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7 Things I Learned From Stenciling My Wall (I'll Never Do THAT Again!)

I was inspired by a friend who had recently stenciled several walls in her house, like overnight. Seriously. I was in awe of how great it looked and stunned by how quickly she seemed to get it done. I thought, “Oooo, I could do that.”

Let me tell you sweet friend, be very careful when you have that pie-in-the-sky thought of tackling a big project like stenciling the walls in your home. It could be a complete triumph or a complete flop.

So lest, you think I’m being a tad over dramatic (something I’m NEVER accused of), I’d like to share with you the 7 Things I’ve Learned From Stenciling My Wall.

1) Pray up.

And by that, I mean, pray up. This project will take every synapse in your brain. So make sure you pray for strength, resolve and the patience it will take to do this project.

2) Make sure you’re alone.

Did you read #1? This project takes a lot of concentration. And if you’re like me, any noise, distraction or a small child asking you to find the sock that’s already actually on their foot, will be more than you can handle. Tackle this project while the kids are at school or ask the hubs to take them to the park for an afternoon. It’s for your sake, and theirs.

3) Choose colors wisely.

Think this one through. You may be dreamy eyed about a red Moroccan stencil, but does that style really go with your overall look and colors? You’ll want to consider size of the stencil, repeating patterns, dark over light or light over dark, etc… Believe me, you DON’T want this to look like you’re trying to cover up the beautiful mural your child made on the wall with a dry erase marker. Think about the overall concept.

Look on Pinterest (I’ve pinned some examples for you) and get some good ideas. Then sit on it. Don’t rush out and start the project right away. Give yourself time to make sure you’re heading in the right direction. Believe me, with the amount of time it will take you on this project, you don't want to make a mistake you'll regret.

4) Pick the right stencil.

Don’t pick a flimsy stencil to do an entire room. Buy a stencil that will hold up and cleans well. (I got mine at Hobby Lobby and used a coupon.) You also want something with a decent large repeating pattern. I know that sweet little polk-a-dot pattern looks cute, but if you don’t want the frustration of trying to keep 1/2” circles lined up in all directions without it looking like a tsunami wave, you’ll want a big pattern. Trust me on this one.

5) Prepare for the Battle, sister.

Read the instructions. Watch tutorials. See how other people (not necessarily professionals) have done it. There’s a big difference in stenciling your child’s favorite stool and a 10 foot wall. Make sure you know what you’re in for.

6) Measure. Measure. Measure.

Remember that pattern I mentioned before? Well, it makes a difference. You have to plan ahead and know where the stencil is going to begin and end at all times. Does the pattern hit the ceiling correctly? Is it centered? Do you need to get out your algorithm calculator? Seriously, this one about broke me. Not only do you need to measure before you start, but you’ll need to make sure you keep measuring throughout the project. Use a level and a yardstick. Place the stencil and then step back and make sure it’s properly placed. Sometimes it looks much differently close up versus several feet away. For the love, please measure.

7) Take your time.

This is where you might want to start singing the chorus, “I’m breathing in Your Grace. I’m breathing out Your Praise. Forever, I’ll be….”. Yes, I realize they’re singing about something much more spiritual than stenciling, but half way through your wall, you’re going to be praying out loud and asking for God’s grace. Just start now! It took me about 10 days to finish one wall. Honestly, because, at times, I needed to walk away. Remember that it’s a process and give yourself some grace.

For all my bemoaning, I L-O-V-E the way my wall turned out. It gave the room the focal point I wanted and it feels stylish and elegant. (Both of which, I’m not.) It makes me smile to look at this space. Is it perfect? NO! And that’s OK. I’m probably the only one that would notice anyway. (Don’t move that lamp!)

So, if you’re still convinced you want to forge ahead and stencil a wall in your home, then do it! You have my blessing! Just don’t ask me to do it for you. I’m never doing THAT again. :)


P.S. Check out my Pinterest board on “Stencil Wall Ideas” for some inspiration. Then send me pictures of your triumphs (and your failures too.) I’m right there in the trenches with you!

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