Sunday, December 13, 2015

Wall Stenciling

Hey everyone! I apologize for seemingly abandoning this space, but I've had a lot going on and it's been crazy hectic around here trying to make this house a home before the holiday season.

I wanted to stop a moment and share with you a project I worked on and completed. It took awhile for it to come to fruition because I have to research EVERY. SINGLE. THING. before I try it out. This time, the project I tackled was wall stenciling. It seems very scary and I suppose it is at first, but the end result is well worth it, and now I'm searching for ways to incorporate it in other areas of the house, I love it that much. My husband also loves it, but he fears that my obsession and love for stenciling will result in us living in a damask covered cave.

For my project, I decided to go with Royal Design Studios, since they seem to be tried and true, and a lot of home/DIY bloggers seem to prefer them over other stencil companies. I'm sure other stencils will work as well, but since I've had good results with RDS, I will stick with them in the future.

Next, I decided on a design, and decided to go with a simple and (again), tried and true damask design.

For the paint and supplies, there are a ton of options you can use, but I decided to try out the RDS stencil paint creme and wax brush, because the YouTube tutorial the site posted looked easier to use with a complete "kit", rather than taking a chance on different paint and brushes. If the project failed, then I wanted to know where exactly where I went wrong, and not wondering if it was the paint, or the brush, or the stencil.  I also picked up some temporary tack spray from the craft store, and painters tape.

So to recap, my supplies (non sponsored links)

Here is the YouTube video that I watched and followed when it came time to do my own wall:

Now, I can't say that it took me one hour--closer to 2.5. But still, once I got into my groove and became more confident of the work I was doing, I went much faster, and I think the next time I probably could complete the project in an hour.

I did mess up. I was so nervous when I first started and was concentrating so hard on making sure the designs lined up, that I completely forgot that the stencils are actually made to connect the patterns, hence automatically insuring that the design ends up straight and positioned correctly. As a result, my stencils did NOT connect. And you know what, it still came out beautifully! 

Here are the steps:
1. Lay out a huge piece of cardboard (you should probably use a drop cover, but I didn't have one at the time, though I did have a handy box available from a gigantic wall clock I'd ordered (more on that in a future post). Use this to protect your floors and lay out your supplies.

2. Spray your stencil with a thin layer of tacky spray. Don't worry, this won't stick to your wall, nor will it leave any kind of residue.

3. Position your stencil on the wall, and tape the sides if you need to. I found that the tacky glue was enough in the beginning, but as it loses its stickiness, you can use the tape to affix the stencil to the wall. You can spray on more glue, but I don't recommend it until you wash your stencil in the middle of the project, because it can get a little gummy.

You can see that there is a section at the top where the design will connect seamlessly. I didn't do that--but you absolutely SHOULD.

Keep working, connecting the patterns on the stencil. With the wax brush, you simply dip, brush the excess paint off on a paper towel (you will have the urge to have as much paint on your brush as possible. DO NOT DO THIS. The paint will bleed through! Follow the directions and have your paint be as thin as possible on the brush. One "dip" should be enough for one complete design coating.), and brush the paint on the design in a circular motion, as if you were buffing the surface. The stencil will buildup with paint, and that might make your design not as sharp as it can be, and you also run the risk of getting paint residue on your wall. I had to wash my stencil once, in the middle of the project. I rinsed it off with hot water, then washed it in hot, sudsy water, and then rinsed again. The paint that I couldn't get off, I applied Ajax cleaner, scrubbed with a brush, and cleaned again with hot, soapy water. I dried it completely, applied more tacky adhesive, and continued on. This took me about fifteen minutes from start to finish. 

As you can see, I started to run out of space at the end of the wall. I kind of think that it would have looked better if I started stenciling in the middle of the wall instead of starting in the corner, but now that I look at it, I'm not sure if it would have really made such a difference. Once the design is finished, the cut off stencil really did not look out of place at all! Like wallpaper, the design is going to have to be cut off somewhere!
To finish that section at the end of the wall, I simply folded the stencil inward, and painted. I did line that gray side wall with painters tape, because I didn't want any of the stencil residue to get on the wall.

The finished product:

You can see a tiny spot in the bottom right hand corner where the stencil isn't connecting. I took this pic right after completing the project, but I've since gone back and filled that little spot in. Took five minutes.  

So as you can see, it isn't perfect--but I still love it, and I think it's one of the best design decisions I've made in this house. It looks so elegant, and even up close, the design is crisp and there are hardly any smudges at all. I really believe that this has a lot to do with the quality of the stencil and the stencil creme--I don't think I will ever bother with regular paint when I want to stencil, the creme is so easy and painless to work with, and absolutely no dripping at all.

Accent walls are so awesome and can give your room a huge facelift! Give it a try!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Quick update! I'm still here ...

And my house is still a mess.

I swear it's difficult to have a "home" blog when your home is in total disarray and chaotic. At this point, I think I would pay someone to come in and do everything for me if I could afford it.

I don't ever recall it taking so long for us to get settled into a new home, but taking into account:
  • 1/4 of our furniture needs to be replaced
  • We've had to furnish entire empty rooms
  • Unpacking and decluttering was put on hold while we had closets installed, and the whole house painted. 
It's kind of no wonder we have fallen so far behind and our home still looks like a storage unit. We don't even have a stand to place our television. Lighting still hasn't been installed, window treatments still haven't been installed and ... guess what? We still don't have internet. (But we did finally get Directv yesterday, so yay us!)

Not to mention that we experienced the sad and unexpected passing of my father in law, which took us out of the state for two weeks. 

So everything has been on hold. All of our furniture deliveries have been delayed, the post-closing follow up has been delayed, and all of the projects we planned to tackle have also been delayed. Not complaining, just wanting you guys to know what's been going on. 

Furniture and household goods deliveries are slowly starting to trickle in, and I'm really hoping that we can finally make this place a home soon. I was unable to decorate for Halloween (my favorite holiday!), but I'm hoping that I can really get the place hopping in time for Thanksgiving.