ORC Week 4: Never Stenciling Again


From now on, if I ever mention stenciling, just remind me to start saving pennies for the wallpapers of my dreams.  Schumacher, Phillip Jeffries, Quadrille - I should not have abandoned you.  ;)

In all seriousness, stenciling is not for the faint of heart, and definitely not for Type A personalities.  I'm more of an A-/B+ type myself, but the misalignments and random paint smears just about sent me over the edge.  As there was no wine in the house to ease my pain, I helped myself to the Halloween candy stash.  We might need to re-stock.  Oops.

Part of the issue with the stencil is my fault.  The design I chose came with a dot in between each damask.  But I did not want the dot as I was going for more of a block print look, so I taped over the dots to ensure that they would not get stenciled on the walls.  I realized after my 3rd unevenly spaced attempt that the dots also help to line up the stencil.  Once I figured that out, I just eyeballed where the dots should be & measured (again by eyeballing it) from there.  The lack of actual measuring is the Type B+ personality I mentioned earlier.  ;)

Stenciling the corners is where the real mashing of teeth began.  I may have to redo that section to cover up the awful smearing & paint globs.  It was not quite as easy as the pros make it look.  And I learned that it was best if I waited about 5 minutes in between each stencil to allow for some drying, even though the instructions say you can move on immediately.  But we persevered, and I am very happy with the overall result.  It is beginning to look like what I pictured in my head (minus all the mistakes), & it's really fun.

Only 1 damask stencil left to go.  And a glimpse of the new pulls that I LOVE.
Ignore the unpainted bottom right corner; that will be covered with beadboard :)

In other parts of the reno, the hubs decided that he would not have time to custom build cubbies over the desk.  I totally understand, but man, it would have looked so good.  Luckily, the day after he told me it was a no-go, I happened upon multiple options while at Target, and after squishing my children to the side, managed to load 4 of them in my buggy.  This beauty is the winner in both form & function.

Notice anything funky about #8? It makes me laugh each time I see it upside down.
All the ones in the store were the same.  Might have to keep it for the quirkiness.  

It changes the influence of my design a tad - it's a little more rustic/industrial than my original idea, but luckily I have some other galvanized pieces I can pull from around the house to make it work.  It does mean that we have to return the lighting I purchased for the space; the picture light is formal & traditional, and the desk area is now leaning towards industrial farmhouse, so it's back to the search I go.  In a moment of insanity while feeling sorry for me, hubby offered to create some custom lighting if I can't find anything in my increasingly dwindling budget, so that's my fallback plan. Sounds foolproof, right?

Despite the lighting issue in the office nook, I am in LOVE with my fun find at HomeGoods of all places!
Still needs a cool lightbulb after hubby broke the other one. And in the background is a glimpse of the partially painted entry wall (was Stratton Blue, now is White Dove.  Or at least most of it is)
Finally, I finished the chalkboard wall in the office nook with Martha Stewart Crafts Multi-Surface Chalkboard Acrylic Craft Finish in Chalkboard Clear.  I used the entire bottle to apply 4 coats, with a few hours of dry time in between each coat.  I waited a full 24 hours after the last coat, and then seasoned the entire wall with a couple pieces of chalk.  It seems to be working great, but I will let you know if that changes over time.  At 1 am last night, my sweet husband decided to start framing out the desk to try to get ahead of the lack of work we are predicting will happen over Halloween weekend.  Trick or Treating comes first.  #priorities

Please excuse the lighting in all of these.  It's been raining for days in GA, & my camera
has a temper tantrum each time I try to take shots without a flash.
You can see the chalkiness of the chalkboard paint on the upper part of the wall.  

Oh, and the mudcloset hasn't even been touched yet.  Yikes.

In case lists are your thing (they rank high on my...list... of favorite things. See what I did there?), let's check in on our progress.

Install beadboard & molding // Paint & stencil walls (Praise the Lord I can cross this off) // Install hooks on molding // New utility sink // Pulls for cabinets // New lighting ? // Replace drying rack // Install shelf above washer & dryer // Install shelves above drying rack

Paint walls // New rug // New lighting

Repaint // Lower top hooks so shelf is more accessible // Add shoe storage // Add more hooks

Office nook:
Floating desk // Install outlet // New printer // Cubby holes/storage for mail, office supplies
Chalkboard or pinboard // Lighting

If you just now catching up, you can see Week 1, Week 2, & Week 3 here.  And don't forget to visit Linda at Calling It Home to check in on the almost 200 other participants.  

Happy Halloween y'all!


  1. I am right there with you on the personality type and stenciling. If it wasn't for my husband I never would have done it, he's the measure, take time and plan it out guy. I am the let's get this done, oh wait we need a plan kind of girl. We work well together, most of the time! ;) I like the stencil, it looks good and saves money! the light is fabulous, sometimes home goods has great stuff like this! the chalkboard wall is fun, I still like mine in my kitchen after almost 4 years!

    1. Thanks for the support, Ange! I love a chalkboard wall, glad to know yours is still a keeper :)

  2. Oh man, never stencil without wine. Wait, nevermind, they might be a bad combo. :) It looks so good though! I love the pendant light too.

    1. I literally laughed out loud when I read your comment. Thanks for the love!

  3. I think it might have been more a function of the stencil. Although, stenciling does take a bit of patience and a willingneess to make some "fixes" as necessary, I love the look you achieved though and I think it's worth the effort, given how much money you saved! Can't wait to see it all come together.

    1. Thanks, Leslie. Yes, let's go with that - it was the stencil's fault ;)
      Thanks for commenting!

  4. I am so impatient that I think a stencil would probably kill me too. And, I want to try it, but you have me rethinking and maybe I should just splurge on the wallpaper. Anyway, your progress looks great - those cubbies are cute and I can see the 'farmhouse' look. And, you got your priorities right - trick or treating/halloween #1 priority. :)

    1. Ha! It may be worth the try, if nothing else than to make you appreciate your wallpaper more ;)
      Hope y'all had a great Halloween!

  5. The stencil looks so good!! Your title made me laugh because I feel your pain! Ugh stenciling. Really cool light fixture; love it! :)

  6. I know exactly where you are coming from. I once considered stenciling a room and decided against it because I knew if it wasn't just right I wouldn't be happy and just end up redoing the whole thing. So, for the meanwhile, it has yet to have its makeover. But its something I might consider the next go-around of ORC. Love your light fixture, by the way.

    1. Thanks so much! It's imperfections are growing on me, but I'm not sure I would feel that way if it was a wall in a main room of my home :)