DIY: How to Give a Plain Table Exotic Flair

Learn how to transform a simple coffee table into a beautiful piece with a Moroccan-inspired, faux bronze finish.
Peter Ardito

I'm always on the lookout for clever ways to give plain furniture flair. Case in point: an inexpensive metal coffee table in a faux bronze finish that I found online. After coating the top with metallic gold paint, I stenciled over it with flat brown paint using a Moroccan-inspired lattice design. The process couldn't have been easier, and the piece looks like something I might have picked up in some exotic locale.


  • Stencil adhesive
  • Stenciling brushes or Spouncers (flat sponge applicators)
  • Paint in colors of your choice
  • Liner and spotter paintbrushes
  • Finishing spray
  1. Choose a stencil with an all-over pattern. Place face down on a piece of scrap paper and apply adhesive to the back; set aside to dry. When dry, place the stencil on top of the table and press firmly, making sure all edges adhere.
  2. Dip brush in paint and tap off any excess onto a folded paper towel. Paint over the exposed portion of the stencil using a pouncing motion, reloading brush as needed. Continue to reapply and tap off excess paint until stencil is completely covered.
  3. Remove stencil and let paint dry. If any bleeding occurs, use a liner or spotting paintbrush to touch up.
  4. Continue the pattern, lining up the edges of the stencil to match until the surface area is covered. (Reapply adhesive as needed.) When finished, seal with two to three light coats of finishing spray.

Tip: To simplify the process, custom order a stencil to fit the size of your tabletop.

Originally published in the March 2012 issue of Family Circle magazine.