So I had this wacky idea for the last couple of months. I wanted to do a stencil on my living room wall to liven up the space. I originally had envisioned this totally modern vinyl stencil that would be a deconstructed take on a dandelion. So I scoured the web and found the perfect peel-n-stick piece of artwork for the wall.
Photo Credit: www.Chiasso.com
I ordered the stencil and waited for it to be delivered.
While I was waiting, I decided to paint the wall knowing that the paint would need to cute for up to 7 days prior to application of the stencil. I went to Home Depot and decided upon the perfect shade of grey. I know many people think grey is not really a color that screams warmth, but you would be surprised. Grey is one of the few neutrals that I feel can read as both warm and cool depending on whether it has a brown or blue base to it. I chose a grey with a brown base to coordinate with the warm wood tones already in the room from the furniture, rug and hardwood floor.
I was in love how the paint job turned out ….well more like how well my edge work turned out cause nothing annoys me more than a messy paint job. Crisp lines and no bleed are the name of the game. I know everyone is crazy over Frog Tape but since our Home Depot doesn’t carry it, I went with what I had. I went with a tip I have read on several blogs and used clear nail polish. I used a bottle of $0.99 nail polish and painted the edges of the blue tape. I let it dry for 5 minutes and then started to paint and it turned out close to perfect with about two minor touch ups.
With the wall painted, I waited for the stencil. I assumed that the stencil would arrive in the 7 day window which the wall was drying. So I waited for the stencil to arrive. And waited. And waited. I actually waited for 3 months for the stencil to arrive. It never showed up. After repeat phone calls and emails with Chiasso, they admitted the stencil order was misplaced and it would arrive shortly. Enter month #4……
See I am not a patient person. I like instant gratification. Tangible rewards. I like stuff done now. So four months of waiting for a stencil had me edgy and pensive. It also gave me time to think and I realized that the stencil I had ordered (and that was now on its way to my house) was not the look I wanted for the living room. The stencil seemed too funky. Too slick. Too busy to go behind the TV.
Crap. So I panicked and scrapped the idea. So now I had a blank grey wall and a 6ft stencil en route to me – neither of which I particularly liked in and of themselves. Should I repaint the wall? No, the grey color had grown on me but the wall seemed flat….almost as if it was swallowing the light in the room. I needed something reflective to bounce light around. A mirror was the obvious choice but one behind the television would be just as busy as the original stencil. I contemplated for a few more days and ran across a story on Apartment Therapy about stenciling your walls with paint.
It was like a bell went off and the heavens sang. I could still do the stencil but with METALLIC PAINT! Duh! I did a quick internet search and found a stencil from Royal Design Studios called Moorish Trellis. It was instant love. I love me some trellis and even better, I love me some BIG TRELLIS! From what I could tell from the pictures online, the stencil for the Moorish Trellis was the perfect thing for my living room wall – big bold pattern and a large (and easy) repeat. I mention the last part because the since there was 6 trellis patterns per stencil, it would allow me to work quickly over a fairly large area of wall. I was set. Ordered. And unlike the other stencil, this one arrived in 5 business days.
While I waited for the new stencil to arrive, I went back to Home Depot to look at colors for the stencil. As I said before, I knew I wanted reflective/metallic but wasn’t sure how to get the effect I envisioned. Mistake One was thinking I could just buy the same color paint as my wall but in gloss to achieve a shiny almost “ghost effect” on the wall. Didn’t work out. Second try was to purchase a quart of Ralph Lauren metallic paint called “Iron Gate” and it was right on the money! I loved the soft grey sheen to this paint and on my test board, it looked stunning next to the base grey paint for the wall.
I had my paints and my stencil – I was ready to tackle this project. I was giddy with excitement, so much so, that I woke up at 7:30am the morning after receiving the stencil to start painting. I dragged the TV console from the wall and covered it with plastic. I measured the wall and found its center point and aligned it with the center point of the stencil, to ensure I ended evenly on both sides of the wall.
I knew that I wanted the final product to look like wallpaper, so I opted to roll the stencil paint on rather than use a brush. Using a roller makes me even application and a uniform finish. I also used a spray adhesive to help me hold up the stencil as I rolled. The stencil came with pre-marked “navigation points” to ensure you were aligning the design properly. I also used a laser level to ensure I wasn’t going astray with the design. Once I got the hang of it, it went pretty quickly with the accent wall taking about 3.5 hours in total to finish. The whole project including set-up and clean-up took about 5 hours, so by 1pm that afternoon, I had the wall done and the room back in order.
And what do I think? I think the wall is perfect. Wonderful. If it was edible, I would eat it. In other words, I am really pleased with the outcome, so much so that I am looking forward to doing a whole room in Imperial Trellis very soon.
As for the original stencil, it did find a home after a bit of playing Goldilocks, but that is for another post.