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Painting a Magazine Rack

Painting a Magazine Rack

I’m a sucker for cute and colorful furniture. I’ve lived with white walls for most of my life, and I’ve found the best way to decorate is to have fun with bright accessories but keep everything else neutral. I’m also a cheapskate, so I tend to grab most of my furniture and accessories from charity shops and thrift stores. When we moved into this house, it came fully furnished in a style that I would NEVER choose for myself.

So I’ve slowly been trying to change things up, adding a piece here or there to get things looking cute and more my style.

A couple weeks ago, I came across this ugly old magazine rack at our local charity shop. It had no price tag, and the cashier was new, so he gave it to me for 50 cents. Bargain!

Magazine Rack - Before

This is what it looked like when I bought it. Quite ugly, with a flower motif, and it was covered in dust and cat hair! It is made of a weird plastic but made to look like wood. It was a bit wobbly, so the first thing I had to do was tighten it up by screwing all the pieces back together for a nice tight fit.

So dirty!

Then, I cleaned it up as best as I could, using some dusting cloths and a bit of Pledge. Let me tell you, this does not show JUST how much cat hair was on this thing. I could have put together a whole cat from what was in there!

Anyway, once it was clean, I took it outside for a quick paint job. I had on hand a can of Valspar spray paint in Everglade Glen.  And since it’s a bright funky green, I was happy to give it a go. If it looked too bright, I could always choose a different color later.

Following the directions, I laid the color on by spraying back and forth in light layers. There were a lot of bumps and ridges and circular bits, and at times there were drips and overspray, and really… it was all a bit of a mess. I had not been able to find my plastic tarp to lay down under the rack before I started painting, so I do have quite a vibrant green stain on my front sidewalk, which hubby is NOT impressed with. Oops.

Painting a magazine Rack

Because I was silly enough to paint the whole thing at once, it meant that I then had to leave it out front of the house for a while until it dried. It would have been better to have taken it somewhere safe, like the garage (duh!) so that I could leave it without worrying. But luckily I live in an honest community, so it was pretty safe.

Once it was dry, I loved the way it looked. So bright and funky and just what I wanted. But also very plain. I needed something else to make it pop!

So I decided to stencil it. Since there was a lovely little detail around the whole thing, I thought I’d just stencil those little bits.

Grab a stencil!

I collect stencils, so I had a TON to choose from. I would have rather used craft paint to stencil, but I ended up using some black acrylic instead. I find it harder to work with than craft paint, but it dries quickly and is pretty durable. I used masking tape to secure the stencil to the top, and I had a foam dauber to add the paint over it. I moved quickly.


I outlined the area I was going to be working on first so that it would look uniform with a nice border. Obviously the stencil wasn’t long enough to do the whole area at once, so I had to move it after each section was done. Some of the paint would smear a little when I wasn’t careful, but you can only see it up close. From far away it looks great.

Finish stenciling magazine rack

The hardest bits were the tiny areas between the big squares. Hard not to mess that up. I think in the future, I might be tempted to use a Sharpie or Magic Marker to do the stencil. It would still last, and I could probably get better control.

Magazine Rack - After it's all done

All in all, I love the way it looks. Don’t you?

Stenciled Magazine Rack by @AMotherThing

And it makes the old ugly rocking chair that we inherited look that little bit cuter. Now the only trouble I have is keeping the kids from stealing all my magazines!

Finished Magazine Rack

What do you think? Is this something you’d like to try? Any hints or tips you’d like to share? Got a link to a project you’ve done? I’d love to see!

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