Thursday, November 22, 2012

Wall Stencils May be the Death of Me

I'm pretty sure the title says it all.

Have any of you ever tried to do a wall stencil? If you have, then you know what I'm talking about it. If you haven't, don't do it! Okay, so maybe I'm being overly dramatic. Maybe it hasn't been long enough and it's all still too vivid in my mind. All I know is that I won't be doing anything like that again!

Let's back up here. All the way back to January of this year when I decided I wanted to upgrade our guest bathroom. Just a little facelift, nothing too big. Some minor re-decorating was all I wanted to do. And this idea all basically started with a wall stencil. I found one that I really liked and found the perfect location in the bathroom for it.

The image I found on Google and fell in love with
All we needed to do was move a towel bar. Ya right. You can see where this is going. But that story is for a different day. I do intend to write a post on the whole bathroom re-decorating fiasco. Today's focus is on the stencil. I just wanted to give some background so you have an idea of how long we've been trying to do this.

After three failed attempts and a lot of frustration later, I am pleased to announce that the stencil is finally done. It is far from perfect but at this point, I really don't care. We did it all in one evening. Probably a good thing too as I'm not sure if I would have been able to go back to it if I had left it half done. I tried to document it the process as best I could and I hope you will learn from our experience.

First, we lay our stencil out on newspaper on the bathroom floor so that we could apply the stencil adhesive.

The stencil is there, you just can't see it
Since our stencil was so huge, it had a hard time staying on the wall. If you are going to be using a big stencil, definitely invest in some of this stuff. Or borrow ours since we won't be needing it again! We bought this from Michaels for a decent price. I can't remember how much we paid though since it was so long ago. That's one downside to spreading a project out over 11 months.

Once the adhesive was applied and dry, we stuck it to the wall using painters tape. See how big it really is?

Once it was securely in place, I set myself up to start painting. We used Hauser Dark Green by Americana paint that was purchased for $1.99 at Michaels. I probably only went through half a bottle for this whole project.

For the stencil brush, we used these small sponges that were also purchased at Michael's. They came in a package of four and were $8.49 but I used a 40% off coupon.

They worked quite well I think. You just have to be careful not to soak up too much paint into them or else you will smudge up your stencil. Which I did. Like I said, not perfect.

I got started painting and continued on for what felt like ages. It hurts the hands! I definitely think it would have looked nicer had I taken a bit more time. But I was feeling impatient and really, I had no idea what I was doing. My advice for others though, use less paint. The more paint that's on your brush, the more paint will get behind the stencil and smudge. Just an FYI.

I finally finished the first dandelion! Tada! (Just don't look too closely)

After letting that one dry for a good hour and a half, I came back and did the second one. I tried to be a bit more careful and precise but it still ened up smudged. Oh well. Next up was stenciling the small dandelion fluff floating away This part of the stenciling went by much quicker!

While the whole process kind of sucked and it didn't turn out quite as nicely as I had hoped, I am overall happy with it. It looks really nice from a few feet away. So as long as you don't stare too closely, it turned out really well!

So what do you think? Have you ever tried to stencil before? How did it turn out? And if you haven't ever tried, do you intend to? Is it something on your bucket list?


  1. where did you buy the stencil? Ive been thinking about doing a stencil project but I didnt want to order one online

  2. Casey, I bought this one online at Cutting Edge Stencils. I think it was $50 or something like that. I tried looking at local stores but couldn't find anything I liked so I ended up buying it online. It was very big and detailed and complicated. If I were you, I'd start with a smaller stenciling project. That way, you may have more success than me!

  3. It looks way better than you made it seem! I think it looks awesome - I love the dark green too, it looks much more dramatic than the yellow would have.

  4. Jenn it looks great!! I just go with vinyl wall decals.. easy way out :P

  5. I think it looks beautiful! Stenciling on a wall is not something I've ever attempted, now I don't think I ever want But good for you for doing it!

  6. Vicky, the pictures are deceiving. When you come visit you can see it all close up and know what I mean. And I agree, the dark green looks fabulous. Dan picked it out.

    Kate, I should have gone with the vinyl wall decals. Hindsight is 20/20.

    Erin, thank you. And I'm sorry that I have now scared you away from stenciling!

  7. hahahahahah. Nope, stenciling isn't on my bucket list!! It looks fabulous though! Maybe it was worth the troubles, especially since you aren't actually dead!! :P

  8. Cora, I'm glad to know that stenciling isn't on your bucket list. And sorry we killed the stencil so you couldn't try it at your house. I do love it and I am not dead, so you have a point. :)