May 17, 2012

Free Wallpaper

There aren't many walls in this house that have yet to be graced with my paintbrush, but our bathroom's were some of them.  Because the tiling in the shower is tan and the walls were already painted pretty much to match, I figured we should just go with it.  However, over time, the blandness of those walls have started to wear on me.  So, I did something about it:

You need to see a before shot don't you?  OK, here it is:
Now do you see it?  But here's where this post is about to get C.R.A.Z.Y!!!  That's not wallpaper y'all!  Nope...I stenciled and painted that little pattern action on there!  And before you go rolling your eyes and thinking...damn, that girl must have waaayyy too much time on her hands, let me remind you that I have a toddler and an infant...time is limited around here, and this project really was much less time-consuming than you would think.  AND this little project is honestly fool-proof as any imperfections pretty much disappear when viewing the wall as a whole!  Awesome, huh?!? 
So, if you're thinking about attempting it, here's what you need to do.  First, go download the stencil template from here (as a note of warning, she did a MUCH better job with hers than I did with mine, but I'm totally happy with my finished product...just proof that you seriously can't mess this up).  With template in hand, trace it on to some sturdy cardboard and cut it out...I used an old diaper box (we happen to have tons of those laying around here!).  
Once you have your cardboard template all ready to go, start tracing it on to the wall in pencil.  Trace lightly with the pencil as you don't want your lines to be too difficult to paint over.  Now, some may shudder at the thought, but my advice isn't to be too worried about lining your stencils up perfectly on the wall.  Just eyeball it to make sure they're about even at the top and bottoms of each row (although that will alternate because you're going to be staggering them), and the rest should fall into place.  

Also, I totally got lazy with mine and left a pretty big space in between each tracing as you can see above.  By doing it this way, I didn't have to trace my stencil as many times nor did I need to be as precise with my painting.  Space yours however you see fit!
In tracing, the only part that was a little tricky was getting around corners and objects such as the vanity and mirror.  All I did was bend up my little cardboard creation to get it to fit.  Again, any imperfections will go away, so don't stress if you can't get it to fit exactly...just guesstimate and trace!  
I knew going into this project that it was going to be a little tedious and time-consuming, so I decided in advance to just devote 1 hour a day to it and be patient.  I was was time-consuming, but the good news is it wasn't nearly as bad as I feared.  Stenciling the whole bathroom took me about 3 sessions (a little over 3 hours).
So next up was painting.  I mentioned above that this was a free project, and to keep it that way, I decided just to use some white paint that we had left over from Levi's room.  The only problem with this paint is that it didn't do a very good job of covering, so I had to do 2 coats (and sometimes three). While that pissed me off royally at first, again, it actually went much quicker than I thought...probably because I really was not very careful at all with my painting.  I followed the basic outline between the two stencils, but I quickly realized it was ok if I didn't stay in the lines.

Again, I decided in advance to devote about an hour a day to painting and just see how long it took.  Each time, the first 20 minutes or so were spent giving a second coat to the areas I had painted the day before and then the rest of the hour was spent making new progress.  Five sessions later, I had a fully painted wall.  How about a close-up?

In this house, the real barometer of success is Josh's reaction.  My husband is usually apprehensive about my projects, but even he was pleasantly surprised with this one! Now the bathroom just needs a new shower curtain, accessories, and maybe a couple other things and its mini-makeover will be complete...yay!

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