From Zig-Zags to Hearts: How to Easily Stencil an Accent Wall
Today we have a guest blogger, Ash from Just Measuring Up who along with his wife Eileen are a dynamic team of home improvement and DIY bloggers. Read on to see what he has to say about working with our Hearts Stencils.
Have you ever see a gorgeous accent wall and wished you were able to replicate it?
Well, I have some good news for you! With the right stencil and perfect paint color, it’s super easy to create a stunning accent wall in your home. No artistic ability necessary.
Eileen found a heart stencil pattern from My Wonderful Walls that she fell in love with, knowing it would be perfect in our nursery.
The current pattern on the wall (from the original homeowners) was begging for an update. There were two black zig-zags with colorful squares between them that Eileen and I wished we had painted over before moving in.
And, here’s a picture of the gorgeous after:
It’s like night and day!
How to Paint a Heart Stencil Wall
We usually just paint walls a standard color, so we were looking forward to having a little more fun with this wall.
To begin, I had to first start with a blank slate. This meant removing the current pattern. I used a high-quality white paint from Benjamin Moore and applied two coats to cover the pattern. I was hoping one coat would do the trick, but the pattern was still visible, so two coats were needed.
I did have to use my orbital sander a few times though. Some areas on the original pattern were causing visible ridges. It was a hand-painted pattern and had a lot of paint build-up on the edges of the zig-zag. I thought the white paint would cover and hide it, but I was not that happy with the result. So I just used the sander to make a few areas more smooth, and re-applied the paint.
Soon the wall was a blank white canvas, begging for some pink hearts. I read the instructions for using the Wonderful Walls template and watched their video tutorials on their website. The process was very straight forward.
Materials for the Heart Accent Wall:
- Heart stencil template from My Wonderful Walls
- Quart of thick, high-quality pink paint
- Chalk paint/stencil brush
- Paper towels
- Sheets to protect your floor from paint
- Hair dryer
Here’s a picture showing my setup:
Yes, that was a hair dryer you saw on the list. I should have told Eileen I borrowed hers for this project. She was confused on why I had borrowed it. It came in handy to speed up the drying process for the templates.
So, the template was sticky on one side and adhered very well to the wall. I started on one corner of the wall with the template attached, and started painting on hearts. I did my research ahead of time to know that some of the best results come from using chalk paint/stencil brushes. Luckily Eileen had one lying around that she used in a recent chalk paint furniture redo project.
With these types of brushes, a stippling technique would work best to apply the paint (where you gently pat the wall with the brush repeatedly until the heart was filled in with paint, much like a woodpecker motion - pat pat pat pat).
The key to forming a sharp heart pattern with the template was to use a minimal amount of paint. Too much paint would bleed under the stencil and create wavy edges on the hearts. I had a few hearts like these until I perfected my stippling technique with the right amount of paint.
To prevent too much paint on the brush, I just tapped the brush against some paper towels after each dip. Then I was start stippling the hearts. On average, I filled in around 3 hearts at a time before having to re-dip the brush.
Once all eight hearts on the template were filled in with paint, I tapped the brush on the four registration mark holes on the corners of the template. These left small pink circles on the wall that helped me with placement of the template as I made progress along the wall.
The registration marks were critical in getting a consistent distribution of hearts. The marks were only temporary though. A quick dab of the original white paint would remove them once all the hearts were applied.
After I finished each section, I used the hair dryer on a low speed / high heat setting to speed up the drying of the paint. I needed the paint dry before I could remove the template and reposition for another section.
About 10 seconds per heart with the hair dryer seemed sufficient to remove the template cleanly.
Here’s a picture of the wall after I finished my first section (the template is on the bottom):
The hearts were looking really good. It was just a matter of time now before the whole wall was hearted.
Here’s a close-up of some of the hearts:
Here I am half way through, caught with Eileen’s blow dryer:
After about two hours, here is the completed wall:
Eileen and I loved the way it turned out. We loved the quality of the heart stencil, which didn’t surprise us because we also loved the wall stickers from My Wonderful Walls, which we used in our son’s room.
The heart stencils are simply perfect for a little girl’s nursery. They would also look awesome in a craft room.
Aside from priming the wall from the previous pattern, the stencil took just an afternoon of work.
Overall, the accent wall was completed in a weekend, and Eileen and I were kicking ourselves that it took us so long to rid the nursery of the previous pattern.
Of course, here’s our dog Zeus, making himself comfortable in our updated nursery.
Who doesn’t love those hearts?! What a difference from the zig-zags!
Ash is a DIY blogger who, along with his wife Eileen, inspires others to embark on their own do-it-yourself projects through sharing their tutorials, tips, and ideas. Subscribe to their newsletter for DIY inspiration.
- Tara Woodbury