My Wonderful Walls Blog — Painting

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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 Stencil Using a Roller with Liquid Paint 0

painting with a rollerThere are many techniques you can use to paint with your new stencils but one of the easiest is to use a roller brush and either latex house paint or acrylic craft paint. If you have bought a stencil kit from My Wonderful Walls, we do sell acrylic paint kits with all the colors you need to paint your wall mural as shown. But you can also purchase these paints at most craft or big box stores. Here is a step by step guide to stenciling with a roller brush. 

Materials Needed: 

  1. High Density Foam Roller Brushes (you may need many sizes depending on what stencils you are using)
  2. Acrylic Craft Paint or Latex House Paint (For indoor projects)
  3. Flat Palette Tray, Old Cookie Sheet or Paper Plates
  4. Palette Knife or Spatula
  5.  Brush for Shading/Details
  6. Stencils

How to Stencil with a Roller Brush: 

  1. Start with a clean, dry surface. My Wonderful Walls stencils are self-adhesive so you can just stick them to your walls, furniture or wherever you are stenciling.
  2. Pour a few spoonfuls of paint onto your flat palette tray or paper plate.
  3. Using a palette knife or spatula, draw a long wide streak of paint from the spoonfuls. You’ll want it to be shallow.
  4. Roll your roller brush in the steak until the entire roller is covered with paint. Work it back and forth so your paint will be distributed evenly.
  5. Draw the roller back and forth over the stencil openings, pressing lightly at first. You can press more firmly as some of the paint is used up. Try to keep the brush as flat as possible.
  6. Build up the color slowly with more passes of the brush. If you are worried about making it too dark, lift up the corner of the stencil to check. When you are satisfied, you can gently lift the stencil away and let your paint dry. HINT: You can use a hair dryer to speed this process up.
  7. If you want to blend a second color into an interior portion of the stencil use the tip of the roller only being careful not to tear the foam. You can also add shading with a brush.
  8. HINT: When not using the roller, keep it in a ziploc bag to prevent drying out. This is especially true when using latex paint. If you still need to moisten the foam, you can roll it over a damp kitchen sponge or spritz it with a little water. Don’t let it get too wet or you will have bleeding with your paint.

This is just a basic overview of painting with a roller brush. When you purchase My Wonderful Wall stencils you will receive a lot of helpful hints and project ideas with your stencils and you can always check out our photo reviews and blog for ideas. If you have any helpful hints for using a roller brush to stencil feel free to leave them 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.

Decorating Your Home With Zinnia Flower Stencils and More 0

Zinnia Stencils Mural

What makes zinnias such a wonderful flower to add to your home decor? People love zinnias for their long-lasting, brightly colored blooms. The zinnia is said to represent feelings of friendship and affection, with different colors holding a slightly different meaning. For example, the white zinnia bloom means goodness while a magenta zinnia represents lasting affections. What a great flower to share with someone you love. But if you can’t add some real zinnias to your home, why not get the next best thing and create your own faux flower garden. Decorating your home with zinnia flower stencils is a great way to start!


Painting a flower mural might be one way to express your love of this fun and cheerful flower. You can easily add several zinnias of different sizes by purchasing a few different stencils. We offer our Zinnia Wall Stencil in 5 sizes from 4.5”x 4.5” up to 22” x 22”. Follow along with this instructional video to see how easy it is to create a wall full of zinnias in no time. To create this look you will need to purchase a medium size and large size zinnia stencil.

 
Our stencils are great for other projects as well. You can easily add some fun accents pillows by purchasing plain throw pillows in your choice of color or pillow covers and some fabric paint to paint your choice of zinnia blooms with our stencils. If you have already used the zinnia stencil on your walls, you may need to tape it to your pillow or pillow cover to paint without bleeding. Try a small foam roller brush and small bristle brush for the edges.

Stencil a Throw Pillow
 

Another item you can stencil a flower on is a lampshade. Instantly add a pop of color and fun to your bedside lamps with a zinnia. Using the same technique, you would for a pillow you can either use fabric spray paint or fabric paint and a stencil brush, depending on the type of lampshade you are using to paint your zinnia.


 
What other ways can you add some fun zinnias to your décor? How about making your own beautiful bowl or basket of zinnias? This how to from Vanessa at A Fanciful Twist shows you how you can easily turn pinecones into colorful zinnias.

 

Zinnias from Pinecones
 

This wallet friendly idea from BHG.com is perfect for gift giving or your own décor. Make a simple dollar store glass plate over with a printed zinnia flower and some decoupage medium.  You could add magnets to the back of smaller plates, picture hooks to the back of larger ones or try this same technique with a glass or wood tray.

 

Zinnia Plates DIY


Upcycle an old bottle by adding a printable zinnia seed packet label and make a pretty display of glass bottles. Angie at Knick of Time shows you how.

Flower Bottle


Or for a tasty and beautiful treat, try these Zinnia Cookies from Krista at Cookies with Character. These are probably not for baking with the kids but how wonderful would they be for a bridal or baby shower!

Flower Cookies
 

What other ways do you add beautiful flowers to your décor? Let us know in the comments below!

Flower Wall Stencils Help Mariette Create Her Happy Room 0

While you don’t have to be an artist or great with a paint brush to use our My Wonderful Walls wall stencils, sometimes having that extra talent sure shows in the murals our customers create. We recently corresponded with a customer, Mariette in and fell in love with not only the mural she created but her lovely spirit!

Mariette is a mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, author, painter, retired teacher and crafter. She wrote a book entitled, Visiting the Past, which talks about her immigration to Canada from Belgium with her parents and brother, subsequent return to Belgium and then finally their immigration to the United States of America. The family settled in the Detroit area and her book tells of the immigrant experience; both the funny and serious moments. One book reviewer stated, “The people she describes really come to life, and the anecdotes, poignant and hilarious, stick in your mind long after you put down the book. Most of all, it is an example of how one creative and resourceful woman made lemonade whenever life handed her lemons and how she moved on, never holding a grudge.”  It must be this positivity that drew us immediately to Mariette.

Book About Immigration


She credits her parents, grandmother and the nuns at school for her love of life and crafts; hand knitting, machine knitting, crochet and painting. Mariette grew a successful business and website from creating pattern books for sale. She taught machine knitting for many years at seminars across Canada and the U.S. and her husband Roger, who passed away in 1997, would travel with her and sell her patterns. Now at 80 years old, Mariette decided to take her website down and concentrate on writing hand knitting and crochet patterns. But she needed a place to do that, a happy place.  A room she had in the basement previously for storing cones of knitting yarn was the ideal spot. She had always intended to paint a mural on one wall, so it was painted sky blue.

Mariette’s original idea was to paint a mural of her grandmother’s garden in Belgium. Now since she has three great grandchildren, 2 girls and one boy, she thought it would be fun to paint a whimsical garden mural for them to enjoy. She often teaches her children and grandchildren about Belgium in her family room which is decorated with everything she brought when she came to America.  So, it made sense to use a room just off the family room to show them her love for crafts.

Garden Wall Mural


Mariette searched online for help and came across My Wonderful Walls stencils and an idea was born.  Being an experienced painter, Mariette didn’t have much trouble using our self-adhesive wall stencils to achieve her vision. She even kept one wall for the little ones with a white board where they can draw.  The room is vividly colorful and happy and indeed is called, “Nana’s Happy Room”.   Mariette has visitors from the neighborhood come to see her happy room. Her neighbor’s ten-year-old son even called it, “the coolest room I have ever seen”.  Pretty good testimonial right there.

Mariette suggests taking great care with your brushes as she always does. When she is done with each color she places her brush in a little pail of lukewarm water with a few drops of shampoo. At the end of the day, she places a dab of shampoo in the palm of her hand and “swooshes” each brush around until no color remains. Each brush is treated this way, then rinsed, wiped with a towel and left to dry overnight with the brush end up. Smart advice for anyone looking to paint a lovely wall mural.

Flower Garden Wall Stencils

Whether you want a space to paint, to write, to sew or to do yoga we agree with Mariette that everyone needs a happy room. And you don’t have to be a great painter to create something for yourself or your family like this special room. Our self-adhesive wall stencils and wall decals make it easy to get your happy on! Let us know if we can help you create the room of your dreams.

Valentine's Day DIY Gift Ideas with Heart Stencils 0

Have you been shopping for your Valentine but feel like you’re looking for love in all the wrong places? Our heart themed stencils are just the thing to let your husband, wife, girlfriend, fiancé, best friend or child know you care! Why buy a box of chocolates or a flower bouquet when you can paint your way into their heart? Our heart wall stencils are self-adhesive so they are easy to use and come in a variety of heart shaped themes so you can paint hearts on your walls, furniture, décor and crafts!

Want to show your honey you are head over heels in love? Start with our Heart Stencil Allover Pattern and create a wall of love! To create a look like this, you’ll need one wall stencil sheet, acrylic paint, foam roller, small brush for details, a paper plate and some paper towels. That’s it! You simply stick the stencil on, paint, let it dry, remove and repeat. You won’t need any glue or tape because our stencils are self-adhesive. Easy peasy! 
 

Heart Stencil Allover Pattern

 

If you’re proud to let everyone know about the love your family shares, create a personalized welcome doormat with our Love Lives Here Stencil. You can get the look shown in the video below by sticking our stencil on a simple doormat (ours was made from coconut material) and painting using spray bottles of fabric paint you can buy at your local hobby/craft store. This stencil looks equally great on walls and can be personalized with your family name. Wouldn’t this make a great gift for newlyweds or new homeowners?

 


Your kids light up your life like a rainbow on a rainy day, right? Now you can show them the depth of your love by painting a beautiful Cloud and Raining Hearts design on their walls, door, or shower curtain. You could stencil this heart design anywhere! What kiddo won’t feel extra special that their parents painted them their own heart mural and you don’t have to let them know how easy it was! 

 Raining Heart Wall Stencil Set

 

Still don’t know what you’re doing for Valentine’s Day this year? Here are five other uses for our fabulous heart stencils:

  1. Paint a decorative mailbox with our heart stencil and then fill it with love letters!
  2. Take an up-cycled wood pallet and turn it into a sign showing off your family values with our Love Lives Here Stencil.
  3. Get practical and paint a shower curtain with fabric paint and our Cloud and Raining Hearts stencil!
  4. Plan a romantic night for your honey and decorate the bedroom door with stenciled hearts to surprise him or her.
  5. Create a backyard love nest (if it’s warm where you live) and paint hearts on a table and chairs, planters or a large heart mural on the fence. Even if it’s not that warm, enjoy it with a cup of your favorite beverage and cuddle up!

Hearts are always a good idea on Valentine’s Day and really any day you want to show your admiration for a special someone. Whether you paint a wall, stencil a door, add hearts to your furniture or create a heart themed craft, you can’t go wrong. Check out all of our heart pattern stencils this February and keep the love going all year long!