Adventures in Dressmaking: I finally stenciled a wall! With this gorgeous pattern in our half bathroom...

Monday, August 12, 2013

I finally stenciled a wall! With this gorgeous pattern in our half bathroom...

I've always wanted to stencil a wall!!!

I painted the big stripes in our upstairs guest bathroom, and that was super cool, but I've always admired big geometric or graphic patterns on walls, particularly allover patterns that mimic wallpaper. What a fantastic DIY to do, right?!

So I got a chance to review a stencil from Royal Design Studio, and it took me literally several weeks to pick one out because there are so many cool ones (I was looking mostly at the Allover Damask Stencils,
Allover Moroccan Stencils, and Allover Modern Stencils). I finally picked the Fabric Damask Stencil, and they also sent me some of their really nice thick stencil creme paint in Pearl Oyster and a stippling brush.

I'd been wanting to stencil the upper walls in our half bath since painting them a super dark color last fall. Kinda inspired by the dramatic wallpaper in this pin. Our walls are textured with an orange peel finish, and I had tried to stencil them a couple times with absolutely no success. I used some medium-sized leaf-ey stencils from the Martha brand from Michael's. They did NOT work. The paint got all under the edges and when I peeled it away, looked awful. I was also using craft paint and a foam sponge thing, clearly not right for the walls. So it was great that Royal Design Studio sent me a stencil, creme paint, and a brush so I could really do it right!!

So here it is in use, on the last pattern I stenciled... taped up with some painter's tape for extra security but also stuck on with spray adhesive.

The "stippling" method with the brush worked great. Almost no paint got under the stencil edges. Seriously fab.

The spray adhesive was another nightmare--I got this at JoAnn a while back and after the first usage it was pretty gunky. Tip: never buy the value size. You can't guarantee it'll work the second time you use it!!! Yuck!!!
Never again. Buy the smaller ones.

I obviously had some issues on the corners. Next time I do this, I will do some MATH and space out the stencil patterns evenly so I don't have awkward space at the bottom and top where I didn't want to bend the stencil and add a third pattern repeat in each row. And I'll space it so I don't have to curve the stencil on the corners like I did below--on the left there it worked okay because I used some heavy masking tape aligned vertically to tape off the wall and keep the paint off the white wall, but on the other corner (right) it was chaos, trying to keep the stencil folded 90 degrees and stuck to both walls. It's a heavy latex stencil so it bends but it doesn't want to stay bent!

But all in all, I think the whole effect is pretty great and I'm really happy with it!

I know, I still could go back and add another (partial) pattern repeat on each row to fill in the blank space above the faux chair railing... siiiiigh. I'm tired of stenciling, and the partial ones where I have to bend the stencil are hard to do. Maybe I will sometime. I'm calling it good for now, ok?!

One problem I am having is photographing this tricky little room! It doesn't get any natural light, and the mounted light above the sink is soooo bright. Any photographers have tips for this??

18 comments :

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  1. I think it looks great! It's really impressive where you went around the corner. I wouldn't add partial repeats below--it looks good to have "negative" space. There's also a pattern play of the background where there isn't stenciling, and it creates a lovely curve--sort of like the lace-like border on eyelet fabrics!

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  2. If you are finished with the stencil, just cut off the bottom portion to make a half stencil for the lower part of the wall.

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  3. This looks GREAT! I have actually looked at stencils on that site before, but was never brave enough to order one. Your positive experience with it gives me more confidence that this is a project I can handle!

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  4. oh this looks fab and turned out way better than if i had ever tried something like this. you're so crafty it makes me jealous :)

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  5. Stenciling is a pain. I did a small wall in my closet with an allover pattern. Your did a great job and the empty spaces look very cool!

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  6. I stenciled two rooms in our old house, I love how it looks like wallpaper without it being wallpaper. I have never tried using spray adhesive before. It's a painstaking process for sure but it looks so good!
    With the spacing people probably won't even notice. Good job!

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  7. I only take photos as a hobby and my technical knowledge isn't all that fast, but I think to get better lighting (maybe not great, but better) you could try something to direct the light up to bounce off the ceiling. Perhaps using some white card taped underneath the light or something? Worth a try I guess.

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  8. I like the look you have without the added ones, I say go for it. With the spray adhesive, does the stencil peel off okay without pulling off the other paint? Is the wall left tacky at all?

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  9. Great job on the walls. I think I would've been cursing by the second attempt at stenciling, but looks like you handled it like a pro.

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  10. Absolutely super! Just think how much an interior designer would have charged, if they even thought of the idea in the first place. You give me hope to try some of my wilder ideas. Fabric walls, here we come!

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  11. this is very nice. Did u make this stencil or did u buy..?

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  12. Ok, I think you actually did a pretty awesome job with the corners! This looks so luxe!

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  13. The stencil is from www.royaldesignstudio.com ; they sent it to me to review!

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  14. Oh, good question... eesh. The first time, no. If you keep re-applying spray adhesive (if it's thicker in some places than others, and it doesn't dry enough before you stick it on) it can take off little dots of paint on the highest bumps. And it did leave some sticky spots. But that could totally be prevented by using better spray adhesive (that comes out of the can evenly) and letting it dry a little more before sticking it on. (I had a lot of problems with this, obvs... ;) )

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  15. It was so overwhelming to pick one, they have sooooo many! But definitely fun! Your walls might be better for this than mine depending on their texture! I totally recommend it if you get brave!

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  16. Yeah, I thought of doing that... and might still, but then I still wouldn't have the completed pattern for the top part of the wall! Hm...

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  17. Thanks! Ooh, I'll have to think of it that way, like a lace border... some of the stencils I looked at (and had such a hard time deciding on) were beautiful, huge lacy border stencils! Like some amazing Moroccan ones. Maybe some other time and space.

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  18. This turned out beautifully! I know it was frustrating at times but it's a lovely result :) Great job!

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