• In this video, This Old House senior technical editor Mark Powers shows how to design and paint a decorative border around an interior doorway.

    1. Lay out and measure the doorway's border.

    2. Design and make the stencils.

    3. Position the top stencil.

    4. Paint the top stencil.

    5. Paint the rest of the border.

    Download the pattern we used.
    • Difficulty: Easy
      Making the stencils takes patience and precision, but the painting is a cinch.
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      Tools List

      • 30-foot tape measure
        Measuring tape
      • black marker
        Fine-tip permanent marker
      • straightedge guide
      • self-healing cutting mat
        Self-healing cutting mat
      • X-Acto knife
      • electric stencil cutter
        Pane of glass and electric stencil-cutting pen for cutting curved lines. Get one at crafts stores or Amazon
      • small plastic putty knife
        Plastic putty knife
      • small paint tray
        Paper plate or small bucket or tray for holding the paint.
      • stencil brush
        Flat-tip stencil brush. Get a size that suits your pattern's scale and shape. We used a No. 8 brush, which has a diameter of inch.

      Shopping List

      1. Stencil film
      Sometimes called template plastic or acetate.

      2. Painter's tape
      for delicate surfaces.(It won’t remove the wall paint.)

      3. Repositionable mounting spray
      4. Old newspapers

      5. Latex paint
      Use a flat or satin finish to achieve a timeworn look.

      6. Lint-free cloths
      or sturdy paper towels for cleaning stencils and to dab when prepping the stencil brush.