Step 1: Make the Chalk-Line Grid

man using yardstick to make chalk grid for wall stenciling
Photo: Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn
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Put down your base coat. Once it's dry, measure the wall side to side and snap a vertical chalk line down its center. Snap more lines to the left and right at 18-inch intervals till you hit the corners. About 3 inches from the ceiling, mark the bottom of the top row of interrupted stars with chalk. Move down the chalk lines, marking dots at 18-inch intervals. Using a yardstick, connect the dots diagonally and create a grid of 18-by-18-inch diamonds.
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    Tools List

    • chisel-tip paintbrush
      Paint brush and roller for the base color
    • chalk line
      Chalk line
    • wooden yardstick
      Yardstick for the grid
    • Pencil
    • scissors
      Scissors to cut out the templates
    • artist paintbrush
      ½-inch artist's brush to paint the pattern
    • grout sponge
      Damp sponge to erase any errant chalk or paint marks

    Shopping List

    1. Flexible posterboard

    2. White school chalk

    3. 1 gallon of latex paint
    or enough for a base coat, in a pale color (We used Benjamin Moore's Palladian Blue.)

    4. 1 quart of latex paint
    or enough for the star patterns, in a neutral color (We used Benjamin Moore's Standish White.) 5. 1 small container of acrylic latex craft paint
    or enough for the dots, in a contrasting shade (We used FolkArt's Metallic Solid Bronze.)