Sunday, January 6, 2013

Stencil Art

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! As my first post for 2013, I thought I'd share my recent home renovation project with you. Enjoy!

Sometimes when I think of stencils, I think old-fashioned, out-dated, too busy. Yet, nowadays, stencils come in all sorts of beautiful motifs, designs, and artistic borders. I took this into consideration after I needed to redo my staircase going to the second floor. After removing the carpet that encased the stairs for well over 30 years, it definitely needed a bit of TLC. I was thinking of putting a runner in but for some reason, it seemed too boring for me. 

Let's see if I can paint you a picture...once you enter my house, the staircase is about 2 feet away from the front door...nestled to the right, on the left is the hallway going into the living room. So basically the staircase is the main 'object' in that particular space and I wanted it to be showcased properly and I guess uniquely. With that said, I turned to stencils. I decided to use stencils on the stair risers to make the stairs standout from the rest of the space. We went ahead and painted the risers white, and I had already decided we would be incorporating gray into the space as well. I found two beautiful stencils from a site called: Royal Design Studio. I opted for a Moroccan design for the risers and thought 3 separate designs will work well for the staircase. I found my last stencil at a local craft store. Once I had all my supplies on hand, I went to work. The whole stencil job took me approximately an entire weekend.

The supplies that I used:
:: stencils of your choice
:: paint (I used latex paint {flat}
:: spray adhesive
:: painters tape
:: a stencil brush
:: plastic plate
:: paper towels

The toughest part of job was getting the edges and corners done, but thankfully, stencils are quite flexible, so after a bit of bending and maneuvering, I managed to get the result I wanted. Also another good tip, I found spray adhesive to be a huge help in this project. It kept the stencil in place and prevented any bleeding, also a stencil brush has much better results then a foam brush. The foam tends to hold more paint which then leads to messy stenciling.

Step 1: coat the back of the stencil with spray adhesive. Let the adhesive set for a minute or two so it becomes tacky to the touch.
Step 2: Apply the stencil to the surface, I started from the left side. Make sure the stencil is level, you may want to make marks to help maintain a straight line across. I just eyed everything for this project.
Step 3. Dab the stencil brush into your paint. I then swirled it around a plastic plate to remove any excess, then to be doubly sure, I dabbed it again on a paper towel. The key is to barely have paint on the brush. You can always go back to add more layers of paint. This ensures that the paint does not bleed behind the stencil. I used circular motions to apply the paint onto my prepared surface.
Step 4: Once the entire stencil is coated, I carefully removed the stencil and reapplied it to the next section of the riser.

I used 4 separate stencil for this project. The end result, in my opinion, looks fabulous. I will be adding a matte varnish over the stencil, re-sand the treads and then apply quarter round on the edges. But for now, I couldn't be  happier with the results.

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