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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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