March 10, 2013

Stenciling revival: Wallpaper 'without the commitment'

Overall pattern, graphic interest and even texture put a personal stamp on walls and furniture.


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Stenciling these days is bolder than its earlier cousins. This Springtime in Paris stencil is by Royal Design Studio.

McClatchy Newspapers photos

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Covering an entire wall with this Indian print stencil is more statement than accent. Stencil by Royal Design Studio.

Additional Photos Below

Sometimes she uses a traditional stenciling brush to apply the paint, and sometimes she uses a paint roller. "I'm kind of a rule breaker that way," she said with a laugh.

Actually, application techniques have changed right along with stencil designs, Royals said.

Royals still prefers the traditional technique of applying paint with a nearly dry stencil brush in a pouncing or swirling motion, but many people like to use foam rollers instead, she said. Royals said the roller technique requires patience because the roller has to be loaded with paint and then "off loaded" -- rolled on absorbent paper to remove much of the paint. Only a small amount of paint can be applied at a time, or the excess will bleed under the stencil, she explained.

Latex wall paint or acrylic craft paint are fine for stenciling, she said, or you can use oil paints for a sheer look or specially made stencil creams. If you use latex wall paint for roller stenciling, she recommended buying sample-size quantities of a good-quality paint such as Benjamin Moore Aura or Behr Premium Plus Ultra. Lesser-quality paints are runnier and more likely to bleed, she said.

And buy good-quality brushes or stencil rollers, she advised. They'll make the project faster and the results better.

"You just want to get it done and enjoy it and not have to do any touch-up," she said.

Gauss said it's harder to find good laser-cut stencils in craft stores than in the past, but plenty of stencils are available online. The cost, however, can be significant -- from about $20 to more than $100, depending on the intricacy and scale.

If you want to cut costs or just get creative, you can create your own stencils. Use stenciling Mylar, or buy adhesive-backed vinyl from a sign company, Gauss suggested. She has even used heavy paper such as parchment, manila or freezer paper for projects that don't require reusing the stencil.

But whether you buy a stencil or make one, feel free to take credit for the results.

That kind of personalization is what stenciling is all about.


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Additional Photos

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This Eastern Lattice Moroccan stencil adds interest to a piece of painted furniture. Stencil by Royal Design Studio.

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The Deco Pearls Damask wall stencil by Royal Design Studio.

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Stenciling is a hot decorating trend once more, in every room, including the nursery.

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