Nautical Wood Decor

Another bathroom project done! So exciting! Only three more to go, but we can ignore those for now. I’ve been planning this project for a while now, and just finally got around to making it. It’s actually quite simple, but life happens. Now our bathroom has some rustic artwork which I adore.

Nautical Stencil Wood Decoration

Materials needed:

  • 3 plywood pieces, 5”x14”
  • sand paper, course and fine grit
  • stain, Rust-oleum kona stain in my case
  • white acrylic paint
  • sponge applicator
  • image printouts
  • removable vinyl
  • pencil
  • Xacto knife
  • polyurethane
  • eyehooks
  • twine

Nautical Stencil Wood Decor wood pieces

First things first, cut out the plywood to desired dimensions, or have your husband do it because he doesn’t want you using the miter saw while pregnant. Sand all sides with a course grit sandpaper followed by a finer grit one. I used a 100 followed by a 220.

Nautical Stencil Wood Decor sand

Fill in any gaps or imperfections in the wood with wood filer. Squeeze some in the holes, smooth it out with your finger or a spatula and let dry. Repeat if necessary.

Nautical Stencil Wood Decor wood putty

Next, stain the pieces of wood in a well ventilated area. Use a rag to clean off excess stain.

Nautical Stencil Wood Decor stain materials

If needed, do a couple of coats and let dry completely.

Nautical Stencil Wood Decor stain

Get your stencils ready. I just found some images I liked online and scaled them to size. I also added a border to guide be in the placement of the stencils.

Nautical Stencil Wood Decor images

Once the images have been printed, it’s time to transfer the graphic to the removable vinyl. To do this, simply rub the back of the image with a charcoal pencil. Place the image, charcoal side down, on the vinyl and trace the graphic. Make sure to also mark some of the edge marks.

Nautical Stencil Wood Decor transfer design

Also, mark any of the loose pieces you’ll have to keep for the stencil. For example, the inner pieces of the wheel.

Nautical Stencil Wood Decor details

With an Xacto knife or scissor, cut out the image to create the stencil. Remember, you’re removing the parts to be painted and keeping everything else.

Nautical Stencil Wood Decor stencils

Carefully align and transfer the stencil to each piece of wood. Press down firmly, a rolling pin might be helpful.

Nautical Stencil Wood Decor prep

With a sponge applicator, press white acrylic paint onto the stencil. You do not want to use too much acrylic at a time, so it doesn’t smear or pool under the stencil.

Nautical Stencil Wood Decor paint

A few light coats are better than a single thick coat.

Nautical Stencil Wood Decor first coat

Before the paint completely dries, carefully remove the stencils.

Nautical Stencil Wood Decor dry

The edges turned out a little bit rough, but I have no problem with this. For sharper edges, you can go over them with a fine tip brush.

Nautical Stencil Wood Decor raw edges

Seal the items with a coat or two of polyurethane.

Nautical Stencil Wood Decor poly

Once dry, attach an eyehook on either side of the wood pieces.

Nautical Stencil Wood Decor hooks

Next, tie a 12” piece of twine to the eyehooks for hanging.

Nautical Stencil Wood Decor twine

Finally, hang the pieces and marvel at their beauty.

Nautical Stencil Wood Decor

Love how seamlessly they match the bathroom vanity!

Nautical Stencil Wood Decor three piece

Stencil Wood Decor


  1. woooow…you have done a great job for sure :)..thanks for the brilliant idea

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