My Wonderful Walls Blog — Decor Ideas

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5 Easy Steps to Stenciling with a Brush and Paint 0

 

Stenciling can be intimidating but once you get the hang of it, it really is one of the easiest ways to make a basic print on your walls, windows, furniture or fabrics. Here are the 5 basic steps to stenciling with a brush and a paint.

1. Use clean, dry stencil brushes, one for every color. You can find stencil brushes in a few different sizes with different types of bristles. Stiff bristles are required for stippling and softer ones for rubbing or swirling.

2. Use a piece of heavy paper or cardboard or scraps of your fabric for a practice surface before starting your project. Apply your My Wonderful Walls Stencil with our self-adhesive backing or use spray adhesive or tape for other stencils, depending on your surface type.

3. Place a dollop of paint onto a plate or palette tray. Pick up a very small amount of paint on the brush. On an empty portion of your plate or tray, work the paint thoroughly and evenly into the brush bristles by rubbing in firm circles

4. Now remove all excess paint by working the brush in circles on a stack of paper towels. Knowing when you have just the right amount of paint on your brush may take some trial and error.

5. Now you’re ready to stencil! You can use a stippling or pouncing technique in which you hold the brush straight up and down and pounce it over the cutouts in the stencil using short, firm taps. Or you can use a swirling technique and holding the brush straight up, rub it in small circles over the cutouts, pressing lightly at first in case you have too much paint on your brush. Gradually, press firmer. Work around the edges first before moving to the center, repeating the application of paint to the edge to build up the color slowly. Once you are feeling happy with the print, remove the stencil and let the paint dry. Move on to your next area or project!

HINT: Some stencilers find it helpful to keep a damp cloth or paper towel in a small jar for each brush so that when they are not using that particular brush, they can keep it from getting dried out but not get it soaked. You do not want to have a wet brush.

Now that you have the 5 steps to stenciling with a brush and paint, you are ready to start your next project. Be sure to check out our blog post on How to Stencil Using a Roller with Liquid Paint. Some projects may require you to use both techniques.

How to Create a Wall Border with Stencils 0

 

Border designs are an easy way to decorate the top of a wall or along an architectural feature like chair rail. You can also stencil borders on furniture, windows, and things like wrapping paper. Many My Wonderful Walls stencils make a great border! The hardest challenge with creating a border is keeping it on a straight line as you repeat your stenciled pattern. Using a guideline and registration marks will help you accomplish your goal and make a beautiful bordered design look like it was professionally created.

Begin by measuring from the edge of the ceiling, floor, or whatever architectural feature is closest to the placement of your wall border. You can use a carpenter’s level to help you in case of sloped walls, floors or ceilings. Mark your guideline with a chalk line on painters’ tape, then you don’t have to worry about removing the marks later.  Measure the position you want in a couple of places and with the help of a second person if necessary, apply a length of painters’ tape in roughly the right position.

Now you’ll want to re-measure each end of your stencil and put your chalk line along the tape. To position the stencil, align the registration holes or stencil edge with the guideline you have chalked out on the tape and mark those holes right on the tape. Make sure to use the lowest tack painters’ tape available and when working with a freshly painted surface, give it time to completely cure before putting tape of any kind on it.

Most stencils will have a printed or cut out outline of the trailing cutouts for the adjacent repeat. Simply overlap and line up these outlines onto the corresponding parts that have just been painted. When the top edge of the stencil is lined up along the guideline and the registration outlines are lined up over the appropriate stenciled parts, then the stencil is in the right place for the next repeat. If registration outlines are cut out, not printed, be careful to not paint them a second time.

Another challenge with painting a border in an entire room is in most cases the length of the wall is probably not going to be an even multiple of the stencil length. There are a few ways you can address this. To make a continuous border, you can try folding the stencil into corners. Alternatively, you can truncate the design on both sides of the corner. You may also be able to use a corner piece (which may come with the border stencil you purchase or you could separately purchase a coordinating design) to mark the end of the border segment. There is no wrong answer, it is just what you feel most comfortable with and find most visually appealing.

Paint over your stencil with a roller brush as usual, making sure to use the steps in our How to Stencil Using a Roller with Liquid Paint article. Carefully remove the stencil and reapply to the next portion of your wall using your registration guidelines to line it up correctly and continue. Once you are done, remove your painters’ tape as soon as possible pulling it straight back on itself. Let your border design fully dry, using a hair dryer if necessary to speed up the process.

You will now have a gorgeous wall border to show off to friends and family. You can also easily translate these steps to painting a border on other items as well. If you’ve ever used our wall stencils to create a border, we’d love to hear from you in the comments!

From Zig-Zags to Hearts: How to Easily Stencil an Accent Wall 0

heart stencils

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.

 

Zig Zag Stencils

 

And, here’s a picture of the gorgeous after:

Nursery Mural

 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:

DIY Mural Painting

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.

 

How to Use a Stippling TechniqueWith 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. 

Stenciling a Wall

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):

Heart Stencil Pattern

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:

Pink Heart Mural

 

Here I am half way through, caught with Eileen’s blow dryer:

DIY Nursery Mural

After about two hours, here is the completed wall:

Nursery Decor

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.

Finished Nursery Mural

Of course, here’s our dog Zeus, making himself comfortable in our updated nursery.

Funny Dog Picture

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.