Wall Stenciling 101
Scenario: You want a beautiful design in your home.
A- You spend more money on a more permanent solution, that is fairly quick to install (Wall Paper)
B- You spend less money on a smaller commitment, which will take a significant amount of time to complete (Stencil)
I will be the first to admit, I reallllllllllllllly wanted to do wallpaper. I looked at several books of sample wallpaper and tons of websites. But the more I learned, the more I realized how expensive wallpapering can get. And we had a lot of wall to cover! It is a known fact that I change my mind often. The thought of ripping down that wallpaper gave me anxiety. I would rather paint over it when I am sick of it vs the pain-staking process of un-adhering wallpaper.
So I started googling wall stencils. I found mine here on Amazon.com for $38.99. Mine turned out fine in the long run, but I don’t know if I’d use that vendor again (and I will explain why later).
I prepped our walls with the base color we wanted: Black. Aaron and I wanted a dramatic look (not for everyone… I understand). We chose black and white for our pattern. For a more subtle statement, you could do two colors closer in range (or the same color, flat & high gloss). I freaked out after I painted the walls black. I had severe doubts that this would look good in the end, but I knew I needed to follow through before I passed judgement.
In order for the stencil to adhere to the wall I used Krylon Repositional Tack Spray that I bought at the craft store. It is as simple as spraying a light coat on the back, and aligning the stencil on the wall. Since we were doing white on black, it took 3 coats, per stencil application.
The hardest part was something I completely did not anticipated: WASHING THE BEASTLY STENCIL.
I had to wash the stencil after EACH APPLICATION because of the paint build up. When I didn’t wash it (because I thought I could get away with it- WRONG), the paint would bleed, and make the design messy. The agony!!!
After I finished the first wall, the stencil was warped. I was upset because the seller on Amazon states in the description “can be reused hundreds of times,” and I used mine apprx 12 times. I really was so mad! I contacted the seller, and sent a picture of my warped stencil, and he said he would send me a new one for free. The problem was, it took him over 3 weeks to send my stencil, and then it got lost in the mail. I was so mad sitting around in our unfinished dining room. We couldn’t do any more on the project (board and batten & crown molding) until I finished the stencil design. Finally it came, and I was able to finish the other wall. Although, it started warping again toward the end, but I had to push through it! There was NO WAY I was going to wait another month for a 2nd replacement! Because of the warping, it did bleed, but I was able to touch it up easily with a thin paint brush.
Overall, would I do another wall stencil? Depends on the pattern. I am soooo tempted to do Moroccan Lattice somewhere in our house. It IS cheaper than wallpaper, and when I change my mind, all I have to do is paint over it. No messy tear down. I would also find a higher quality stencil from a reputable seller. And, I would hire an assistant to wash it for me each time 🙂
There you have it: Wall Stenciling: an Ugly Truth for such a Beautiful Result.
Total cost: $108.99
-$30 black paint
-$30 white paint
-$10 spray tack
Total stenciling time: 2 weeks (Not including the month I waited for the replacement)
-one week per wall, at the rate of a couple hours every evening
Coming Next – HOW TO BOARD & BATTEN – an easy peasy wainscoting