Friday, October 5, 2012

The Neverending Stencil Story

Don't worry.  This blog post will not be neverending.  It was the stenciling itself that was neverending.  Actually, it has ended - finally.  But it felt like it was never going to end. Extra points if this image flashed through your mind when you read the title.

I actually wasn't a huge fan of the movie, but many of my friends and classmates loved it. I was kind of creeped out by it.  Anyhow...back to stenciling.  I have been in love with the idea of using wallpaper or a stencil somewhere in our house for awhile.  

I just love how stencils and wallpaper can transform a room.  So what room would I transform?  I narrowed it down to the guest bathroom or the entryway before settling on one focal wall in the entryway.  And would I use wallpaper or a stencil?  Definitely a stencil since it would be less expensive than wallpaper and easier than hanging wallpaper. I browsed around on the Royal Designs website and the following stencils caught my eye.  

I ran the options by Seth and we ended up ordering the stencil in the fourth pic - the Small Moorish Trellis Stencil.  And thanks to John and Sherry over at Young House Love we got 10% off (they have discount codes on their blog for great stores!).  

Next decision - what color of paint to use for the stencil.  I did want the wall to be the focal point of our entry, but I didn't want it to get too busy.  The wall currently has two mirrored wall sconces.  It will have a console table (which I have plans to paint a fun color), storage baskets, and some sort of art piece.  Since it will be pretty "filled" visually with furniture and accessories, I made the decision to try a stencil in the high gloss version of the wall color.  Here is the before picture.  

Sorry about that shadow at the bottom.  Not sure if that's my finger or what.  I am not a professional photographer.  Maybe I'll get better as I continue blogging.  Let's hope so for your sake.  

I started by measuring the wall to find the midpoint between the two sconces (aren't they pretty?) so that I could center the design there.  Then I carefully taped my stencil up on the wall.  I bought some spray adhesive that you are supposed to be able to spray on the back of the stencil and then reposition as needed, but I was afraid that it would leave a sticky residue.  I ended up using some blue painters tape instead, which I did have to change out every so often as it lost its stickiness, but other than that, it worked just fine.  Here is an embarrassing backside action shot for you.

I used a foam roller to roll the paint in the gloss finish over the eggshell finish on the wall.

Above, I am trying to line up the stencil perfectly which was kind of difficult since I used such a low contrast scheme.  I later found out that the stencil has little triangular cutouts that you are supposed to use for lining it up and repositioning, but I'm not sure it would have helped me that much.  You have to be very careful about keeping it level and lined up though.  Trust me - if you ever come and visit, we can play a game of Spot My Stenciling Mistake.  It's kind of like Where's Waldo.  And in case you were wondering, my hair looks a bit odd and poofed up in this photo because I'm wearing a headband.  

After a long, grueling process we ended up with this.

It's pretty much what I had envisioned.  It's subtle, but definitely there (even more so in person than in these pics).  A part of me wishes that I had chosen a different paint color for the stencil to give it a little more contrast so that all my hard work was a bit more noticeable, but I think that's because the wall is currently empty.  Once I get around to painting our console table and adding art and accessories, I bet I'll be fine with it being so subtle.  It's been nice to watch how the sunlight coming into the house at different times of the day affects how visible it is.  I highly encourage anybody out there considering a stencil in their house to dive right in!


  1. I love it, and I can't wait to see the wall with the accessories. You guys are too good, so creative and great at decorating and design ideas!

  2. Looks good! I've been thinking about using that same stencil somewhere in our house. Just haven't decided where yet!


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