Friday, March 15, 2013

Peace Out Kelly Green- Hello Sophistication

When we moved into the new house I despised our kelly green walls (see here).  The bright warm feeling of the green started to grow on me with time, but it still wasn’t me.  I might be Irish, but I just can’t deal with that much bright green screaming at me every morning.  I needed something warm, but also serene and cool.  While I want a warm bungalow home, I also want a peaceful retreat for us, and green was just too much.
Check out all of this green! Bright, right?DSC_0171-2DSC_0172-2
For the living room I chose a medium gray because I felt like that could double as both serene and warm.  Once I removed all of the electric plates, taped the edges, moved the furniture to the center of the room and covered it with plastic, I primed and painted (Thanks for the help Rooney).Collage 1DSC_0185-2DSC_0184-2
The common area of our home is really open so there are only 2 walls in the dining area.  One is connected to the living room and the other backs up to the garage.  I wanted this wall to be a feature wall and something fun, so I purchased the large Rabat stencil from Cutting Edge. I chose a custom cream and indigo stream interior latex paint with a flat finish from Valspar. 

Since I’m revealing the new dining room and foraged this new stencil territory (new to me of course) I decided to share some tips with you, mostly based on the mistakes I made:Stencil 101
  1. Your paint should have a flat finish.  Anything glossy will be difficult.
  2. Prime the wall and then cover it with your paint of choice (the color that you want to be the outline of your shapes). I did two coats of a custom light cream. For one wall I only needed about 1 quart of paint. I had enough for two coats and touch-ups afterwards. Your stenciling color (indigo stream in my case) you will use with the stencil. This may seem obvious, but to me it was something that required a little extra thought. I purchased a quart of the blue, but only used about half of the can.Collage 5
  3. You need an entire roll of painters tape.  I used half a roll and I only painted one small feature wall.    Not only will you need this for taping off edges, doors, and molding, but you will also need it each time you attach the stencil to the wall.  On the edges of the wall I also used tape to cover parts of the stencil that I didn’t want to paint.  Masking tape, though very similar, is too strong and will peal off your paint.Collage 4
  4. Corners are challenging but are not impossible.  The actual material of the stencil is pretty flexible so you can bend it into the corner and tape it up so that you can continue the pattern.  Again, tape is necessary! DSC_0210-2
  5. Start in the middle of your wall and work your way out.
  6. A level would probably help.  I’m stubborn and didn’t use one, but I do recognize that it would have helped a lot.
  7. You will need a lot of paper towels.  Every time you dip your roller into the paint you must roll it over the paper towels to get the excess off or else the paint will bleed under the stencil.  This will make you very angry, so just use the paper towels.DSC_0204-2
  8. If you mess up…don’t freak out. In fact expect that you’re going to mess up; just change your mentality to accept that it will happen. When the paint dries you can always go back and make little touch-ups. No use kicking yourself over it though.DSC_0212-2
  9. Between each time you use the stencil you need to give both the wall and the stencil a couple minutes to dry so that the paint doesn’t smudge or transfer to the back of the stencil the next time you use it. Again this is another reason you want to use the paper towels, because you don’t want a lot of excess paint on the back of the stencil.
  10. Every 5-6 times you use the stencil you will probably need to wash it.  Just stick it in the bathtub with warm water and go over it with a dish sponge.  The paint should peel right off.  Don’t let the paint go down the drain (it will clog it and it’s bad for the environment). Let the stencil dry and then you can use it again.
  11. Rent the entire series of Harry Potter to listen to while you paint.  This is not an option folks!
  12. Stenciling may appear to be easy but it can be stressful.  It takes a lot of time and patience.  I have blisters on my hands from all of the painting and I was exhausted (staying up until 3am over spring break was not on my itinerary), but it is totally worth it!  Thanks Lura for the midnight encouragement!
Collage 2DSC_0224-2Collage 3DSC_0225-2DSC_0228-2
Ok time for the before and afters…because isn’t that everyone’s favorite part?!
Here is the living room:DSC_0171-2DSC_0235-2
And the dining room:DSC_0172-2DSC_0241-2I really love the look of our dining room now. It’s everything I imagined it would be in my head: traditional, warm, cool, and fun.  I think the colors are more us and more serene and peaceful.  With the exception of one more project in the living room, I think these two rooms are done.  Phew.
What do y’all think?  Do the colors go well? Have you tried stenciling before?
xoxo Darby
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