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Finishing the painting, Master part 7

December 2, 2010
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We took a little time for ourselves over Thanksgiving, sharing a wonderful weekend with Bill’s family, including his parents, brother with his wife and children and Uncle Ron from Manhattan.  As is tradition, we cooked a lot and ate a lot, rested some and just enjoyed the good company.  It was a much needed break.

Now that the holiday is over and we’re looming into Christmas, we are back in full mode over the next several weekends to complete the Master Bedroom.  Whew, it’s been a long time coming.  I believe we are in day 35 of working on the room.

I chose the color "Aspen Grey" for the walls

The nook has been primed and painted, the closet has been painted and I’m in process of painting woodwork with the final coat.  Bill will put new shelves in the closet and make it more usable, as it will be his closet for work clothes.  I’m looking forward to inheriting his home-built armoire for my own closet, which you’ll be able to see once we move in all the furniture.

And on to stenciling.  A huge thanks to my mom, Clare,  who managed to find my stencil in her area in South Carolina!  I’m so grateful to her and so excited that the room will have the decor I was hoping for.

In tribute to Donna Jean who asked me to outline my stencil process, I’ve posted some photos and I’ll walk you through it.

My stencil -- in blue acetate.

First, it is vital to have a good quality stencil, and preferably more than one for any project.  The stencil should be well made, and I personally prefer working on a heavy acetate stencil.  Just in case something happens to it, like tearing or paint build up, you’ll want to have more than one.  For this project, I have four.  It is an incredibly delicate pattern, and I didn’t want to run out of it.

Second, a stencil brush is the best way to go.  Stencil companies try to reel in people by showing how easily they can roll a stencil, but a brush will give a quality finish without seepage underneath.  Stencil brushes are stout, round, short bristle brushes.  I have three on hand in different sizes, but will likely use a 1″ for this project.

Here is my test, the stencil paint is too wet for my liking. I'll redo.

Third, the paint should be thick, not watery.  Plain latex housepaint is sometimes okay, but I like the heavy body acrylics as they give me the driest brush.  It is important to keep the brush dry during the process.  If it is wet or soaked with paint, the paint will seep under the pattern on the stencil and ruin the design.

You can use a removable adhesive spray to position and reposition the stencil on the wall so you don’t have to hold it, but I just tend to hold it in place and work from there.  (You can also use tidbits of blue painters tape to hold the edges)

Since this stencil has a definitive pattern that is whole, I will start a few inches away from the left corner and work both to the right and down across the wall.  There are small triangles in the stencil called registration marks; they are meant to help me align the stencil pattern as I go.  You can see one of them in the bottom right of the photo above.  I will also use a bubble level to make sure the stencil is straight on the wall; I can’t count on the ceiling or floor to be even.

Putting up the stencil for the first time, I get some paint on my brush and make sure that all the bristles are evenly covered by moving the brush in a circular motion on a flat surface, like the edge of my stencil.  Then, I press the brush lightly and use a circular motion to work the paint into the stencil.  If the brush is dry enough, it will leave just the pattern, and not seep underneath.

I plan on doing just one wall to start the room.  It is weeks of work to do a whole room, as you might remember from the dining room, and this is a more delicate stencil.  If I really like it and I have the energy, I might do the other three walls.

After the painting is complete, Bill will ready the floor by sanding!!  Hopefully, this Friday we will start that process!

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. December 2, 2010 1:38 pm

    wow wow wow! you are truly amazing!

    • December 3, 2010 10:01 am

      You are amazing! 🙂 You’ll love this room when you come visit. 😉

  2. donna jean permalink
    December 2, 2010 9:05 pm

    thanks for the walk through- i used to stencil fabrics when i was younger and in girl scouts 🙂 i guess it is very similiar 🙂
    i like the idea of the spray adhesive- do you just wipe it off as you go along or at the end? or is holding it in place the best way?

    i have to paint the bottom part of our hallway- which is rather small- there is a chair rail in the hallway- so i was hoping to incorporate a stencil some how….
    where are the best selections??? tony will think i am crazy- but when does he not???

    and i am so glad that you guys enjoyed thanksgiving- i miss not spending it with you guys lately :-((

    donna jean

    • December 3, 2010 10:00 am

      Hi D~
      The spray adhesive is usually found near stencils; you don’t wipe it off. It wears down after a few uses. Just spray it on and it holds the stencil in place for you. I don’t want to use it for a few reasons. First, I dont’ want it to alter the surface underneath in anyway, I don’t know if there is long term tackiness that will collect dust. Second, it just seems like a money suck. Holding the stencil is easy enough anyway and a touch of blue tape is a charm. AC Moore has some great stock, but I’ve noticed they have fewer wall designs and more crafty type designs. Stencilease is the brand that I’ve used for this room, and they have a great website. Come up for Thanksgiving anytime! We have the room. 🙂

  3. Aunt Donna permalink
    December 4, 2010 7:31 pm

    I love the light gray color of the walls and can’t wait to see the stenciling on it!

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