Using Stencils for a Fast Bathroom Makeover

To transform ordinary painted walls in a bathroom, add a light touch with a decorative stencil design. In no time at all and with very little money, you can change the room’s personality. Pick up a precut acetate stencil design, a stencil brush, and some acrylic paints (which are easier to use if you pour out a small amount into a small container) at any paint or craft store, and then follow these easy stenciling instructions:

  1. Measure down from the ceiling to the point where you want the top or bottom of the stencil and pencil a tick mark at this point.

    Begin in a corner.

  2. Draw a level guideline around the room.

    Use a level to ensure that your line is straight.

  3. Align the top or bottom of the stencil, depending how you drew the layout line.

    Again, be sure to start in a corner.

  4. Use spray adhesive to hold the stencil in place.

    If you don’t have spray adhesive, try using blue painter’s tape. It pulls of the wall easily without pulling off paint.

  5. Dip the stencil brush into the paint and blot it.

    Blotting removes excess paint.

  6. Dab the paint inside the cutout of the design, working your way around from its edges and filling the center of the design last.

    Because most stencil patterns use more than one color, do one color at a time. Put masking tape over the unused cutouts so you don’t get confused (and so you don’t get paint in places where you don’t want it).

  7. Pencil a mark in one of the registration holes.

    The stencil has registration holes used to align the repeating pattern as you reposition it along the wall.

  8. Make your way around the room, applying the first paint color in the cutout and peeling the acetate from the wall as you go.

    Be careful not to smudge the fresh paint.

  9. When the paint is dry, erase your pencil lines and marks.

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