind of liked this blue finish I gave her, but I felt like it just was not the best fit for this particular piece of furniture, so I decided just to strip her down to bare wood and give her a whole new finish, again!

the desk before

This is the only before picture I took... I had taken the drawers out to prime.


At this point in the refurnishing community there was this cool new idea - raise stencils. I loved this idea that you could use a paste or paint additive to create raised designs and paint over it. For this desk makeover I decided to use the texture paint additive Stucco Dust from Good Bones Paint along with the Posh Chalk Stencil Victorian Wallpaper stencil on


What is Stucco Dust ?

The Good Bones Paint website says this is "an all-natural, dry plaster & salt potion turns your paint into thick, gloppy, chunky, art goo...Perfect for layering and sanding to get gorgeous faux effects!"

This white, powdery paint additive that resembles Plaster of Paris. It comes in a 16oz bag with a built in zipper for easy closing. If left open, it could be exposed to moisture and cause it to clump up and harden. Close it air tight to save.

You can make one quart with this packet (or mix smaller batches from 30/50-50/50%) and start dabbing globs down. It dries quickly, so I personally recommend mixing up small batches. If it is a large piece you can do this part in sections.


The prep work...

First step is always to clean before you sand. You do not want to push anything on the surface into your piece. It will cause adhesion issues and your finish could fail, so best rule is to always clean first.

...but since I had already painted it, I needed to strip this piece before I could sand it. sanding paint is not a fun option because the heat from the sander make it goop up and you go through a lot of sand paper.

So I started this desk by using the stripper from the GreenEZ Furniture Strip & Clean set. You can purchase that right off my website. This is a great paint stripper, and I love that it can be as environmentally friendly that a stripper can be and still remove old finishes. That has been harder to find as of late.

I did not take any pictures of this messy process, but when using these types of products always wear gloves and safety glasses. I globed the stripper on my desk using a chip brush. You can find those really cheap. I like to be able to throw away my brush after using stripper on it. I then covered in plastic wrap and let it work it's magic before using my plastic scraper to remove it.

The left over residue - I cleaned the degreaser from the GreenEZ set. The degreaser : I diluted a small amount of the degreaser with water in a new plastic spray bottle that I bought at the Dollar Tree.


Don't need to strip your piece? Try this new cleaner...

If you don't need to strip your furniture you could use Prepper Spray! Oh, I love this stuff! It smells like oranges and cleans like a dream. I have even used this spray to clean off old stripper that I had left on a piece for weeks. It removed all of the residue. I was very impressed! The fun part is when you have used up all of the cleaner you can re-use the brown glass bottle!

You can use my coupon code "KHICK" to save 15%

on your entire order at


Prime Time...

Since I will be painting this desk in light colors, I will need to prime it. When you are working with wooden furniture you usually need primer to block tannin bleed through. Wood tannin is a naturally-occurring compounds found in wood that seep to the surface. They usually like to show up, after you have completed your piece, as yellow streaks. This is often confused with the top coat yellowing, but if you are using a water based poly it is more than likely the wood tannin bleeding through your new finish.

To take preventive measures I like to use Wise Owl Primer before I paint. It was made for furniture, and it is the best I have used. Two coats will block bleed through - so that is what I did.

Need more information about primer?

How to use, What color to pick, and why it is my favorite:


How I Created the Raised Stencil:

After allowing the proper dry time for the primer I started on my raise stencil design!

I mixed the Stucco Dust with Good Bones Chalk Type paint color Coyote.

The Good Bones Paint website describes this color as, "Bold in some settings or muted in others - always warm and proud. A light tan with yellow undertones." I personally think it is a great color that mimics the color of a light wood.

- First I poured paint into a separate container and then I add a little Stucco Dust. Keep your ratio between 30% - 50% starting with less adding a little more and mixing each time to get a consistency like brownie batter. You want this to be thick, but not too thick as it will dry up with the paint very fast. I whip up the paint and dust mixture a little at a time and work in sections. That way I don’t waste any of my products. If it gets too think add a little paint or a tiny amount of water.

📌 Important Tip: Leave your self enough paint in the can to add to the mixture if you have added too much dust.

I started doing this technique from the bottom and realized it was easier to start from the top, so I quickly scooped the mixture all off and started again.

- I taped my stencil down, starting again, this time from the top of the side of the desk where I wanted my raised stencil to be and then slid my paint and dust mixture across the top of the stencil try to level it out as much as possible.

I used a plastic fork. It was the easiest to find, and I can throw it away when I have finished the job. You don't really want to use a paint brush for this technique. It needs something with a flat edge to be able to spread it like frosting on a cake.

📌 It is best to wash the stencil each time you move it for clearer lines. Allowing adequate dry time between realigning and painting.

This is how it should look.


Painting over the Raised Stencil...

I painted two coats of the color Bone from Good Bones Paint.

Painting the color Bone
Painting the color Bone

Bone comes in the All-in-One and Chalk Types from Good Bones Paint.

Use code: KHICK to save 15%


After those two coats dried - I sanded it back with a 220 grit sandpaper to reveal my Coyote colored raised stencil. Which to me, looks like a distressed white finish over fancy light wood. Elegant rustic style, perhaps?

And the final photo...

Need a good paint brush recommendation?

Use my code: KHICK to save 15%

I hope that you enjoy the new look of this desk as much as I do. If you create a raised stencil using this method be sure to tag me on Instagram. I’d love to see your creations! @khicktiques_ is my account or check out and enter our furniture flipping contest @flippinfurnitureartist.

My coupon code is “KHICK” if you’d like to try Good Bones Paint products yourself. It saves you 15%, and your support helps me to continue to create content like this for other refinishers!