Ornamental Plaster Sculpting, Mural Painting, Faux Finishing, and Imaginative Interior Design.

Ornamental Plaster Sculpting, Mural Painting, Faux Finishing, and Imaginative Interior Design.
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Thursday, October 20, 2011

All the pretty, none of the paste...

All over woolie damask stencil makes an elegant backdrop for your most precious pictures.
 Have you ever applied wallpaper?  Have you ever removed wallpaper?  Have you now sworn off wallpaper for life?  If you answered "yes" to the first two, chances are pretty good you said "yes" to the third.  Wallpaper isn't the only way to get gorgeous pattern, though.  There are lots of ways to create fabulous patterns with paint, and stencils are a classic.  I know, I know, they get a bad rap these days, but to see stencils done beautifully, and a whole selection you can order, go to royaldesignstudio.com.  Melanie Royals makes stenciling fresh and new again, with some surprising twists on the old standard, including some sleek, mod patterns even the trendiest of you will adore. 

As for me, as much as I love pattern, and as patient as I can be painting individual leaves in a two hundred square foot mural, I can't bring myself to take the time to "properly" stencil a whole wall.  For a lot of people, stencilling is a pleasant, meditative way to spend a day or two.  For me, it's whine-inducing torture.  Lucky for me, I happen to like a sort of aged look, which makes it very easy to do a quick version of stencilling that doesn't require all those hours of carefully pouncing with a nearly dry brush, to get really nice results.  Please don't get me wrong.  Properly done stencilling, like you will see on the RDS website, is gorgeous and well worth the time, if your temperament is suited to the task.  My inner three year old does not do "tasks".

Woolied Walls with Woolie damask stencil, harlequin spacing.  In this case, step one for...
 In order to keep the inner brat from throwing a fit and refusing to go to work, I've made the process a little quicker, by loosening it up.  I do a quick Woolie blend  (thewoolie.com) of two shades of paint on the walls, then once it's dry, I use tape to space the stencil, rather than fussing with measuring.  Next, instead of carefully pouncing the stencil with a dry brush, I brush more of the same two colors of paint onto the woolie and quickly pat it over the stencil.  Because the base paint isn't solid, nor is the paint on the stencil, bleeding around the edges simply doesn't show. 

There are many ways to space this stencil, which is Grand Damask from RoyalDesignStudio.com, and it comes with different layouts shown.  For my purposes, I made up my own "harlequin" version, then filled in the spaces between with the same stencil flipped upside down.  The pattern overlaps, so the effect is all-over pattern, rather than individual motifs.

Woolie damask stencil, all over fill.

There you have it:  All the beauty of wallpaper, without seams, paste, or the joys of removing it when you want a new look.  I can't say the process is truly quick, but it's quicker than proper stencilling, and pretty painless. If you aren't convinced stencilling is for you, do check out the Royal Design Studio Website from the link above.  I think you'll be hooked.

There is another version of this, using these colors and the same stencil, in the sidebar photos to the right of this post.  You will also find an example of this technique, with a stencil of my own design, in robins egg blues, on my website theartofthehome.com,  under faux finishes

If you decide to try this yourself, and want more detailed information, please don't hesitate to email me, and I'll do what I can to clarify.  dawnmariedelara@gmail.com.

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