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As someone with an eye for detail, and an appreciation for going the extra mile to make something look “just right”, I often find myself looking for ways to add just the right touch. Today I want to talk about using stencils to add a bit of variety to your home and to help take your next project to the next level!

Although the technique has been around for centuries, stenciling has recently found a new popularity among today’s homeowners and designers. If you want to make a generic-looking wall pop out and be noticed, apply an elegant stenciled border in a color that complements the wall’s base coat. For those who are artistically inclined, stenciling can be done freehand, but for most people the easiest way to achieve a fabulous stenciled effect is to purchase a stencil pattern or template which you can then apply to your wall and fill in with colors, using either permanent markers or acrylic stenciling paints.

Designers agree: Your stencil pattern will help set the mood in your room, so you’ll want to choose carefully. If you want to add a calming effect, use nature-inspired patterns such as leaf shapes and floral designs. If you have a large formal living room, architectural scrolls will give your walls an instant designer look. For bedrooms, sunrooms and bathrooms, try ivy leaf and climbing vine patterns; for a child’s bedroom, indulge your whimsical side with a pattern of exotic animals such as elephants, teddy bears or pink pigs.

To achieve the maximum effect, stenciling should be subtle, so choose paints that complement your wall background. In a large room with a high ceiling, however, it’s perfectly fine to go over the top and apply a huge stencil pattern in vibrant colors if you want a big, dramatic look.

This oversized stencil pattern makes the small corner space really pop out. If you decide to use large stencils in bright colors, be sure to choose your space wisely. Otherwise, it will overpower the room.
Guest Post: Stencil Art 101
Photo Credit: Kristen F. Davis Designs

A menagerie of stenciled animals adds a touch of whimsy to your child’s bedroom wall. For maximum effect, choose bright colors and oversize stencil patterns.
Guest Post: Stencil Art 101
Photo Credit: Elle Decoration

It may look like delft tile, but this staircase is actually layered in stenciling, replicating the cozy, colorful look of blue and white tiles. You can also achieve the same effect and replicate Southwest tiles, using themed stencils and colors such as cobalt blue, salmon pink, apricot, sage green and gold.
Guest Post: Stencil Art 101
Photo Credit: The Decorative Paintbrush

You can dress up your vintage, distressed furniture by adding bold stenciling on the front and sides. For a spectacular effect, apply a base coat of bright blue, yellow, green or pink, and then apply a large stencil pattern in white.
Guest Post: Stencil Art 101
Photo Credit: Miss Mustard Seeds Milk Paint

This elegant stencil detailing works itself in a continuous pattern along the doorframe. Stenciling can be used effectively on corners, archways and entrances, and is also a marvelous way to dress up window treatments.
Guest Post: Stencil Art 101
Photo Credit: Lombardi Manuela Decorazioni

A stenciled border adds a custom-designed, couture look to any room, no matter what your current design scheme may be. The key is to choose appropriate colors and patterns, and work as neatly as you can while applying your color. Just be warned: Stenciling is addictive, so once you’ve finished your first project, you may end up stenciling every room in the house.

Written by Eric Bowden