Stenciling is creative, less costly way to transform walls

Tess Bennett wanted to create an accent wall with wallpaper but wasn’t finding anything she loved within her price range. So she wall stenciled this pattern.

Nothing makes you realize how crooked your house is quite like trying to form a straight line across the wall.  

I realized that last weekend as I got a wild spurt of energy to tackle painting the baby’s nursery. 

While I had wanted to create an accent wall with wallpaper, I wasn’t finding anything I loved within my price range. Instead, I stumbled across something I’d never tried: wall stenciling. 

The last time I had hung wallpaper, I discovered it was easier than I’d imagined. Wall stenciling, then, must be similar in that way, I thought — after all, it essentially consisted of painting the wall, which I feel like I’ve nearly mastered at this point. 

How wrong I was. 

Theresa "Tess" Bennett

It started off smoothly: I purchased a stencil from Etsy for around $35, which was bigger than I expected and arrived quickly. I was able to find the rest of the materials at local stores, including a 6-inch foam roller, some foam stencil brushes, repositionable spray adhesive and paint. 

Things quickly soured from there. 

A tutorial I had watched recommended making sure the stencil is straight using a level rather than lining it up with the ceiling or corner of the wall. This makes aligning the pattern much easier.  

The case for using a level to straighten each panel: You can see that the top of the pattern aligns with the previously painted portion, but the pattern to the right is not aligning (as shown by the white gaps within the stencil).

Finishing the first panel made me giddy, but joy quickly turned to betrayal for panel No. 2. The top of the stencil was already butting up against the ceiling, and by the third panel, it overflowed onto the ceiling and made getting a clean edge at the top nearly impossible. I swore off painter’s tape long ago, so I muddied the ceiling with brown paint as I attempted to get a clean edge. The whole thing was a frustrating mess.

pevita pearce

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