March 19, 2013

Paint by Stencil: A Long Journey

As I mentioned before, I'm sleeping in the bedroom while it's being paint - crazy?  Well, the trick to sleeping in a room that's being painted (and waking up the next morning), is to use a no VOC paint.  Not that my own health isn't important, but with a small child in the house I feel especially lucky to have that option now.

I am painting for the first time using No VOC paint, and I have to say, I am so pleased!   Not only is there no smell (aka horrific toxins), but it applies as well as regular paint, and comes in any finish you might want.  I bought a gallon of the Horizon line paint in a gloss, and am very happy with how it looks on the walls - not to mention how easily it cleans off tools and hands!  I realize how that sounds, but I wasn't even paid to say that.

As you can tell I love the paint, and the fact that I can lay in bed and watch it dry without my head spinning.  But as for that pesky stencil, that's a slightly different story.  I have only stencilled one full wall thus far, and even that was a feat!  I was very optimistic in the first few hours - embracing the imperfection and really liking the result, but eight hours into the excitement, I was starting to feel that the stencil was laughing at me.

Here's a recap of what took so long:

Measure once; Stencil 1000 times.

I drew a level line for my first stencil application, which for some reason I decided to do in the middle of the main wall, though it's recommended to start in an inconspicuous corner.

With a handy little roller I applied a thin layer of paint twice, which worked well each time .

If the stencil isn't totally flat on the wall (or if there's the too much paint on it), runaway paint is inevitable.  Not sure about latex paint, but the non-toxic stuff cleaned up with a Q-tip or paper towel very easily.

I let my first block dry about 10 minutes before continuing.  After that, I alternated going right, left, up and down so that each block had a bit of time to dry before I taped onto it to do the next one.

When it came time to align the the stencil on two sides, I realized that each block wasn't exactly level... My solution was to align on one side and leave a gap on the other - see the blank patterns.

The Stencilling set came with an extra short row, so I later went back and filled in just the centres of the blanks.

Meanwhile, I was loving the sheen of the paint!  It adds a lot more dimension to the wall and creates a bit of a wallpaper illusion, but only from afar.

Thanks to the smell-less-ness of my project, my daughter was able to nap in the room while I painted, and when she woke up I was glad to finally have someone make sure that the level definitely - 10/10 times - fit into the roll of tape.  At this point I was able to finish painting the window wall, and retire for the day.

I decided to paint the window wall solid because:

  • I didn't want the entire room to be busy.  This is the unaccent wall, if you will.
  • I wanted the view out the window to be framed by a light canvas, so that the treetops would stand out.
  • The white wall will really make my roman blind pop - which is #2 on the agenda.

And here is the glorious "After" of my first ever stencilling adventure!

You can see that the design doesn't go flush with the the ends of the wall; the clean border around the perimeter is neat and even, which is the best I could hope for for my first time.

I think the stencil looks superb; it's the blend I need of David Hicks' midcentury design, and Russian historic embellishments.  I can't wait to see the whole room finished, however, I am dreading the thought of the process a little...

1 comment:

Linda {Calling it Home} said...

Wow, that is an impressive wall treatment. How cute is your son!

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