How to Stencil a Ceiling Medallion
Flatter your fixture with a lacy frame that suggests old-world plasterwork. With the help of a stencil and craft paint, you can do it in a flash
Some decorative painting projects require lots of time and artfulness, but this one is so straightforward that it's fine for beginners. The secret is a flexible, semicircular stencil, which you use twice to create a full-circle medallion. There are plenty to choose from; here, decorative painter Ingrid Leess used the Georgian Ceiling Medallion (about $55; Cutting Edge Stencils), which stencil designer Janna Makaeva based on historic plasterwork. "This stencil would suit a pendant fixture, too, or no fixture at all, to add interest to a plain ceiling," says Leess, who trimmed the center of the stencil to fit this large ceiling-mount fixture.
Before choosing a stencil, she recommends folding large sheets of paper into quarters and cutting out rough templates to determine the right size for your project. Though this medallion goes up one half at a time, "the whole thing took only 45 minutes," Leess says. Add 15 minutes to practice the technique on poster board beforehand, and you're still done in an hour. Not bad, given the dramatic impact on the ceiling—and the room.
Shown: For a unified look, choose a paint color that echoes the finish on the light fixture.
Prepare the Stencil and Paint
If you have a large fixture, you may need to trim the center of a half-medallion stencil to fit. Mist the stencil with repositionable spray adhesive, and press it onto the ceiling; a couple of bits of painter's tape can be a reminder not to roll over the edges. Pour 2 to 3 tablespoons of metallic craft or latex paint onto a styrofoam plate.