Stencil, stencil on the wall…

Previously on Rosemary on the TV:

I took a stab at stenciling. It turned out terribly. Read more about that here and here.

Not one to be outdone by a flimsy piece of plastic, I tried again. Starting over from the beginning by painting over my first failed attempt:

The best part about stencils: they’re just paint and you can hide all your indiscretions faster than you made them.

So I started over, and this time, I was certain to use the “dry brushing” technique. You’re basically blotting paint on the wall a little at a time. Your stencil should look like this as you paint:

Blotting like this also kept the blue paint from peeling away with the stencil when I removed it. Before long, I’d made a heck of a lot of progress:

And yes, it looked good up close too. Not perfect, but you have to remember this is not wallpaper manufactured by a machine somewhere. Unless you are a stencil machine. In which case, why didn’t you offer to stencil my wall for me, stencil machine?

Anyway, things went pretty smoothly and I thought I was becoming a total pro when this happened:

Ahhhhh, man! The stencil has little markings to help you line it up, but you still need to use a level every time you stick it to the wall. I got cocky with my stenciling skillz and quit leveling. And…this. So once again, I found myself hiding my indiscretions.

Aaron thought we should include a photo of me actually painting, in case any of you doubted that I actually do this stuff myself. But I usually look terrible when I paint. So I told him hands only!


This is the calm before the storm, folks. Because when I made it to the corners of the wall, I realized that I don’t have two things that stenciling requires:

1. Loads of patience

2. A prescription for Xanax

If there is some magic secret to getting your stencil to lie flat in corners, I don’t know it.

I even tried tracing the stencil onto a magazine cover and cutting it out with a box knife. It didn’t work:

Turns out paper gets a little flimsy when you try to paint over it. Duh. After muttering strings of profanity that shocked and appalled even Aaron, and throwing a few fisty, foot stomping hissy fits, I finally decided I would have to do a lot of touching up anyway.

And I did. With tiny paint brushes, freehand, around all sides and the ceiling, making a HUGE mess on the ceiling that I’m not even remotely worried about because it will be so easy to fix.

It’s not perfect. But I’m human. And for human, it looks pretty damn good if I do say so myself. So finally, after a week’s worth of work and one million cuss words, I was finished.

And it looked like this:

BAM. STENCILED. I’ll be honest. It was hard. And time consuming. But I keep staring at it, partly because I love it and partly because I hope a dinosaur stereogram will pop out of it if I stare long enough.

Let’s take a look back at the dining room’s journey thus far:

She ain’t done, but can I get a high five for how far she’s come?

:: HIGH FIVE ::

(UPDATE!)

Just thought I’d update this post with a few new photos of the dining room. I took these before guest blogging for Tobi Fairley, but after Aaron fixed the crack in the ceiling.

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22 Responses to “Stencil, stencil on the wall…”


  1. 1 Tiffany Jean July 5, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    That looks SO GOOD Rosemary!

  2. 2 Double D. Stain July 5, 2011 at 8:32 pm

    Way to go! It looks awesome!

  3. 3 Jillian McGehee July 5, 2011 at 8:35 pm

    Good job! It looks great!

  4. 4 dawn July 5, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    Oh you get a big ole high five for that! You are some kind of awesome stencil goddess.

  5. 5 Melanie Royals July 5, 2011 at 11:06 pm

    You are so cute and I am SO proud of you!! You def. got the dry brush method DOWN. The wall looks awesome and thanks for sticking it out with my stencil 🙂

    • 6 rosemaryonthetv July 5, 2011 at 11:33 pm

      Wow – thanks so much, Melanie! That means a lot coming from you! I’m soooo happy with the results. 🙂

  6. 7 Patricia Faber McWhorter July 6, 2011 at 1:31 am

    Greg Blog! Melanie is Royalty not only in the Stencil world but on Facebook as well. With a great sense of humor, she posted your valiant effort for all of us to enjoy! It came out #%^&@* Great!

  7. 8 Kathryn Heller July 6, 2011 at 8:45 am

    STUNNING! It looks beautiful. It adds so much depth.

  8. 9 Amber Battishill July 6, 2011 at 9:13 am

    I love this! It adds so much more personality to the room. You have so much more patience than I…I would go crazy doing this project.

  9. 10 kim July 6, 2011 at 10:32 am

    Looks great! I admire your confession of cuss words….my kinda gal! Tho don’t tell anyone.
    ps your ceiling looks like mine, must be an old house, eh?

    • 11 rosemaryonthetv July 6, 2011 at 3:14 pm

      Thanks Kim! Our house is about 50 years old. Surprisingly, when we had it inspected, the first thing the inspector told us was that he was baffled by that crack in the ceiling – the foundation was in perfect shape! We haven’t gotten around to patching it yet, but it’s definitely on our to-do list.

  10. 12 Regina July 6, 2011 at 4:52 pm

    I do decorative painting for a living and I’m here to tell you your accent wall looks awesome! We all go through it and there’s fix-ups but man, oh man, does it make such a incredible difference. Love the colors you picked plus the pattern (we do love our Royal Design Studio stencil designs here a lot!). For the corners, we usually either order an extra stencil to cut up into pieces or wait until we’re done with the current one and then cut that one. You were totally in the right direction with the magazine cover. I thought that was ingenious… 🙂 Have a great day — and enjoy the room!

  11. 13 Jennifer Cable July 6, 2011 at 9:15 pm

    heart that wall. double heart.

  12. 14 Anne July 7, 2011 at 8:00 pm

    AMAZING!!! I am so impressed. It really looks beautiful and you picked a beautiful color and my favorite quilting stencil. Did you know that design is also called “Teacup”? I love seeing you express your creativity. Next time I’m in AR I am coming over for a visit.

    • 15 rosemaryonthetv July 8, 2011 at 4:02 pm

      “Teacup”?! I love it! You have to come visit – I’ve already offered up the guest bedroom to Elizabeth when Baby Herndon makes an appearance!

  13. 16 nicole b. July 13, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    Soooo impressive! It looks AMAZING! Thanks for documenting the trials and errors along the way, too; it’s good to see an honest report of a DIY project, ya know? You did a damn good job. xoxo.

  14. 17 Danyse June 8, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    Your truthfulness about it being fun during part and cuss-worthy during part set my mind at ease about being able to handle both parts and yet end up with a wall I would love. I actually have the courage now to try it!! You did a marvelous job of stenciling and alleviating my fears of NOT being able to do it…along with your attitude of always being able to cover up mistakes.

    • 18 rosemaryonthetv June 8, 2012 at 5:21 pm

      Yay! I love to hear that Danyse. I definitely recommend AT LEAST giving it a try. A year later, I’m still in love with my stencil wall and everyone that walks into my house immediately comments on it. I would recommend cutting the stencil to get into the corners though! It’s the one thing I’d do over if I were to do it again.

  15. 19 Jetta March 13, 2013 at 5:29 pm

    Agh! Dry brushing?! You should see the wall in our bedroom bc I never thought of this! DH even thought of getting removable spray adhesive & trying that… I haven’t yet but I’m glad I came across this! Looks great!


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