Stencil On a Wallpaper Look
Get an allover pattern for less than the cost of a single roll of wall covering. It's easier than you'd think
Got a yen to add color and pattern to your walls? You've probably considered wallpaper—but maybe thought twice given the hassle and high cost that go hand in hand with fancy coverings.
Happily, stenciling is a simple way to approximate the look. It's low-commitment, since you can paint over the pattern if you get tired of it, and not nearly as pricey, with many large-format stencils going for $50 or less. From traditional florals to modern geometrics, the options are as varied as wallpaper patterns but totally customizable because you pick the paint colors.
For best results, use painter's tape to hold the stencil in place, and start by completing one row from ceiling to floor. Paint with a small, dense foam roller, first rolling off excess on paper towels to prevent bleeding. Bend the stencil and use a small stencil brush to get into tight spaces. Partly overlap the already-painted pattern for the next row to ensure that it's perfectly aligned.
But don't stress over minor imperfections: That handcrafted effect is part of the look's charm.
To give his dining room dimension, decorative painter and Cutting Edge Stencils cofounder Greg Swisher troweled on slightly iridescent LusterStone, a Venetian-plaster–like coating, above the wainscoting, then stenciled on a stylized design in Benjamin Moore's Cedar Path. Want more drama? Reverse the scheme with a darker wall color and a shimmery hue for the design.
Diamond Damask stencil, about $50; cuttingedgestencils.com. TOH readers get 15 percent off! Use the code TOH15 at checkout.
Want to add a worldly touch to a room? This highly detailed, large-scale stencil gives classic black-and-white toile a chinoiserie twist. Use the scenic print on an accent wall to avoid overdosing on the theme.
Willow Pattern CH32, about $130; stencil-library.com