3.17.2012

Paint Fail. Then I stenciled

This past week I was lucky to have a job that included "Spring Break" and got a whole week off! Forget that the majority of that week was spent "doing work" because I think it doesn't count as much when you get to do it on your sofa in your PJs. I didn't want my whole week to be about work so I had a few DIY projects I wanted to work on. One of those included stenciling a wall in our house.

I never in a million years would have thought about stenciling a wall until I read this post by Mandy at Vintage Revivals of her master bedroom before and after. Did you see her amazing wall? It is an all-over stencil. She was nice to post Wall Stenciling 101, and I thought "Cool, I think I could do that to one of my walls". I might have been overestimating my DIY skills but I didn't realize that YET.

This is the stencil I purchased from Royal Design Studios and I loved it. (On a side note this is one of the Little Sister's stencil choices as well!) In my head I was thinking the circles would be white and the main paint color would be the current wall color we have that is "soothing" but a little dark for me. It is BEHR "Woven Straw". T likes it and I haven't come up with something better, so I have been living with it. I also thought that by having the main color be "Woven Straw" it would be a subtle way to add interest to a wall, but not over power our small home.

I went and bought some BEHR "Ultra Pure White" paint and prepped my work area, read all the directions (I thought) and started to stencil. Right away I realized I had not thought things through.

Remember earlier when I wanted the rings to be white and the majority of the wall to be "Woven Straw".... well looks like I had that backwards when I started painting. Oops! No big deal. I'll just keep stenciling and my wall will be mostly "Ultra Pure White". I could live with that.

Then I made a mistake. Well a bigger mistake than the one I just mentioned and really messed up a section of the stencil. Somehow I didn't line up my registration marks and ended up completely messing up a section of the wall. Things were not looking good. Then they went from bad to worse when I realized the registration marks (the ones you use to line up the next section of the stencil) had stopped showing up. I think my stencil was so covered with paint that those little lines got covered up. It was about this time that I took a step back and looked at my options.

1. The stencil wall was not going well.
2. I would need to start over if I wanted it to look okay.
3. I was going to need to paint this wall white.

After thinking about it for a bit I realized painting the wall white was my best option. It made me a little sad because I really wanted to try out the stencil but this wall was clearly not going to be where it was going this week. I started to prep for the white wall paint and looked at a smaller wall in the same area. That is when I decided I would try my luck with the stencil again.

I have this stubborn trait that is not always used in the best way. By this time in the day I had taken a deep breath and kept telling myself "It's just paint". And it is. Just paint. Easy to paint over if you have a little time. So I painted the big wall white (it took three coats to hide the stencil) and started painting the stencil on the smaller wall. This is what I am looking at today.

The big wall is white and I am dealing with it. The small wall has the stencil on it that I hope to finish it this weekend (the wet paint on the white wall prevented me from completing it earlier).

The Middle Sister suggested I paint the stencil on the big wall in Samson grey color to define the wall and the space more. Samson is our grey cat. Then she said I should paint the little wall white. The Little Sister said when she uses the stencil she plans on painting a wall canary yellow and then painting the stencil a dark grey over the yellow so the circles will be yellow and the majority of the wall will be dark grey.

Me? I'm not sure what I am going to do. For now I am going to finish the stencil on the current wall and then live with it for a bit. The DIYer in me is a little shaken up and I am not feeling ready to jump back into a big project like this. I think I will work on a few projects that I know will work (like the garden) and revisit painting an other day.

UPDATE:
A month later I have finished the little stencil wall and lived with the big white wall for a bit. I think they have both grown on me. The white wall bounces some needed light into our space and the stencil adds interest. My mom said it looked like light way being reflected on the wall where the stencil is and I kind of liked that. And somehow having a white wall in the house has made me like the Woven Straw color more so it looks like this experience ended up being a win for me.

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