stenciled faux wallpaper pattern in kitchen, reader remodel contest 2013
The sink wall's white-on-gray pattern went up with the help of two stencils, bits of Frog Tape, a level, and paper towels to blot the roller—"It helps prevent bleeding," says Haley.
It's not unusual for a This Old House reader to see a blank wall and think "canvas." Witness Haley Julian, who at eight months pregnant was teetering on a ladder with a paint roller in hand when her husband, Marc, happened into the kitchen and talked her down. "He keeps me grounded," says Haley.

The couple was finishing up a rush DIY redo of their 19th-century house, and Haley, who is drawn to the way things look, had hit on a way to get the drama of high-end wallpaper without throwing budget-minded Marc for a loop. After putting down a gray base coat in a flat finish (Clark+Kensington's Ominous Cloud), Haley used white semigloss (Dutch Boy's Ultra White) and a pair of stencils to apply a pattern called Hourglass; one large stencil made the work go fast, and a smaller one allowed her to get into tight spots ($40 for the set; cuttingedgestencils.com). Soon she was busy on the dining room side of the peninsula, using the same stencils but applying dark over light (Ominous Cloud atop Clark+Kensington's Oyster Pearl).
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