Boxing Myself In…..

Sometimes you have big ideas for a project.  You gather your supplies, set yourself up and diligently work at said task until it is completed.  And then you step back to marvel at your handiwork…..and realize the project you just labored on for several hours is a complete pile of dog poo….flaming dog poo to be exact.


Graphic Credit


And thus was my Saturday afternoon last weekend.  I woke up that morning with chevron on the brain.  As you all know, I have been lusting after chevron for a while now and will soon be incorporating it into my bathroom.  However, I thought it might be fun to spruce up some old metal boxes I had lying around the garage.  We needed some pops of color in the music room and it seemed like the perfect re-use DIY project since I had the spray paint and boxes.  All I needed to do was create a chevron stencil and be on my merry way right?  An hour to paint the boxes and an hour to do the stencil, so maybe 3 hours total.  Easy peasy right?


Well the first part of the project went fine.  I primed and painted the boxes a great orange color from Rust-oleum


Great orange color huh?

I let the boxes dry for two hours and started on creating the chevron template.  I downloaded the chevron stencil from and taped two of them together to get the size I needed. I then attached the larger stencil to a piece of contact paper and then took both pieces and attached it to a piece of heavy-duty paper.


Stencil looking pretty good so far.

Now with the stencil reinforced, I cut out the pattern using an Exacto knife and ruler.


This part took forever.....

So now I had a stencil, which only took me about an hour to do, so I was well within the time frame I set for myself, so the next step was to apply the stencil to the box and spray paint the zig zags white.


So far so good.....stencil is on and I am ready to begin painting....

Life is good so far……it’s still light out and I have plenty of time to let the boxes dry once I hit them with the white spray paint and place them into the room.  In my mind, I am already crafting the story on how it was just another easy and breezy day in my life of DIY design.  Yuppers, I may suck at culinary school, but I am a WIZARD at design.  As I am mentally racking up accolades in  my head, I am spraying the stencil and notice that the contact paper is starting to bubble slightly.  “No worries” I thought, I am going to be removing the stencil in a second, so it won’t matter……


Look closely and you will see where the spray paint seeped up under the stencil

Well as the picture details — yes it does matter.  It matters alot.  Upon removing the stencil, my little heart dropped.  My supposedly perfect chevron print was fuzzy.  Always an optimist, I simply assumed user error and thought “I must have applied the stencil wrong….let me try it on the side.  I can always repaint the lid.  That’s easy!”


Even worse than the top.....

In addition to the fuzzy lines, I now have this odd crackle effect on the chevron.  And even worse, you all are now subjected to my feet in the picture……

In the end, did I get my pretty chevron boxes?  Nope.  What I got was…

1)  A crash course on how NOT to create a stencil

2) A better understanding on the adverse effects spray paint has on contact paper

3) A science lesson on polymer-based oil paints and how they interact

4) The realization that I need a pedicure

But with every DIY design success, there are bound to be disasters.  I am just thankful that this disaster was on such a small-scale.  You live and learn.  And don’t worry, I painted the box white so I could try this project in two weekends.  This round may be lost, I will win the chevron war!

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