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How to Paint a Monogram on a Cabinet Drawer

I’m so excited to introduce you to the Martha Stewart Crafts Decorative Paint Line, brought to you exclusively by Plaid Crafts and found at your local Michaels.  You are going to love it!  The tools alone are worth running to Michaels to get – they are so ingenious and a pure joy to work with.

This is my first project using the products – How to Paint a Monogram.

The top drawer under each sink in my bathrooms vanity is fake.  This is my decorative fix for the plain drawer front.

How to make a monogram plaque to put on a fake drawer front

The line also consists of stencils, paints, and other decorative mediums and finishes including a spray paint kit that lets you make any of the paints into a spray paint.  Like I said – INGENIOUS!!!


 I was one of the lucky bloggers who got to preview this new line.  When a huge box arrived on my doorstep last week – I was thinking to myself – “What did I order?  I didn’t order anything”   Then I remembered that I would be getting some craft products to try out. When I opened it I was beyond excited and inspired. It was filled with so many crafting goodies.  Plaid Crafts were more than generous. After looking at all the products  and literature – I didn’t know where to start. My mind was swimming with ideas.  I finally said – “One thing at a time and go from there”.    I love the #11 Stencil set.  There are 9 stencil patterns in it-  all very modern and chic.  When I held the one up, I knew immediately what my first project would be using these new paints and tools.

First I had to organize all my goodies.  There is no room in my crafts closet so I placed it all in a metal tote that I picked up at the thrift store.

I just starting marking all the tops with a dot of paint so I can easily find the right color paint when I need it.  There are so many to choose from in this line – 160 in all, I only got a sampling.  Plus the paints come in  Gloss, Satin, Glitter, Pearl, and Metallic finishes– all can be used on any surface – even fabric.  There are texture mediums, glazing liquids and etching cremes.  My mind is in creative overdrive.


I clipped an old dishwasher utensil basket to the side of the tote to hold some of the cool tools that are part of this line.

There are special applicator tops that convert paint bottles into tools!!  You can add your paint to the bottle and then screw on an applicator top and you are ready to stencil, paint, or make decorative dots, lines, and squiggles without having to keep dipping your roller or brush in a paint tray. Not only is it easy but it also saves on materials and clean up!! You even get empty bottles with the applicators so you can mix up two or more colors to make your own custom paint.


I was sent the basic brushes and the set for striping and patterning.  I didn’t use them for their intended purpose, but found a new use for them that I will show you in the tutorial below. I love the brushes and made a chic home for them in a tin can with a ribbon.  Fits right into my tote.  What is that saying about having the right tools for the job handy – makes the job easier?  That is what I am trying to achieve by organizing the paints and tools for ease of use. Before using the brushes, I recommend twirling the tips in your palm a few times to expel the loose bristles.   If you don’t, you may end up with some bristles on your painted surface.  Once you do this the brushes are good to go.


Here are the brush tips close up.


Once I got my new supplies organized and I stopped hyperventilating with excitement about my windfall of crafting goodness I set to work.  My first project using this line was to complete the last detail in my bathroom remodel.


Not sure if you noticed in my bathroom photos that the top two drawers in the cabinet don’t have a pull on them – only the bottom two do. This is because the top one is a fake drawer. Every bathroom cabinet in my house has this fake-out drawer. I can’t add a pull to it as the sink is directly behind it. Perhaps you have this same situation in your bathroom – along with a curious kitty.  If not, this decorative treatment could be done on the top drawer of a dresser or any piece of furniture.



So here is what I did to remedy the situation.

Bathroom Drawers Before

A blank canvas.


Bathroom Drawers After

This is a bathroom that my daughters share. I stenciled a design on each top drawer and made a monogrammed plaque for each with their initials.

DIY Decorating-Martha-Stewart-Stencilled-Bathroom Drawer

A subtle white accent to coordinate with the white mirrors, board and batten, and the floor. I also wanted to add a silver accent since the hardware on the other parts of the cabinet are silver/chrome.

Monogrammed and Stenciled Bathroom-Cabinet - DIY Decorating Project

supplies needed:

Martha Stewart Crafts
  • – # 11 Stencil Set
  • – Striping and Patterning Brushes
  • -Specialty Foam Pouncer
  • -Gloss paint in Wedding Cake and Beetle Black
  • – Metallic paint in Sterling
  • -Satin paint in Green Olive
  • Masking tape
  • Re-positionable Craft Stick
  • Wood Plaques – craft store
  • Tracing paper or transfer paper
  • Pencil
  • Fine tipped permanent marker
  • Fine tipped paint brush
  • 2 silver nail heads
  • Liquid Nails or strong glue
  • Paper plate and paper towel


1. Figure out the best placement for your stencil on the drawer. This stencil fit perfectly on my drawer so I did not have to match up edges or patterns – Easy.

2. Apply re-positionable craft glue to the back of your stencil.  This will allow you to place the stencil completely flat against the surface you are working on without leaving any glue residue.


3.  Place some masking tape to hold the stencil into position.  See how the stencil is not flat against the drawer on the upper right hand side?  Add some more re-positionable glue.


4.  Make sure the stencil is flat against the drawer.Matha-Stewart-Crafts-Stenci

5. Squirt some Gloss Paint in Wedding Cake on a foam plate.  Dab a Specialty foam Pouncer into the paint and then dab once on a paper towel to remove any excess. ( Note I will never use a bristle stencil brush again. This pouncer works like a charm.)


6.  Start pouncing on the stencil. Load up more paint if needed until you have the stencil covered.


7. The pouncing action creates little air bubbles on the surface  – no worries – they go away quickly.


8. Carefully remove the stencil and you will be rewarded with this-



Pink-CircleHere is one way the cool brushes come in handy.  The flat brush with the wispy end is perfect for filling in and touching up areas that didn’t quite come out perfectly.   I think the brushes, the roller and the foam pouncers are my favorite items in the line. So smart!


How to make a Monogrammed Plaque


1.  Sand plaque with sandpaper to remove any rough areas. Use a tack cloth to make sure you get all the dust off.  Paint the plaque the same color as the drawer.  Mine is Sherwin Williams Antique White.  Let dry.


I do not own a Silhouette cutter to make myself a vinyl monogram to attach to the plaques so I need to do it the old fashioned way.

2. While the paint is drying, make a monogram using the software on your computer. I usually use Adobe Photoshop Elements or Microsoft Publisher to do this.  If you don’t have these programs you can do it in Microsoft Word, but will have to make each letter separate (you can follow my complete tutorial here). Print them out and then cut and paste them to form a monogram on a separate piece of paper.   Measure your plaque and pick the size font that will fit. I used the font Cursif in 60 pts.

3.   Trace and transfer the monogram  onto your plaque using transfer paper and a pencil.  I used transfer paper I had, but transfer paper is part of this new line and can be found with all the other Martha Stewart crafts products at Michaels.


4. Simply apply the graphite side of the transfer paper onto your plaque and place the image you want to trace on top. Use a pencil to trace the design.


5. Once you have traced over the entire image, remove and reveal.   Carefully wipe away any graphite that may have smudged with a wet rag.


How-to-make-a-curtain-rod-f If you don’t have transfer paper – you can transfer the image using tracing paper.   Tape the monogram up on a window and trace it backwards, so the printed side is against the window.  Remove it and then center it on the plaque with the  penciled side down.  Tape it on and then go over the entire image with a pencil.  Remove and if you applied enough pressure, the outline of your image will be on the plaque.

6. To paint the monogram – I used a permanent marker and then applied gloss black paint in Beetle Black with a very fine tipped brush.


7. Let it dry thoroughly before painting the sides. You don’t want to smudge it.


8.  Using the long pointy tipped brush, paint the sides of the plaque. I used the Metallic finish in Sterling.  I needed 3 coats and let each coat dry before adding the next coat.


9.  This is where I found another use for the striping brushes.   This brush was created to stripe and pattern. I found it the best brush I ever used to paint straight and evenly on tiny areas – like the borders on this plaque.  Since the brush is flat and has a straight side it glided right along the edge, plus the second brush right behind it cleaned up any excess.  So cool! I used the larger one to paint the outside edge of the plaque and the smaller striping brush to paint the inner edge green.


10.  Coat the entire piece with one coat of clear gloss sealer and let dry.

11.  Mark the placement for the nail heads with a pencil and then press them into the wood. I covered the nail heads with cardboard and then pressed in so I would not put a dimple in the domed nail head.


how to monogram using your computer

12.  Use Liquid Nails – in the little tube ( not the big caulk gun type) to attach the plaque to the front of the drawer.

Martha-Stewart-Stencil-on Drawer with Monogram


Monogrammed Drawer-with-Martha-St

Since I love this stencil pattern and want to use it again, I gently cleaned it in my bathtub with soap and water.


You can find all these great products and more at Michaels.  In my local Michaels, the line was in the paint area.  When you see a wall filled with Martha’s signature turquoise  packaging you will know you have found it.

  • The paint is formulated to work on all crafting surfaces including wood, metal, glass, ceramic, terra-cotta and fabric.  It is indoor/outdoor safe, dishwasher-safe on glass.

Full post disclosure here.

For more ideas on how to refresh your bathrooms visit my posts: Cabinet Feet, Freshening up the Grout in a Bathroom and a DIY Budget Bathroom Makeover.


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  1. This is FANTASTIC. One of my absolute favorite finds on Pinterest in a long time. I have this stencil – and love it. Your project looks GORGEOUS!!!!

  2. I’m having trouble finding the decorative nail heads– any ideas? I LOVE the little plaques and will be making them to label my boys’ mud room hooks and bedroom doors:)

    1. Hi Mindy – I am not sure where I got the ones with the 4 prongs that I used for the plaques. I may have gotten them at the craft store where they sell gems to attach to Jeans and clothing. Lowes sells Furniture nails in all different metal finishes that would work. They are sold where the little packages of nails and screws are. The nail heads are in little clear boxes with a pink and yellow label, They are about $2 for a box of 25.

      1. You’re the best, Diane! Thank you! I’ll be heading to Lowe’s first thing in the morning. Thanks again for the fantastic idea:)

  3. This is Great!! I have a table top I need to stencil and now I think I need to make a run for some Martha Stewart…! You did a great job on the tutorial. I’d like to invite you to share it at my Twirl & Take a Bow party at http://www.houseontheway.com. It’s today through Sunday. Hope you can stop by!

  4. I saw this stencil the other day and was going to get it – but was a little unsure. I am sooooo glad to see it in “real life” because I think I am going to use it now :) Thanks for posting!

  5. Love the tips and photos…the crafts are actually do-able. I would love to know how on earth you get these wonderful craft tools “sent” to you-do you order them?

    1. I love them too – they catch my eye everytime I see a blog post/project with one. I would love to get one of those colorful iphone covers I see – so cute. Monograms everywhere!

  6. I love this idea! How very creative! It’s so original and fun too. I could see using those plaques to label drawers too, like in a craft area or something.
    Thanks for posting, I love it.

  7. Congratulations. How wonderful for you to be able to try out the new Martha line. Your bath was already amazing but the plaque addition the topper!
    PS – gotta love a blog that has kitty pictures:)

  8. Those stenciled monogrammed drawers are awesome! Love how you made everything come together!

  9. I love your stenciled drawers!! What a fabulous project. You did a much better job than me at organizing your stuff too. ;) Love the kitty pic. Visiting from the Crafterminds FB page.

  10. Ok, no pressure here, but I can WAIT to see what else you do with all your goodies. You are so creative and I know you will find other uses for them than what they say, just like you did with that split brush. This is going to be fun! I am tempted to go down and pick me up some of those tools, especially with the coupon!

  11. You did a great job! I love that tiny stencil – so cute! I think it had a big impact on your bathroom. Love it ;) Please come and link up to my Mommy Monday party!

    1. Creating and crafting are so much fun. Stenciling is quick, easy, and gives you a lot of impact for your efforts.

  12. Thanks so much for the info on the new Martha Stewart line. I saw them in Michaels the other day and can’t wait to try them out.

  13. Very clever idea to help make those empty spaces look like they belong. The stencil pattern is really pretty!

  14. Once again, you are the best. Your use of these products exceeds any other that I have seen online. You need your own magazine, book, tv show! Thanks for sharing your ideas!

    1. Thanks Christina –
      You are going to love the products. The team that came up with them and designed the tools were a pretty smart and clever group. The sponges and brush handles are even ergonomically designed which makes it so much easier to paint like a pro.

  15. Oh Martha! These look wonderful and your tutorial is really well done! Thanks for sharing your project with us..it’s the icing on the cake for your lovely bathroom!

  16. Great project, Diane! I really thought those plaques were metal when I first saw the picture. Great tutorial and I love how you organized your supplies. I guess they might think about putting the paint color on top, so for people who store their paints this way it will be easier to see the colors.

    1. Hi Kathy-
      Thanks. I used the metallic paint and was very happy with the fact that it does look like real metal. The MS line also has liquid gilding in gold, silver and copper. I got the gold in my box and considered buying the silver to use on the plaques, but my Michaels didn’t have it yet. The metallic paints are going to be fun to use to make projects with around the holidays.

  17. Great tutorial! I bought some of the stencils from the line when I was at Michael’s the other day. I’m excited to use them.

    I love your stenciled drawer and the plaques. Very nice!