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Stenciling is the age-old technique of transferring a single pattern or multiple designs onto the surface of an object, door or wall, with paint or ink. Typically, it is done using a thin sheet of material with a design cut out – through which a different colored paint or ink is carefully applied.

Stenciling is often applied as a decorative border on ceilings and at the top of walls (Courtesy of The Grand Del Mar)

Stenciling is often applied as a decorative border on ceilings and at the top of walls (Courtesy of The Grand Del Mar)

Dating back thousands of years, the Egyptians used stencils to decorate tombs, while the ancient Greeks utilized them to outline mosaic designs. In recent years, the art of stenciling has reemerged as an intriguing way to liven up and add warmth and dimension to a room, and it can be a more cost-effective alternative to wallpaper.

Stenciling accentuates any area, as well as brings color and design to previously drab surfaces.

Stenciling accentuates any area, as well as brings color and design to previously drab surfaces.

In addition to walls, try stenciling ceilings, furnishings, doors and even glass, lampshades or the back plates of wall sconces and watch as new life and color is added to previously tired surfaces. Stencil designs, including classic motifs, floral and leaf patterns, abstract or geometric designs and Asian-inspired patterns, will personalize your space or object.

Like so many design techniques, moderation is the main rule of thumb to how and where stenciling should be applied. Stenciling is ideally used as decorative border on ceilings or at the top of walls, placed an inch or more under the crown molding. The colors used within a space can be incorporated into the stencil pattern. Another interesting technique is to mute the coloration through a process called “aging,” which is accomplished by applying a tinted oil-based glaze on top of the painted stencil design.  Stenciling is especially nice if walls have been originally painted with a flat paint in hues of brown, beige or blue.

Stenciling is especially useful if walls are painted with a flat paint in hues of brown, beige or blue.

Stenciling is especially useful if walls are painted with a flat paint in hues of brown, beige or blue.

We’d love to see what you’ve created already, or what your next stenciling project might be. Please share your ideas and pictures with us by posting them on our Facebook

page.

 

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