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8 Tips for Successful Wall Stenciling

Welcome back my friends. I am so happy you are here today for the 3rd installment of the 6-week One Room Challenge. You can see the ‘before’ and my original mood board for my office here and my revised and updated mood board here. And, because it’s just the kind of gal I am, I’m going to share 8 tips for successful wall stenciling which definitely makes the project easier.

                                      Thank you to Cutting Edge Stencils for sending me the stencil and stencil kit for this project.  As usual, the opinions are 100% my own. And some of these links may be affiliate links and I may earn a small commission off of the sale of these products to help defray the costs of operating this site, but the price you are charged is not affected. You can see my full disclosure policy here.

It has been a BUSY week in these parts! I finished the painting and stenciling of my office AND (drumroll please) I am just about done with the reupholstering of my chair. Can I get an ‘Oh yeah!’ 

Wall stenciling and reupholstering are 2 crafty/DIY projects that have been on my crafty bucket list for many years. When Cutting Edge Stencils contacted me about working with them on a stencil project, I knew it was one of my craft kismet angels pushing me to cross this off of my ‘need to do…’ list.  

My office seemed the perfect room to give a little stencil love to. Only one of the walls in my office has windows…but it has 4 of them. In my infinite wisdom and propensity to make everything harder than it has to be, I chose that one wall (with the 4 windows) to be the wall that I would stencil. 

Helpful Hint #1: While not impossible, it is certainly harder to stencil a wall with windows. For your first time, I’d try a simple wall with very few interruptions.

A quick word about Cutting Edge Stencils, they have some beautiful patterns and for a decision-making challenged gal, it was really hard to choose just one.

Ultimately, I chose the Tea House Trellis Allover Stencil which I thought would be lovely in a tan against my new white walls.

In addition to offering beautiful, well-made stencils, Cutting edge also offers a handy stencil kit and great video tutorials. I watched a couple of their videos before I began my project which definitely helped relieve a bit of my anxiety. And after all, if you make a mistake (which I did) you just paint over it (which I did) and work that area over again (which I did). But, maybe I could save you from making some of the mistakes I made by sharing my tips for successful wall stenciling.

So, here are my 8 Tips for Successful Wall Stenciling:

(which I learned from Cutting Edge’s videos as well as what I learned ‘on the job.’)

  1. MAKE SURE YOUR STENCIL IS LEVEL Cutting Edge has a little level tool that you can slide onto the bottom of your stencil to make sure it’s level.
  2. Sometimes you will be unable to use the level if you have to bend the stencil on a corner. In such a case, you need to MEASURE!  When you come to a corner, measure the edge of your stencil against a fixed edge of your wall and make sure you get that same measurement as you go down the wall.  This is particularly important when you can’t base your stencil off of the previous stencil, like on a side of a window. I measured when I went down the side of one window and it came out perfectly. I didn’t measure when I went down the side of the second window and ended up repainting that side because the stencil didn’t line up where it should have when I came to the bottom of the window. When it doubt, MEASURE against a fixed-line.
  3. GET THE RIGHT PAINT So, the story of my life, I didn’t read the directions that came with the stencil before I started stenciling. In the directions, Cutting Edge specifically recommends Aura by Benjamin Moore.  I had purchased my paint before reading that, but I will definitely use that recommended paint the next time I stencil. I ended up having to wash my stencil after every 2 applications because the dried paint would peel off of the stencil and get on my roller and wall. That process of having to wash and dry the stencil after every 2 applications really added to the length of time it took me to do the project.
  4. KEEP YOUR STENCIL CLEAN. You would think that because of #3, my stencil would have been clean. However, while I was keeping the majority of the stencil clean I wasn’t getting the edges of the design clean.  In the picture below, you can see the buildup of paint along the edge.  When this paint builds up, it’s impossible to get the nice, crisp and clean edge you want.
    Make Sure Your Stencil is CLEAN
  5. MAKE SURE YOUR BASE WALL HAS DRIED FOR 24 HOURS. Remember when I said I had to repaint an area because I didn’t measure and it came out wonky? Well..several hours later I couldn’t get the tape to stick on that portion of the wall.  Even though it felt dry to the touch, there was still too much moisture for the tape to adhere to.
  6. TAPE OFF THE CORNERS AND TOP/BOTTOM OF THE WALL unless you feel like painting that area again.
    Stenciling in a Corner.
  7. AND…PERHAPS THE MOST IMPORTANT TIP FOR SUCCESSFUL WALL STENCILING… KEEP YOUR ROLLER AS DRY AS POSSIBLE After you’ve loaded your sponge roller evenly with paint, run it over a paper towel until it’s almost dry. This is the secret to avoiding drips and runs behind the stencil. Even if you have to repeat that process again before you move the stencil, it’s a critical piece. I was really pretty good about it 95% of the time, but the 5% when I didn’t clean my roller enough I had goopy edges that I then needed to go back and clean up.
finished wall

So, do I love my stencil wall? Why, yes I do, thank you very much! It really adds that certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ that I was looking for in my office.

So…what’s left on my to-do list? Well, I have 3 weeks to finish the following

  1. Reupholster club chair (I’m this close!)
  2. Prime and paint chest
  3. Make a pillow for chair
  4. Make ottoman out of that gorgeous, to die for, coral fabric.
  5. Paint trim (this may or may not happen. It needs to be done but …we’ll see)
  6. Find lamps 
  7. Find or make and frame artwork
  8. Find a rug
  9. Figure out what to do with bulletin boards

I know that it seems like I still have a lot to do, but I really feel like with the painting, stenciling, and upholstery (almost) done, I’m on a roll.

finished stenciled wall

If you are thinking of stenciling a wall in your home, pin this for your future reference.  You’ll thank me!☺

Thanks again for spending a few minutes of your busy day with me today.

Please know that I welcome each and every comment that comes my way.

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Until next time…

Thanks for making my day by SHARING!!

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      1. Hi Lori…wasn’t really hard, just required some patience and time. And as I write that, I realize that I have been lacking both right now, so it is quite astonishing that I did accomplish that!

        Thanks for swinging by .


    1. Hi Brittany…yeah it took a bit of patience, and I am glad it’s done, but I do love it. And I’ve seen some of your projects, so I know you have the patience.
      Thanks for visiting and hope you are enjoying a great weekend.

      Hugs, LYnn

  1. Oh Lynn this is so so beautiful! I absolutely love the stenciled wall and the beige colour on the white wall looks awesome! You are so brave to stencil the whole wall! I tried wall stenciling a while back and oh my it was a disaster!! Your tips are so helpful, maybe I’ll give it a try some time again!!!

    1. Hi there! Thanks for swinging by to see my stencilled wall. I have to tell you that I do love it, but I’m also pretty glad it’s done. Those windows…yeah…tough for a first timer. But…it was doable and I like the way it sets off the windows.
      Hey…TWD starts TOMORROW!!!!! Who did Negen hit?
      Wishing you a lovely weekend my friend.

      Hugs, Lynn

    1. Thanks Amanda! I’m loving it too and am so ready to finish the rest of my room. I’m excited to bring the pops of color in to it.
      Hope you have a great weekend.

      Hugs, Lynn

  2. Serenity Allover stencil. It’s not too busy but would add so much. Your wall looks great but I would never choose a wall with all those windows!

    1. Hi Carla…yeah, you’re way smarter than I am! Not the greatest decision I ever made to do the wall with the windows…but now that it’s done…I do love it.
      I’ve registered your stencil choice and will have a random drawing in about 10 days.
      Have a great weekend.

      Hugs, Lynn

  3. I absolutely love this stencil!! Love love love it! And story of my life too- I should have read the directions. But regardless, it didn’t seem to hurt you because it looks great. I look forward to seeing what you do next week.

    1. Hey girlfriend, I’m really loving it too and now anxious for all pieces to come together. Going to work hard this weekend, as I know you will be doing as well!
      Thanks for checking in and have a great weekend.

      Hugs, Lynn

    1. Thanks Bobbie…it’s slowly coming together and now I’m chomping at the bit to get that chest painted! I plan to finish the chair this weekend and then the real fun stuff will happen.

      Hope you have a wonderful weekend and thanks for visiting!

      Hugs, Lynn

  4. Lynn, your stenciled wall is so stunning! You chose a great stencil and did an outstanding job on it! I’ve given thought to use a stencil on the front drawers of a dresser, but it’s just a thought!

    1. Oh Carol, given your crazy skills, this would be a breeze for you. I am pleased with it and anxious to get the rest of it going as well. Have a great weekend and thanks for stopping by.

      Hugs, Lynn

    1. Hi Jillian…it’s slowly coming together. Now I get to paint the chest…which will be so fun given the color I’m using! Can’t wait to do that.

      HOpe you have a great weekend.

      Hugs, Lynn

    1. Thanks Emily! Now that it’s done I really like it too! It makes a huge difference and now the fun stuff starts.
      Thanks for swinging by today.

      Have a great weekend.


  5. Wow! Your stenciled walls look amazing! I feel your pain on the build up on the inside of the stencil because the same thing happened to me on the floors. It looks great, and now I can’t wait to see your chair!

  6. I love, love, love your stenciled wall. It resembles wallpaper. I would like to get the exact same stencil, Tea House Trellis Allover Stencil . Thank you.

  7. I agree with all the comments, I am speechless its totally gorgeous stencil job. Its takes a talent to stencil that good, trust me I could not do that.

    1. Good Morning Maria…Without a doubt I am glad that project is DONE!!!!! Now the real fun starts! Thanks for coming by today.

      Hugs, Lynn

    1. Good Morning Jessica…Thanks so much for swinging by and I’m loving it as well, especially now that it’s done! Now the real fun starts!!!

      Have a great weekend…

      Hugs, Lynn

    1. Thanks Sarah! I really am very happy with them and am excited about how all the pieces are coming together. Thanks for visiting and hope you have a wonderful weekend.

      Hugs, Lynn

    1. Thanks Jen…we’re plugging along here. Very anxious to paint that coral chest, but need to finish the last little bit of the chair first. Hope you are enjoying a wonderful weekend.

      Hugs, Lynn

  8. The stenciled wall looks great! I have looked at Cutting Edge Stencils several times, and you’re right, there are SO many to choose from. I’m pretty impressed with the fact that you went with the wall that had so many windows, but it turned out beautifully!

    1. Hi Erin, and thanks for swinging by. I do love how it frames the windows and glad I did it, but now I owe myself a simple flat wall to stencil! My room is slowly but surely coming together.
      Have a great day…

      Hugs, Lynn

    1. Now that you are a stencil pro Robin…this would be a breeze for you. It’s really a lovely stencil and has a similar feel to the floor you stencilled. Thanks for swinging by my friend.

      Hugs, Lynn

  9. The Portuguese tile stencil is spectacular. It reminds me so much of Spain and Porrtugual from my travels. I know that would be a work of love!

    1. Hi Pat! I love that stencil too…imagine the different colors you could bring in to it. Lovely choice.

      Thanks for coming by today.

      Hugs, Lynn

    1. Thanks Sherry. Oh that stencil has your name all over it! Hmmm…I think I see a project in your future.

      Have a great day my friend.

      Hugs, Lynn

    1. Hey Carol, that one was on my short list for my office too! Thanks for coming by today my friend and hope you have a great day.
      Hugs, Lynn

  10. It turned out really wonderful. I checked cutting edge stencils and wow they have some wonderful products. It was hard to pick one but I think I would pick the Serenity Allover stencil.
    Great job my friend
    XO- Jenny

    1. That one was on my short list for my office too! And how do you not love something entitled ‘Serenity’…we all need a little of that right now. Thanks for stopping by my friend.

      Have a great day.


    1. Hi Melanie, you know…that’s one of the benefits of a stencil. You can easily paint over it when you need to change, much easier than with wallpaper. I’m plugging along and things are finally coming together.

      Thanks again for stopping by Melanie.

      Hugs, Lynn

    1. Thanks Nicki…I LOVE that tile too…imagine how great it would look on stair case risers! Swoon….

      Have a great day my friend.

      Hugs, Lynn

    1. Thanks Lisa…I love it too and so glad that I did it, even glad I did the wall with the windows. Thanks for swinging by today.

      Hugs, Lynn

    1. Thanks Ruthie! Thankfully I really love it too since I would HATE to paint it over. I need to kick it into overdrive to get this room done in the next few days…but hey… I AM WOMAN! I can get this done.

      Wishing you a lovely day.

      Hugs, Lynn

  11. I never thought of stencilling our walls but looking your work now really makes me want to have one in my house. It looks so beautiful, gentle and unique! I like it so much! And I am sure that the room when finished will be greater a lot. Well done!

    1. Thanks Karen! I am really so very pleased with it and it makes a huge difference in the room. I really appreciate you stopping by and leaving a comment.

      Best wishes for a lovely weekend.

      Hugs, Lynn

  12. I like the tip that you gave to keep your paint roller as dry as possible. My wife and I are looking to paint our bathroom with stencils, and it is important for me to be confident that I can use the stencils correctly. I will be sure to keep my paint roller as dry as possible, so I can be confident that I am doing things how I should.

    1. Hi Easton,

      That tip to keep your roller as dry as possible is KEY! Also, make sure your stencil is plumb. I absolutely love my stenciled wall, several years later it still makes me happy!

      Good luck with your stenciling my friend!

      Hugs, Lynn

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