DIY Wall Stencil

Like many of you, I've always thought it would be fun to stencil a wall in my home.  There are so many inspiring pictures of DIYers transforming spaces with a simple design, a stencil, and some paint.

When we opted to repaint our office recently, my opportunity was born ~ I couldn't wait to begin!  The back wall in the picture below is the only non-textured wall in our home because the original owners paneled it to match the cabinetry.  Non-textured wall = Great stencil wall.

I didn't balk much at painting the paneling since the office already boasted a lot of wood.  The room also has a northern exposure window, making it feel rather dark most days. Brightening up the space with paint seemed like a wonderful solution.

If you look closely at that back wall, you see a subtle gold-toned lattice stencil.  Here is how I did it.

After a little tutorial-searching on the web before starting, I came across this site: Watch Me Daddy.  Amy does such a wonderful job explaining each step of her process so I followed her tutorial to a tee, from the use of freezer paper folded into squares, to sketching one section of the stencil, to folding the paper and holding it up to a window to finish tracing the stencil.

It worked like a charm.  Thanks, Amy!

On my first try, my stencil came out way too big, a fact I realized when I held it up to the wall and realized the scale wasn't quite what I had in mind, especially for the size of the room.  So I just followed the process all over again and made it smaller.

After priming and painting the paneling with Farrow & Ball's Green Blue, my surface was ready.

Here I am, tracing my first ever trellis design with a DIY freezer paper stencil and a newly sharpened pencil:

I used small pieces of tape on both sides of the design, and on the top and bottom, to hold the center of the stencil in a steady place (maybe you can see this in the picture?).  This was one of the downsides to making my own stencil since it made holding, moving, and placing a little tricky.  Also, the paper was a bit flimsy to move over and over again, but the paper made it a cinch when I needed to fold the stencil into a corner to make it look like the stencil continued on behind the wall.

I repeated the process over and over, working from the top down.  It took me awhile to get the hang of matching my side-to-side stencils because my stencil was not perfect, but the beauty of pencil is I could always go back and fudge any miscalculations by hand.

Which I did.  A lot :-)  I certainly wasn't going for perfection as that is NOT how I usually function.

My original plan was to paint inside the lines and make a bolder stencil.  However, as the time-factor realization hit me, I opted instead to simply go over all the pencil lines with a gold paint pen.  I used three of these $4 pens from JoAnne's Fabric, although I found the final pen at Fred Meyer's for $3.50.  The paint in this pen flowed beautifully.  If it ever seemed to be drying out, I would simply hold it upright, depress the tip until the paint flowed readily again, and I could go for another long while.  I was very impressed with how well this pen worked, as well as its longevity.

If I made any mistakes while painting, I simply went back over with my Green Blue paint and started again.  Start to finish, the whole process took about six hours, but I worked on it over the course of a weekend ~  an hour or two here and there ~  and enjoyed some wonderful Ravi Zacharias while I painted.  (Ravi's Indian accent is wonderfully engaging, and his wisdom in apologetics will blow you away.  I highly recommend this Godly man.)

And a final shot of our stenciled wall ~ so pretty and subtle ~ and just what this stencil-longing DIYer needed.

Blessings on your Sabbath ~


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