How to Add a Lively Wall Pattern with Stamps
Craft foam, wood scraps, and two shades of paint turn child's play into wall art
Remember those potato stamps you made in school? Now imagine a less starchy—but no less fun—medium made with a sheet of flexible craft foam and squares of scrap wood. The pattern shown here was applied with two homemade stamps and semigloss paint. "It's a great way to add energy to a small area," says decorative painter Brian Carter, who came up with the pattern as a way to enliven a plain white bath painted with Benjamin Moore's White Dove. "The wainscot provides an orderly block of color so that the handprinted pattern can dance above it." A base coat of Benjamin Moore's Hawthorne Yellow serves as the pattern's backdrop. The look is akin to handmade wallpaper.
Carter likes the contrast of a semigloss pattern on a flat base coat. To keep the look loose, he moved across the wall, stamping squares with diamond cutouts at 4-inch intervals in freehand fashion. Then he went back and added smaller circles in the blank spaces. "Try out your pattern on a piece of colored paper, and if you don't like the way it looks, vary the amount of paint on the stamp or make a new one," he says. And save the paper—it's great for gift wrap. For a step-by-step look, read on.