How to Stencil a Wall

I have finally finished the stenciling in the craft room {insert huge sigh of relief!}  Seriously, this took me sooo much longer than I had planned. If I could have quit mid way through I definitely would have. But it is done and I am very happy with the end result!
I think I really should have titled this post How NOT to Stencil a Wall as I definitely hit a few bumps along the way.  Hopefully, my mistakes will help to make your project a little easier!
Let me start out by saying that this project works best if you have some patience and are not a crazy, obsessed perfectionist.  Unfortunately, neither of these traits applies to me.  I had estimated that it would take about 4-5 hours but let’s just say that I hugely underestimated my time.  I must be the slowest person in the world.  Did you guys ever watch Trading Spaces? {I totally loved this show by the way!}  I would so be the person that would be staying up all night freaking out… 
Okay, so here are some tips to make things a little easier for you. 
  • Use a good stencil!  I purchased mine through Cutting Edge Stencils and am so glad that I spent the extra money.  I really could not imagine doing this with a flimsy or smaller stencil.
  • Practice first! Try your stencil on a cardboard box or sample board first.  There definitely is a little learning curve to figure out how much pressure and paint you should use. 
  • Tape off your mouldings and the edges of the walls that will not be painted with blue {low tack}painters tape.  You will also need the tape to adhere your stencil to the wall. 
  • Start on the area of the wall that will be seen the least.  Since the bottom of my wall is covered with storage pieces and my desk, I started there {and am very glad that I did!}
  • Use a dense foam roller with rounded edges so that the edges of the roller do not catch the stencil. 
  • This may seem extremely obvious, but make sure your stencil is level!  Once the first few have been established it should get easier.  You will need a level or a plumb line.  I purchased this nifty little clip on level but did not realize that I did not have it attached straight to my stencil.  My first three stencils ended up being crooked.  See?  I told you I was glad I started on the bottom!
  • Make sure you have left over paint from your base coat to do touch ups.  Little mistakes can be easily corrected with a little paint.  I ended up touching up around the edges with the base paint a lot!
  • Baby wipes or a moist Q-tip can also work well to correct the more minor mistakes. 
  • Remember that it is a stencil.  That means that there will be a few imperfections unless you would like to spend hours on touch ups! Yes, I definitely had problems with this little fact…
  • Less paint is better.  It may mean that you have to go over your stencil a second time but it will save a lot of bleeding through.  Just let the first coat dry for a couple of minutes before re-rolling.
  • The edges of the wall were a big pain in the *@* for me.  In the end, I found that it was much easier to just free hand them with pencil and then paint them in.  I really wish that I would have figured this out a lot sooner!
You know what was really painful?  After moving everything back into the room, I realized that I missed a row of stenciling…
Really???  I’m still not done???  This is when I figured out how much easier it was to freehand and paint!
So the painting is done and you guys will just have to wait a little bit longer to see the craft room reveal.  I totally forgot to take a picture of the completed wall before I started moving everything back in.  {I think I was going a little crazy by this point}
Have a great week!
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Comments

  1. says

    IT LOOKS GREAT!! I just got some stencils and am anxious and apprehensive at the same time to try them out! We’ll see how it goes. If it turns out as good as your did then I’ll be happy! Great Job!

  2. says

    It looks great and I love the pattern. I stenciled my a wall in my daughter’s room and couldn’t get over how long it took. I worked for hours and hours and hours. So, I feel your pain. Yours really looks amazing. I am your latest follower. I would love for you to come and check out my blog and follow me back at http://www.diybydesign.blogspot.com. Thanks so much.

  3. says

    beautiful work!

    i don’t know if i have it in me to do this, but i love it! maybe this summer when it’s too hot outside, i’ll give it an attempt.

    thanks for linking up to the Spring Fling.

    kellie

  4. says

    Looks great!! Maybe I missed it – but how long did it take you? I’d love to stencil a wall, but all my walls are textured (from the builder with stucco). I don’t know if I’d have the patients! God Bless you for having them =)

    :D Lynda

  5. says

    This is fantastic! You are my hero… I would really like to try a project like this, but I am afraid that I might run out of patience before I finish or that I just plain screw it up badly! Your craft room looks awesome girl! Congrats on a beautiful job! Angie xo

  6. says

    Your stencil job looks flawless! I’ve been thinking about doing this too, but am still a little nervous about it! Thanks for posting this article!

  7. says

    boy wish I had read this before doing my wall :) The edges caused me to almost have a freaking breakdown! I also had a hard time getting the stencil to stick to the wall with the tape, letting it dry in between so you could line them up was hard for me! Probably bc I had a 2 year old underfoot and just wanted to be DONE. You did a great job though!!

  8. says

    Thanks so much for the pointers! I really want to stencil my pantry or closet wall fr practice before doing my bathroom and these will def help out. BTW, I used to love Trading Spaces! I too would be the one staying up all night!
    Jen
    Scissors & Spatulas

  9. says

    You did a wonderful job! I am officially obsessed with this pattern! I just did a dresser with it on the front. I really love that you expressed your UPS and DOWNS :) What do you thing of this pattern done as a backsplash? just curious?
    Thanks for sharing, Nikki

  10. says

    Great tips! I’m thinking about stenciling my craft room/office, but the amount of work is definitely intimidating. You’ve shared some really great advice!!

  11. says

    I think the stencil design is also good for office’s walls; like in a meeting room. For me, this design adds life to your room. If I have the time to change my wall’s design, I’d opt for Japanese stencil art designs.

  12. says

    All of your hard work paid off, Jenn! It’s a gorgeous wall! I love it! I love the tip about tracing the edges and painting in free hand – great idea! :)

    Cutting Edge Stencils are awesome, aren’t they?

    Thanks so much for sharing in the DIY Project Parade!

  13. says

    Oi querida, gosto muito do seu blog e postei a transformação do craft room no meu log espero que não se importe.
    beijos
    casadadani.blogspot.com

  14. says

    Wow! It looks absolutely amazing! We just redid our laundry room and I had originally planned to do a similar stencil. I didn’t order one so I tried to trace one and paint in by hand. Simply a disaster waiting to happen. Anyhow I quit. But yours look so amazing that it almost makes me wish I hadn’t. C’est la vie. Thanks for sharing this!
    Krista @thehappyhousie

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