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How to Stencil Kids' Decor

How to Stencil a Toy Train Table

Stencil the Toy Train Table.
Stencil the Toy Train Table.

There's no limit to the fun your kids will have with this terrific train table. Best of all, you don't need to spend hundreds of dollars on a pre-made table when this one is so easy to make!

Skill level: Intermediate


Time: 8 hours

Stencil Design: Download the Toy Train Table as a PDF.

What You'll Need

  • Inexpensive wood table
  • Fine-grade sandpaper
  • Water-based primer
  • 7-inch foam roller
  • Delta Ceramcoat acrylic paint: Cornsilk Yellow
  • 2-inch foam brush
  • Tracing paper
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Plaid FolkArt acrylic paint: Licorice, Lipstick Red, White, Butter Pecan, Asphaltum, Evergreen, Blue Ribbon
  • 1/2-inch stencil brushes, 4
  • Painter's tape
  • Artist's brush
  • 3/8-inch stencil brushes, 6
  • Toothpick
  • Matte brush-on varnish
  • 2-inch flat brush


Step One: Sand and prime the table. Let dry. Basecoat the table Cornsilk Yellow with a roller brush. Let dry.Step Two: Plan your layout before beginning to stencil the table. Using tracing paper, graph paper, or Mylar, trace and cut out multiple templates of the track pieces. Arrange the pieces on the table surface to create your track, repositioning until you have a track that works in the space. Trace outside edges lightly with a pencil to create a guide; remove template pieces.

Use the stencil to paint the track pieces onto the table.
Use the stencil to paint the track pieces onto the table.

Step Three: Position track stencils 1 at a time on the penciled outline; stencil Licorice with a 1/2-inch brush, working in order so all the pieces align. Use painter's tape to mask off the stencil when creating areas where the tracks will cross over each other, and use the square connector stencil in the center of crossovers. Fill in breaks in the sides of the track with an artist's brush as needed.

Stencil the tracks carefully.
Stencil the tracks carefully.

Step Four: To stencil the depot, position stencil D1. (Make sure to leave enough room below for the foundation and the platform.) Mark registration points. Stencil the depot Lipstick Red with a 1/2-inch brush. Remove stencil; let dry. Align stencil D2; stencil the foundation and windows White with a 1/2-inch brush. Let dry.

Stencil over the White paint with Butter Pecan on a 1/2-inch brush. Remove stencil; let dry. Align stencil D3; stencil door Butter Pecan, dormer Lipstick Red, and all other openings Licorice with 1/2-inch brushes. Create a doorknob by stenciling 1 of the small circle registration marks Licorice.

Step Five: To stencil the stone walkway, position the stone stencil and, using 3/8-inch brushes, randomly stencil the stones Licorice, Butter Pecan, and Asphaltum, overlapping and mixing the colors to create a realistic look. Move stencil; repeat until the walkway is as long as you desire.

Use the door from stencil D3 and Butter Pecan to stencil a solid path any place the path crosses over the track. Repeat for complete coverage.

Step Six: Use stencil D1 and Butter Pecan on a 1/2-inch brush to stencil platforms near the station.

Step Seven: Stencil railroad crossing gates near major intersections of the tracks. Position stencil G1; mark registration points. Stencil Licorice with a 3/8-inch brush. Remove stencil; align stencil G2. Stencil Lipstick Red with a 3/8-inch brush; repeat for complete coverage.

Step Eight: Trees, grass, fencing, pathways, flowers, and cow stencils are included for you to customize your scene. (We used Evergreen and Asphaltum and 3/8-inch brushes for the foliage.) Create small ponds with Blue Ribbon and an artist's brush, and use a toothpick or the end of an artist's brush to dot Licorice eyes on the cow.

Paint the table to add lakes, trees, and other natural elements.
Paint the table to add lakes, trees, and other natural elements.

Step Nine: Using a 2-inch flat brush, seal the table with 3 coats of matte varnish. Let dry between coats.

Bright Ideas

You're picking up steam with these clever ideas!

  • This train table can be as simple or as elaborate as you like. Experiment with the layout until you're satisfied.
  • If you like the idea but just don't have room for another piece of furniture, try stenciling this terrific train layout onto a floorcloth, which can be rolled up for easy storage!
  • Or, better yet, stencil this design directly onto a wooden floor for permanent display. Seal with varnish, and your kids are ready to play.

Want to find another stencil project? See:


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