This is what her plain and boring grey wall looked like before I started the process of turning it into the herringbone stenciled wall:
At first, I planned to do the wall in colors pulled from her quilt that I was making. I custom mixed 6 tones of paint to match the fabrics, and read the instructions that accompanied the stencil. (By the way, Royal Design Studio sends super awesome and very detailed instructions along with all of their patterns.)
However, after I did one stencil of the multi-colored, I decided it wasn’t for me. It was just too much. So, I got a baby wipe, and while it was still wet, washed all of that paint off. Then, I went to my closet full of paint cans and grabbed a can of cream colored paint and started over.
Now this is where I will get into the “How NOT to Stencil” portion of this post. I will be completely honest with you and tell you that I am not a patient crafter. Unlike my good friend Barbara over at Chase the Star who must have all the patience in the world to makeover that gorgeous furniture that she does, I want things done quick, quick, quick. I don’t like waiting. I want it to be a constant, go go go flow.
I will give a disclaimer that this is not the conventional, or even best, method of using a stencil, but if you are super impatient like me and you have a very straight edged stencil like mine, it works. Here’s what I did:
Now I know what you’re thinking… if you’re just going to use tape, why bother with the stencil at all? And here is my response: If I didn’t use the stencil first, I would still be up there, leveling, measuring, and taping perfect herringbone shapes and it would have taken forever! The stencil gave me the outline and it was super easy to tape along the edges. (My favorite part of using the stencil was how easy it was to line up – there are dotted lines that you simply place over the portion you already did. So simple!) With my tape, I did a quick thin layer around the edges and let it dry, just to seal the tape so that it didn’t bleed underneath. Then, I put on a slightly (ok, maybe more than slightly) thicker layer of paint. I got away with only 2-3 coats, instead of the 5-6 it was taking me with the stencil.
After I was done taping, I went back in a small foam brush and used the tip to touch up and small dribbles that may have happened as I was going along. You can just place the brush over the spot you need to touch up and you dont even need to brush it. The edge will keep it crisp.
Stella loved her new wall. She was so excited and said “Thank you for my pretty wall, Mommy!”
I only did it 3/4 of the way up the wall, because I wanted to add a high chair rail. However, when I went to look at chair rails, I didn’t like the detail of them. I wanted something very simple, since the herringbone was quite graphic. I instead decided to grab two end corner pieces from the crown moulding section, and used a long piece of 1×4 MDF.
I bradnailed them in and then caulked the little holes and painted it the same color as the herringbone pattern. Now I just have to decide what to put above it. I have a few options, maybe you can help me decide. It was hard to find pictures of my ideas, but I tried! Here are the four ideas I’m mulling around in my head: