Want a beautiful, dramatic focal point for a room without the hassle of wallpaper? Learn how to stencil an accent wall with this step-by-step tutorial!
This post is sponsored by Royal Design Studio. All opinions are my own.
Have you ever received that perfect Christmas or birthday present? You know the one… something you never would have bought for yourself – or even thought you wanted – but when you take it out of the box and actually use it, you know you were destined for it?
That’s how I feel about this stenciled wall…
I’m probably sounding a bit dramatic, but I’m serious. I was completely stumped as to the direction I wanted to go in my daughter’s room. I loved her light filled nursery at our last house, and while her room at our new house is perfectly good (and has a gorgeous view!) it is enough smaller and darker than her last one that it was hard to compete. Plus, since she just turned 20 months, I know we’ll be bringing in a twin bed soon and rearranging the space anyway. So the room sat. And sat.
Then Royal Design Studio asked if I was interested in trying one of their wall stencils, and I thought why not?
So this happened. And I’m smitten.
It’s beautiful now with her farmhouse dresser/changing table and my Homegoods chair, and it will be the perfect backdrop for a trundle daybed when we convert her room. And she just loves it.
It was not quick, but it was totally worth it. I probably spent almost 5 working hours (including set up and clean up)… but I was definitely not single minded in my task. The lovely little princess and her brothers were very interested in my progress. 😉
How to Stencil an Accent Wall:
Here are the materials needed:
- Esperanza Lace Tile Stencil
- Paint* (I painted the walls the weekend before in Cameo White by Behr, then I mixed a custom combo of Paris Gray and French Linen Chalk Paint® – approximately a 1:2 ratio – for the stencil)
- Super Large 3″ Stencil/Wax Brush
- Smaller brush for edges
- Paper towels
- Painter’s tape
*You can use any kind of wall paint, but the recommended process might be a bit different if you are not using Chalk Paint since it is thicker and dries more quickly than latex. Be sure to check out Royal Design Studio’s tutorials for details if you choose a different kind of paint.
The Process (and you’ll have to forgive my little video… I couldn’t resist!):
- Tape off the edges of your wall and protect your furniture and floors.
- Using a level, draw a vertical line in chalk down the center of the wall. This will be your guide as you create your first line of pattern.
- Dab a bit of paint on the end of your stencil brush and off load the majority of it onto a paper towel. The paper towel should be covered in paint by the time you are done.
- Line up your stencil, secure with painter’s tape, and work the paint into the stencil with a circular motion. Be sure to lift up a corner of the stencil to check that your paint is not bleeding under the stencil. If it is, off load more paint onto the paper towel.
- Remove your stencil, line up according to the instructions for your particular stencil (each has an overlay section that differs by pattern) and work your way down the wall.
- Continue for all the columns that fit a full stencil pattern.
- For the edges (where you have to use a partial stencil), simply secure the stencil only on the side of the painted wall, leaving the other edges free. Use your non painting hand to push the flexible stencil into the corner and use your smaller brush to paint the edges.
Tips and FAQs:
- No, it’s not perfect. It’s not supposed to be perfect. The closer you get, the more imperfections you see, but it’s still awesome.
- It only took one coat of the Chalk Paint®, but it was not 100% covered. I liked the transparency, though, as it gave it a softer look. If you were trying to cover in more contrasting colors, though, you might need to do 2 coats on each stencil before you move it. Good thing Chalk Paint® dries quickly. 😉
- Speaking of drying quickly, I did not wait for each tile to dry before I did the next one. I was unsure if this would be a problem before I started, but as long as you don’t tape the wet paint (be sure your painter’s tape is only on dry parts!), you can move right along without waiting for the paint to dry.
- Change your painter’s tape often – I think I changed mine about every row. It is very important that your stencil not shift while you are painting, and the tape gets worn as you put it on and off frequently. Don’t risk it!
- Be sure to wipe your stencil clean every so often so you don’t get smears as you are placing it on the wall. I found that simply laying it flat on the drop cloth and rubbing back and forth a few times worked well.
- Check your horizontal level every so often to make sure you are still on track. For the record, mine got off a few times… I am a perfectionist. I know it got off because I saw so with my level. And I still can’t even tell when I back up in the room. So check from time to time but don’t panic if you have to fudge a little.
- Feel free to wash your stencil in warm soapy water if it is getting too thick with paint, but be careful to dry it completely before you return to your wall. I washed it once in the course of this 10’x10’ish wall, and I don’t think I got it completely dry because the first one I did when I came back to the wall was a little runny. Oops. But again, no one knows but me. The entire process really is very forgiving.
I promise a fuller tour of her little room soon, but in the meantime, feel free to ask questions about the stencil process. Like I said, it was not quick, but it was not hard either. And I think the result is stunning.
You should have seen her little face when I asked her if she wanted to show Daddy her new wall… She raced down the hall – beaming – and stopped dead in her tracks about three feet from the wall. Pointing her pudgy little toddler finger and smiling the most self satisfied grin. You’d think she’d done the work herself. 😉
But that’s ok. I’m willing to share the credit. What do you think? Any questions about the process? Don’t hesitate to ask. And be sure to check out Royal Design Studio’s tutorials and resources, too.
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Royal Design Studios. All text, opinions, and love of this sweet nursery are 100% my own. You can read my full disclosure policy here.
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