Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Stenciling for Newbies...

Five years ago I did a little stencil project for a client [and I mean little... like a tiny boarder on one wall]. Now, I consider myself a fairly handy gal- but upon completion of that project I collapsed to my knees, threw my hands into the air and proclaimed, "With God as my witness... I shall never stencil again!" [ok, I didn't actually do or say that, but I was super frustrated and didn't stencil anything else again.]

Soooo... imagine how I felt when Regina with Royal Design Studio contacted me asking if I'd be interested in doing a stencil review [ummm... me?!]. I was hesitant to say the least. That is, until I saw the website and all of its gorgeous designs. Seriously folks- beautiful stuff [I had to get-me one of those stencils]! And choosing just one was like being forced to choose a favorite child [ok, that's totally exaggerating- but it was really hard]. So, after many days of angst I finally selected the Chez Sheik pattern... then I was left to anxiously await its arrival [while wondering what I'd gotten myself into!].
Now, I can't really say this is a DIY post, because me telling you how to stencil is like Kim K. giving marriage tips [I know, I know...low-blow, sorry Kim!]. However, I do really [really] love how my project turned out, so I'll just share what I learned along the way.

First of all, I used Mandi's post from Vintage Revivals entitled Wall Stenciling 101 to get started. It's a great tutorial. Then, I read the instructions that came with the stencil [Who really reads the instructions?! I'll tell you who... me. Because I was afraid and wanted as much information as possible!]. I liked their tips and instructions because they were written informally like a blog's tutorial rather than a bunch of technical mumbo-jumbo. Finally, armed with all of my newly found book-smarts, I attempted to stencil for the first time in five years.
And... it really wasn't bad! Much to my surprise it went so very smoothly [I never cried or even threw a fit once, lol!]. This stencil had all kinds of marks that enabled me to line it up properly and easily which makes all the difference in the world!

So, here are my little newbie stenciling tips:
1. Start small. I didn't tackle an entire room or huge wall... I chose to do a small project for my first try and I'm glad because now I feel that doing an entire wall would be no problem!
2. Don't use too much paint: be sure to unload your roller as much as possible... just like in decorating, less is more.
3. Mandi's post mentioned that she preferred Purdy's White Dove Roller to a foam roller. I purchased and used both, and have to say that I actually liked the foam better... so to each her own!
4.  Don't let paint build-up on the edges of your stencil design. If you see them getting gunky [yes, that's an official stencil term used by professional stencilors only!] stop what you're doing and clean them off. If you don't, you'll regret it.
5. Thin your paint just a little bit with tintable glaze. It made clean-up sooo much easier.
6. Speaking of which... clean your stencil asap. Don't put it in the bathtub submerged in water then get distracted and forget about it until the next day. 'Cuz the water might drain out of the tub leaving you with dried-up blue paint in your bathtub. Then you would have to scrape the dried paint off your stencil and out of tub. I'm not saying it happened to me. Just that it could happen to someone.[Me].
7. Be patient. I'm not good a this one, but it really is important.
8. If you get a little frustrated by the imperfections [and there will be imperfections], just stand back and look at your work from across the room. It will be so. very. beautiful. And that will give you the motivation you need to keep going!
9. When doing touch-ups [and you will be doing touch-ups], it was much easier for me to touch-up the wall color part [for me that was the white part]. Not sure why, I'm just sayn' it was.
Are you having stencil envy right now?! Don't worry, I'm doing a Royal Design Studio Giveaway!! Enter today and you could win one for yourself :)
*Note, Royal Design Studio sponsored this review... but the opinions expressed were 100% mine!

26 comments:

  1. LOVE it!! I love the stencil on the wall and the dresser!! And I love the colors you used!! Oh, and the tub thing? That's hilarious! Totally something I would have done!

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  2. WOW love them both! I will definitely refer back to this post if I even decide to pick up a stencil again!! Thank you!! :)

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  3. Wow! I love it! Just came over from Crafty Scrappy Happy :)

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  4. My jaw just dropped! Love this.
    I'm your newest follower Connie.
    Gen from
    www.cabinfeveredgem@blogspot.com

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  5. I found you through 36th Avenue. I love the stenciling! It's so classy, simple and has a lot of bang for the buck. Great job!

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  6. LOVE THIS!!!!

    Jamie
    http://diyhshp.blogspot.com/

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  7. LOVE this!! I'm featuring you tomorrow as one of my favorite projects of the week :)

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  8. Thanks so much! I have a very small stencil project on the back burner, and I'm super nervous about it. How do you get the thicker paint on the edges to not be there?

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  9. You'd think it would be too busy but I actually am really drawn to it in a very good way! Thanks for sharing...

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  10. It looks gorgeous. I recently received one of their stencils. I can't wait to try it.
    Ruth

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  11. Great tips. They both turned out gorgeous. Thanks for sharing the tips. I would love it if you could link this up to our linky party going on right now.

    http://junkintheirtrunk.blogspot.com/2011/11/link-it-up-wednesday-3.html

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  12. Following from the Trendy Treehouse, I love these designs! I have never tried stenciling, it's on my list though!

    Alicia
    http://blog.polkadotelephant.com

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  13. Beautiful job! I'm going to be doing some wall stenciling in the future...hopefully I'll be able to do as fabulous as you did!
    I'd love for you to link up to my Fresh Friday Link Party!
    http://www.releasemecreations.com/2011/11/fresh-fridays-link-party-4.html

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  14. Beautiful piece! Love the color combo and the impact they have together. Well done!

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  15. Gorgeous! You did an amazing job - on both projects!

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  16. Beyond beautiful! I love lattice/trellis look. That red dresser would look great in my front room. Thanks for sharing.

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  17. I love the look of doing a portion of the wall..it is like unframed artwork. Thank you for the tutorial..I am undertaking my dining room after Christmas.

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  18. This turned out great! I'm dying to try a stencil from Royal Design.

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  19. Gorgeous!! Would LOVE it if you would link this up at my turquoise lovin' party!! (and red for the holiday season) http://www.sweetlittlegals.com/2011/11/turquoise-lovin-14.html

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  20. great job-I love the bright colors and bold graphics!

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  21. Fabulous job, love the stencils and the colors! I'm a new follower, I would love a visit when you have a chance.

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  22. Oh wow! That looks amazing!! You did a wonderful job! New follower here. Would love it if you would stop by and share this at my linky party going on right now :) http://everything-underthemoon.blogspot.com/2011/11/bedazzle-me-monday-10.html

    Have a great week!!

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  23. I featured this on my blog tonight! Thanks so much for linking up to Your Whims Wednesday. Stop by and grab a button :) http://www.mygirlishwhims.blogspot.com/2011/11/your-whims-wednesday-35-and-features.html

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