How To Paint A Compass Rose (the easy way!)

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Learn how to paint a compass rose the ridiculously easy way!! 

Learn how to paint a compass rose the ridiculously easy way!!

Hello, my wonderful friends!

Today is trash to treasure transformation day and I’m bringing a brand new makeover to ya! My friends are sharing their fun new makeovers too. So be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom of the page so you won’t miss them.

This is a little table I picked up not long ago. I knew exactly what I was going to do with it when I found it. Paint a COMPASS ROSE on it!
I’ve done many compass rose designs over the years. I’ll link them here so you can go check them out (and see the other ways I’ve painted them onto furniture)

How To Paint A Compass Rose (the easy way!)

black and natural round table with compass rose

Here’s the little table in its “before” state…

reddish colored round stained table before

I sanded down the top to reveal the pretty blonde wood.

round table top with blonde colored wood sanded

Unfortunately, I sanded a bit too much on one edge…ugh!

photo showing sanding through to pressboard

Revealed the pressboard underneath. Boo.

I had planned to leave the entire top natural but had to switch gears once I realized this.
No worries, though, it all worked out just fine!



Okay, let’s talk about how to paint a compass rose…

measuring tape on tabletop to measure compass rose

Luckily, part of the work was already done for me since the tabletop was made in such a way that it was perfectly sectioned off for a compass rose.
If you didn’t have that already, you would simply find the center and draw lines just like this.

In the center of each “pie slice”, find the center and then measure to a point. You can make it shorter or longer depending on the final look of the compass rose that you are after.
(see my other compass rose links above to see different sized/shaped/styles of compass rose)

The pencil point mark I made is under the brush below. Simply add tape going from point to point to create the area to paint.

paintbrush showing painted in taped area

One side of the compass rose point is painted, the other is not. Be careful to paint in the correct side as you go around.

This brush is amazing, by the way! It is the first time I’ve used it and I am in love. You can find them in my shop, here.

first black painted compass rose section

Move around taping each section as it dries and is safe to do so.

showing another painted area on top of table

As you can see, it’s the left side which is painted on my particular compass rose.

more sections of painted compass rose painted on table top

Frogtape is the best! I definitely recommend on this type of project for no bleed.

All done.

compass rose table top with painted sections of compass rose

And I decided to paint the ring around the outside to cover up the pressboard I sanded to.

painted tabletop with black rim around painted also

taping off for the thin lines on other side of painted compass rose

Once dry, now it’s time to draw the thin lines to create the full compass rose.
Lay two pieces of tape together to create the line and paint it in.

showing the thin lines painted

Continue on around until you are done.

taping for the thin lines on tabletop

SO easy and this creates a perfectly looking compass rose.

Once it was dry, I finished it with my “Natural” Stain and Finishing Oil. (scroll up to find the links to all products in the gray box above)

showing the finished tabletop with finishing oil

sideview of black and natural table against white wall

As you can see, I also decided to sand and leave natural the side edges of the top.

close up of side of table with natural wood edge

extreme close up of side of table

close up of table top with blonde wood and black compass rose

I love how the natural “blonde” colored wood looks against the soft black.

black and natural compass rose table side view

Have you ever attempted a compass rose? Do you think you might now?

It really is much easier than it seems!

PIN it to save it!

Learn how to paint a compass rose the ridiculously easy way!!

Don’t go yet! Hop on over to visit my friends below:

trash to treasure before photos

  1. Confessions of a Serial DIYer
  2. Prodigal Pieces
  3. Girl in the Garage
  4. Salvaged Inspirations

I hope you enjoyed today’s makeover! It was fun to do, especially with the tape because it made it ridiculously easy.
Have a wonderful week and I’ll see you right back here on Thursday!

UPDATE!! See what we are making now here!!



  1. I absolutely LOVE this table. I think it’s one of the best things you’ve ever done. You know I have a very old table I was going to do something with – perhaps I will attempt this. Don’t know, I am lazy and am a big chicken. But you really have inspired me, Nancy!

  2. Nancy this is stunning! Even if you had not sanded to heavily in the one spot, I still think the black border would be great. Wonderful!!

  3. What a beautiful makeover! I love the compass rose on the top. The black and blond on the edges is just stunning! Thanks for shairing all the details about painting the compass rose. You make it look so easy! Have a great week.

  4. You make it look so easy, Nancy, but I think I’ll leave the fancy painting to you! I love the peek of natural wood around the side, in contrast to the black.

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