Pinspiration Monday: Stencil Crazy

So, as with all Pinterest-inspired projects, it allllllll started with a little virtual musing:




Are you seeing the trend?? (As if the title of this post didn’t give it away…) Stencils!!!

You’ve seen me gush over stencils before, and you’ve even seen me try it on a clock project of yore and a certain painting project that will never end…But never have I tried to stencil a whole wall before. Let’s just say this project has HUGE impact but is not for the impatient of heart – Something I must admit to being.

But we’ll get to those repercussions in a moment.

So, I started by purchasing a stencil from Royal Design Studio – I went with the endless circle lattice pattern because it screamed 1960’s/70’s Mid-Century Mod to me. Also a pretty cool bonus that the pattern was recently featured in an issue of Better Homes & Garden magazine (behind a FABULOUS Mid-Century credenza/dresser…I wanttttt).


As for the price, the stencil wasn’t exactly cheap – But I was able to score a $4.40 savings thanks to a 10% promo code courtesy of Young House Love. I’ll take what I can get!


A week or so later, it showed up at our door!!! And I immediately got intimidated.



Paint isn’t always the easiest thing to work with, especially for someone as impatient and hurried as I am (I almost never wait for something to completely dry before I move it – I just have this insatiable need to see things in place and finished!). But this past weekend, I was FINALLY able to muster up the courage to dive right in.

Here was my process (although I recommend slowing it down by at least a couple of days):

  1. Go outside and spray the back of the stencil with stencil adhesive (I bought mine from Michael’s on clearance for a little under $2.00 – It’s not permanent so it’s perfect for shifting a stencil around a wall)
  2. Allow it to dry for a bit so that the adhesive is sticky but not wet.
  3. Place the stencil on the wall (for the first placement I used a level to get it straight) and lightly press everything onto the wall – I also used some masking tape for added stability
  4. Roll paint onto a small roller but try to go light as too much paint means seepage under the stencil
  5. Gently roll the paint-filled roller over the stencil – Avoid pressing too hard since this could result in too much paint and, again, seepage under the stencil (talking from experience here if you can’t tell)
  6. If your paint color is thin like ours was, you may need to wait a few minutes and then roll on a second coat while the stencil is still in place
  7. Remove the stencil quickly from the wall while the paint is still wet (to avoid peeling partially-dried paint)
  8. Set the stencil down somewhere, cover your paint tray with a plastic bag and let the stencil and the wall dry for 15 or so minutes – This will allow you to overlap the stencil without picking up or spreading wet paint
  9. After things are dry, overlap the stencil on an outside section of the dried pattern on the wall and repeat!
Oh, did I forget to mention that I was doing this on the crazy yellow wall in the living room? I finally found my solution for the wall color that I never did TOTALLY love. I used a very light yellow for the stencil, which succeeded in calming down the color – Although it definitely ramped up the impact in terms of pattern. But I think that’s exactly what it needed.
In case you were wondering, I used Olympic paint in “Cornmeal” (B12-2). I was able to get away with using two sample sizes of the paint, but a quart probably would have been better.
After several hours of respraying with adhesive and moving the stencil around (and also lots and lots of uneven lines because I just COULD NOT wait long enough for the paint to dry), the wall slowly took shape:
Stencil on…
Stencil off…
Oh, and as you can tell in the photo above, I definitely had a bunch of these kinds of edges:
Nothing a little leftover dark yellow paint can’t touch up and fix though 🙂 Yes it will end up taking me about 5 times as long to do all that detail touch up work, but I can enjoy my “finished” stencil wall after only two days of labor rather than a partially finished one over the entire week (which is probably how long it would have taken to do it the “right”  way). Even though I need to figure out how to stencil in the rest of the pattern on the very top and very bottom of the wall (I don’t want to fold or crease my expensive stencil to get right up to the ceiling/tow molding), I am already loving the impact it’s making on the room.
Besides, all of those hours spent next to the television gave me a great excuse to watch the Discovery Channel premier of (and reruns leading up to) Shark Week!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! As if I needed an excuse to indulge in my favorite time of year…
I am SUPER excited about the finished product of this project and can’t wait to style the wall. I’m contemplating a Mark Rothko-esque painting, or a mirror, or maybe no art at all! Would love your input 🙂
Thanks to Pinterest for the inspiration and kick in the pants I needed to tackle this huge project – Well worth it in the end.
Speaking of the end, we aren’t quite there yet…But I’ll be sure to update you once all is finished!!
(Photo credit for Royal Design Studio images: here)
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  • August 1, 2011 - 10:05 am

    Susan - why are you so amazing!?ReplyCancel

  • August 1, 2011 - 10:06 am

    Ainhoa - I LOVE it!!! It looks beautiful. I liked the yellow wall, but it’s much better this way. Wow!ReplyCancel

    • August 1, 2011 - 10:11 am

      Carrie - Glad you like it!! I agree that it’s much better now – I’m now obsessed with stenciling haha…ReplyCancel

  • August 1, 2011 - 11:17 am

    Kim Held - LOVE IT! It makes that wall come alive- great job 🙂ReplyCancel

  • August 1, 2011 - 2:53 pm

    margaret - It looks great! but in my opinion, I would follow the stencil into the wall. I fell it looks like you just stopped and it wasnt planned out. if you were to leave it like this then you should have the same amount of space on the top and bottom. but it looks awesome great job!ReplyCancel

    • August 1, 2011 - 3:50 pm

      Carrie - Oh, it’s definitely not done yet – I plan on bringing the stencil all the way up to the ceiling and down to the toe molding. I just haven’t gotten to it yet =)ReplyCancel

  • August 1, 2011 - 4:30 pm

    Tori - i love the stenciling!!! definitely tones down the wall and is really interesting! great job carrie! i can’t wait to try this when i get a more permanent home!ReplyCancel

    • August 1, 2011 - 4:36 pm

      Carrie - Thank you thank you! Glad you like it =)ReplyCancel

  • August 2, 2011 - 2:24 pm

    Sydney - Looks great! I wouldn’t put anything on the wall- the stenciling is all it needed!ReplyCancel

    • August 2, 2011 - 2:35 pm

      Carrie - Thanks! And I am definitely contemplating that route…ReplyCancel

  • September 23, 2011 - 2:05 pm

    RetroRuth - Awesome, so glad to see this post, because I just went on a Pinterest-inspired hunt of my own for this exact style! Looks lovely, and def. convinced me to try it on our bedroom wall. Thanks!ReplyCancel

    • September 23, 2011 - 2:08 pm

      Carrie - Glad it was what you were looking for!!!ReplyCancel

  • November 4, 2011 - 9:12 pm

    Peetu @ 1825Steps - The stenciled wall is very pretty. Thanks for the detailed instructions! Now I just need to find the confidence to do this 🙂ReplyCancel

    • November 5, 2011 - 8:03 am

      Carrie - Glad you like it! It’s definitely worth the work…It’s the most-complimented part of our house =)ReplyCancel

  • December 26, 2011 - 2:56 pm

    callie - During a suuuuper slow day at work today and basically just cycling through my old facebook pictures, I came upon your page and thus your blog. Oh Carrie, AH-MAZ-ING! I am so happy for you: the house, the man, the DIY creative genious. Congrats! 😀ReplyCancel

    • December 27, 2011 - 7:33 am

      Carrie - Well thank you very much!!! Glad you found it and that you liked what you saw =) It’s a good little life!ReplyCancel

  • June 13, 2012 - 11:26 am

    qzcreativeit - Nah, don’t like it… I love it 😛 well doneReplyCancel

  • July 29, 2012 - 4:40 pm

    Virginia - I personally LOVE the yellow borders at the top and bottom. It seems much more “period” to me that way. It reminds me of canisters, appliances, serving dishes, etc. from my childhood.ReplyCancel

  • August 18, 2013 - 2:23 pm

    Beth miller - I like the yellow ‘border’ at the top & bottom too. Looks amazing!ReplyCancel

    • August 18, 2013 - 2:24 pm - Glad you like it!ReplyCancel

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