Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Master Bedroom Wall Stenciling

 The weekend before last my fiance was away all day on Sunday helping his sister move. I figured while he was going and I had zero distractions (other than my zoo), that I should try to accomplish a pretty ambitious project I had on my mind. Something that I had pinned via Pinterest and had been looking at constantly. Here is the original link. (Also, check out other things in her blog. She does some SUPER awesome stuff. I intend to tackle some more of her projects in the future. Thanks, Sarah, you are a genius!)
 It was super cheap- I only had to buy a quart of paint (which was waaay too much for what I needed- I still have the majority of the can minus probably less than an inch of it gone). I was planning on buying a sample size jar of paint however it didn't come in high gloss and I thought the shininess of gloss would contrast best against the base paint. Which it did. After much internal debate- I ultimately decided going one shade darker than my base color. I wanted a subtle contrast; I was afraid too major of a color difference would make me feel like I was in a Moroccan jail.
 So, my paint skills are pretty much next to none. I suck. This made me extremely nervous to start tackling this project. But, what was the worst that could happen? I have to repaint the wall if I screwed it up bad enough? Whatev- painting is super easy and I still have some leftover paint that didn't get used the first time. A no-brainer.
 WARNING: ONCE YOU START TRACING THE STENCIL ON THE WALL OR PAINTING THE STENCIL THERE IS REALLY NO CHANCE TO NOT FINISH.(unless you are the opposite of me and wouldn't mind your wall looking a mess). And, this project takes A LOT of patience. I worked on it for two straight days (it took Sarah 5 days working on it a few hours a night). This isn't something you can accomplish in a few hours. 

Wall Stenciling
  First, find a stencil that you like the pattern of. I used this one; the same one as my inspiration. 

  I had to print it out on 4 sheets of paper to make it big enough. And, then cut out the shapes and taped them together. Like so...

  Next, you need to trace the stencil out on a large piece of cardboard.

  Then, cut out the stencil. I used regular scissors; however, I found it easier to manage to trim down some of the access cardboard so I was dealing with a piece of cardboard that was more manageable. Like so...

  Once, the stencil is cut out tape a level to the stencil. This was the most genius idea of the original blogger (other than the project itself). It made it super easy to keep things in line and on track.

  Next step, start tracing. Put the stencil against the wall, make sure it is straight according to the level, and lightly trace with a pencil. I started randomly in the center of the wall, and had no problems with how things measured out. I traced the stencil top to bottom. 

 Just keep tracing.. Just keep tracing.. Just keep tracing, tracing, tracing.. I warned you this took patience!
It is really hard to see gray pencil marks on a gray wall. I'm sure using my infamous iPhone camera didn't help us out here. Look closely, the lines are there!

  I found it easiest to finish tracing the lines at the top, bottom, and sides of the wall by using the original paper stencil; it was easier to bend and fit into the sometimes tiny space left. By this time you shouldn't have to worry about it being level because most of it is already done and level.
  Finally, start painting. This is the brush I used...

  I started painting in the bottom middle of the wall (which would be hidden by a dresser that sits in front of it). I figured that I would get better as I went, which I did, so starting somewhere unseen gave me a little wiggle room to figure out the best technique. Basically, don't put hardly any pressure on the brush. Make sure you don't get too much paint on the brush, it will drip and make your lines too thick. I painted bottom to top; left to right.
The original wall color is Nimbus Cloud by Valspar and the stencil color is Stratus also by Valspar.

 Keep painting until you are finished. Don't worry if your lines aren't perfect. Mine aren't either. From far away you can't tell at all. 

Finally, I finished!

 This is what it looked like the next day when I put everything back.  (Prissy Mittens is the creeper cat sitting on the arm of the chair.)
  I am super happy with the outcome, it looks so amazing. It gave our bedroom so much character. My hubby said "I feel like I am in a fancy hotel room". Which is the look I was going for. It was a success. As frustrating and time consuming it was; I would do it again. In fact, I think, I am going to do it again, in our first-story half-bath.
  This project isn't as scary as it seems. I promise; If I can do it, YOU can too. Share your completed projects with me, I'd love to see how it turned out for others!



  1. Also, that dresser was a $40 Craigslist find. I refinished it and added the beautiful sparkly knobs. I will post in detail the process of that, eventually.

  2. Thanks for the sweet comments! Your wall looks fantastic and smart posting the brush you used (I still get emails asking me what mine looked like!) Love the gloss look and will be doing the same in our next house. Great job. Love it.