DIY Stenciling


It has been a rough few weeks…well really all of 2012 in our world. In order to cope with it all I have thrown myself in project after project. Just now it occurred to me to actually DOCUMENT a project and share my wisdom with the masses.

I have mentioned in the past that we live in an old house (1957 to be exact) and have had to make a LOT of updates. While this can be very fun it can also be VERY overwhelming.  To add to that, we moved from a tiny two bedroom condo into a massive rambler and really didn’t purchase much (or really anything) for new furniture so we have been trying to make what we had in our condo work in a much larger space.

Let’s just say this has resulted in no particular look just a bunch of stuff thrown together. While we don’t have immediate plans to buy new furniture, I do feel like we are making GREAT progress with other details that will really update the overall “look” of our house. We are aiming for a rustic yet chic look that can stand up to HIGH traffic and destructive children.

A padded room might be best but since that is not an option I am making due.

Last week I decided to spruce up the dining area to inspire myself to get rolling on our kitchen cabinets.

Exhibit A

I have gotten as far as spraying the hardware and removing the cabinet doors.

Clearly they are very sad and badly need a makeover.

 I ordered this fabulous stencil from a really great Etsy shop OMG Stencils.

I have read up a little on stenciling and am very OCD about detail so I figured how hard can this be?!

Well 8 hours later I completed my wall. I am definitely THRILLED with the look but it was a lot more work than I thought.

Partly because I have to work around a door and the ceiling.

So let me give you the details on my little project that turned into a BIG project with even BIGGER results.

Maybe you will be quicker than I was but I moved as fast as I could pour wine….maybe that was my issue??

 Supplies needed:

1 Stencil

Spray Adhesive (I used Elmer’s and you can purchase it at Amazon)

Painters Tape

 Foam Roller

Paint (I went with a latex paint Valspar Semi-Gloss in Argent purchased at my local hardware store)

Press and Seal

Painting tray or in my case a baking sheet

Plastic or a drop cloth

Not pictured here are the baby wipes and paper towel. These were key in quick clean up between applications.

Almost forgot – PATIENCE!!!!

Start by covering a surface where you can set the stencil down in between applications. I used my table covered with some plastic.  Spray a light coat of spray adhesive onto the back of the stencil before putting it on the wall. This will give it a little tack. Not enough that the stencil will complete stick but enough to help it lay flat. I found that after the first couple of applications on the wall the tack sort of went away and I had to hold the stencil down a bit as I applied the paint. Not the end of the world but I had more hope for the spray adhesive. I think you could actually go without unless you happen to have some lying around from another project.

 I found it very stressful to actually attach the stencil initially as I was worried about starting off crooked. So I really took my time getting it just right before getting started. After my first row I did get a little off because working around the door was a challenge. To correct the issue I got back on track and hand painted in to stretch a couple of the shapes. It worked fine and overall you can’t tell at all. That is the beauty! As you work you will need to overlap the stencil with the area you have painted so it is important to make sure that previous area is mostly dry.

Tip: when working at the ceiling remember that you won’t be able to get your image flush so you either have to decide to start it lower with a space up top or you can hand paint to connect the image to the ceiling. That is what I chose since I wanted it to make the room look taller.

Also, don’t load your brush with too much paint. All that will do is cause more to seep underneath the stencil and it will make your image fuzzy and make for more cleanup.

First stencil in progress.

This is what it looked like after I applied paint over the entire stencil.

First one done!

After each application I would flip the stencil upside down on the table and wipe the side that makes contact with the wall to avoid any mistakes in paint getting on areas that were supposed to remain the background color. This is where my baby wipes came into play. They are just so darn handy!

 Full row almost complete.



My hubby hasn’t seen this yet but I know I am excited and hope he feels the same way.

Either way this is STAYING!

It makes me smile just looking at it.

Do you have a project you have loved or maybe one you hated? Please share!

Happy decorating !!!




  1. Wow, Amanda it looks amazing!! Love your blog too! :)

    • Thanks for visiting Hillary! I highly recommend stenciling at least one space in your house. It literally makes me happy to look at it. Totally gives the room character.

  2. That came out awesome! Great job mama!

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