When new people come to my house I always hear, “I like your wallpaper!” I always tell them it’s not wallpaper, it’s paint. They still don’t believe me. Usually I have to say it a couple of times AND bring them over to inspect the wall closely. It happens all the time!!
You, being the savvy DIY researcher you are, have probably seen this birch tree stencil elsewhere. I bought mine directly though Cutting Edge Stencils. It was super easy to do, so believe the website when they tell you it’s for beginners. I had NEVER stenciled a wall before. Yeah, I’ve used painters tape tons of times, but never a stencil.
This before picture was taken the day we had our home inspection done, so it’s not our furniture in there.
This is what the room looks like now. There will totally be a post in the very near future about me refinishing those side tables, don’t you worry! 😉
The one kind of tricky thing to wrap your head around is that it is a reverse stencil. This just means that you paint the entire wall the color you want your trees to be. When you tape the stencil to the wall and paint through it, you are actually painting the background color. Does that make sense?
Here’s what I did:
1) I painted the entire wall silver, because I wanted silver trees. I used Ralph Lauren paint metallic paint in Silver Bell, which I got from Home Depot, but they no longer carry it.
The RL line was replaced with the Martha Stewart line of paints at Home Depot and Martha does make a metallic. The other alternative, is Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch 32 oz. Flat Metallic, but I have never used either. Always read the directions carefully and USE THE CORRECT ROLLER!
2) I painted the rest of the walls with Behr paint + primer in one. The color is Silver Sateen, and I used a flat finish.
3) After the silver paint dried, I taped the stencil to the top left hand corner of the wall with standard painter’s tape.
4) Using a nappy roller, I carefully painted over the stencil using the same Silver Sateen as on the other 3 walls. I removed the stencil almost immediately.
5) The stencil is not big enough to cover the height of a wall, so you have to move it down and re-tape it. There will be some overlap, meaning the plastic stencil will be on top of wet paint. Luckily the Behr paint + primer in one is super fast drying, so I really didn’t wait at all, just moved the stencil down. **It is important to note that you do not want to tape onto any freshly painted portions, always tape onto your base layer.
6) Repeat. After you fill in the lower portion, move the stencil back up to the ceiling and directly to the right of the part you already painted. I was anal about matching up the trees. Again never tape onto fresh paint!
This part actually went way faster than you’d think. I had finished 3/4 of the wall while my husband went out to get his oil changed. No joke.
7) Finishing touches… My wall was still a little bit longer than 2x the stencil, so there were a couple of inches at the bottom that needed to be addressed. I was too lazy to move the stencil again, so I just free handed that part. I am so NOT an artist. It was really all about painting a semi-straight lines. Easy. You can’t even tell, can ya?
To get more bang for my buck, I used the stencil to make some wall “art.” I wanted the trees silver again, so I painted the surface of the canvas with a smooth roller. The next day (or so) I used the stencil with some acrylic paint I had on hand. You know, the small bottles from the craft store? The wraparound edges are all teal, no stencil. I added the birds to the canvas and to the wall, again using craft store paint.
When I get tired of this look I can easily paint over the wall, and even the canvas too! Check out this post for a full tutorial.
Here’s one more look at the stenciled wall, this time with the lights off.
Update: Check out this post to see that I eventually painted those side tables.