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.’)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 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.
- TAPE OFF THE CORNERS AND TOP/BOTTOM OF THE WALL unless you feel like painting that area again.
- 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.
- NUMBER 7 IS SO IMPORTANT THAT I BEARS HAVING A NUMBER 8 THAT SAYS THE SAME THING.
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
- Reupholster club chair (I’m this close!)
- Prime and paint chest
- Make a pillow for chair
- Make ottoman out of that gorgeous, to die for, coral fabric.
- Paint trim (this may or may not happen. It needs to be done but …we’ll see)
- Find lamps
- Find or make and frame artwork
- Find a rug
- 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.
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.
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