DIY: How to Stencil & Review of Cutting Edge Stencils

Sometimes (actually most of the time) going into a project, I never know what the result will be.  Because most of my projects are real experiments – – that’s why I call my home, My Experimental Playground – – I’m always a little scared “in the moment” anticipating a complete fail (which there have been many).  WELL…  the result of my latest project was surprisingly amazing.

I LOVE IT (now)!  Yet, during the process, was a complete different story….

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about my love for stenciling and how it’s the new “wallpaper”. In that post I made mention of a company, Cutting Edge Stencils, that offers gorgeous, stylish stencil designs.  I got in contact with them, and they graciously sent me my design of choice, which was the Trellis Allover Stencil, along with all the materials needed for me to try it out and share my results with you!

I chose to use the stencil on one of the prominent walls in my foyer.  The overall wall color in the room is Benjamin Moore Lenox Tan in a flat finish.  For the stencil, I decided to also use Lenox Tan but in a hi-gloss finish.  My thought was this contrast of sheen would give a subtle, but dramatic appearance (and it does)!

So before I share the steps…..

Don’t skip over reading this

The most important part of stenciling is to use the RIGHT materials!  These stenciling instructions are a must to read beforehand – – they are very detailed and will give you ideas of the exact tools you will need.

And the most important TOOL to use is a roller foam with an ultra smooth finish. It has very minimal nap and will give you the best result.  This is KEY to a successful stenciling result.  SO PLEASE USE THE RIGHT TOOLS!

So let’s get started….

Here is a before picture of the wall…. okay, but kind of boring ~

You will need ~

  • Stencil(s)
  • Sample board (Small Wall, poster board, cardboard, or even a pizza box to test out your colors)
  • Latex or acrylic paint
  • Dense foam roller with rounded ends or a stencil brush
  • Painter’s Tape
  • Paper Towels or rag

Note: I stenciled over an existing painted wall, but if you just painted your wall let it dry for 24+ hours before stenciling

1. Clean off the entire wall – remove all items including nails / screws, so the stencil can lay flat.

2. Starting in the corner, lay the stencil on the wall and tape the stencil to the wall with painter’s tape.

3. Using the innovative clip-on Stencil Level (which is included), check that the pattern is level.

4. Pour a small amount of paint on a plate or in a painter’s tray.  Roll it back and forth a few times.

5. Then roll it on a paper towel to get most of the paint off.  Your roller should have no visible paint left ~ it should look almost dry. Less paint is better to avoid seepage under the stencil.

6. Using a light to medium pressure, roll the paint over the stencil.  I lifted the corner edge to sneak-a-peak and noticed that the first coat wasn’t covering enough, so I ended up using two coats (READ BELOW on how to avoid using 2 COATS).  I let the paint dry about 5 minutes between coats.

(this is a picture my son took of me while painting – he did pretty good, right?!)

7. Once the section is done, remove the stencil and reposition the stencil right below the finished print. Use the parts of the design to realign your stencil.  And don’t forget to make sure it’s level!

Finish the rest of the wall and you’re done!

Overall, I am very happy with the result, BUT I have to say it does take some time to get used to.  I tackled one wall, and I’m not sure if I’m ready for a whole room or ceiling.  Check out {these} projects by other bloggers.  Since I’ve previously tackled wallpaper AND now, stenciling, I would say stenciling is a wee-bit easier.  The result is a little more forgiving.

An important note I want to share: I used Behr paint….BIG MISTAKE.    I’m not really a fan of Behr paint (sorry, Behr), because it dries too quickly and then removes the paint from the wall.  I ended up having to use Behr because they were the only company who had a hi-gloss finish and could color match the Benjamin Moore Lenox Tan.    So here was the problem ~ At times during the stenciling, the paint was peeling off the stencil and getting onto the wall.  I spoke with Cutting Edge Stencil about this problem and they never had that happen before.  SO that confirms that it was the paint that was the issue. To avoid this issue….

They recommend using:
Benjamin Moore  Aura – It’s more opaque and usually gives great coverage in just one coat

Again, the result is subtle, but dramatic.  Depending on where you stand and the amount of sun light filtering in throughout the day, the overall look changes.

Even though Cutting Edge Stencils sent me their product for review, I am giving my 100% honest opinion that they have a great product!  Stenciling is not just roosters and flowers anymore.  They have truly taken their designs to the next level to enhance the overall look and feel of a space. Here are a few others that I love:

Moroccan Dream Stencil

Nadya Damask SM scale

Vision Allover Stencil

AND it gets better…

Cutting Edge Stencil is offering a GIVEAWAY!  But, you’ll have to wait till next week to enter.  Head back to SAS Interiors next Thursday during my Summer Spaces Link Party for the Blogger Block Party and learn more about what Cutting Edge Stencil wants you to have!!

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  1. says

    I love this trellis stencil from Cutting Edge Stencils, I used it on a tray project. Question, how did you run the pattern up to the molding along the stairs so well…I wanted to used this pattern in a room but this part of it stopped me! Beautiful job, love the subtle color difference!

    • Jenna says

      Hi Janell,
      I didn’t realize that you used the Trellis stencil on your tray ~ thought it looked familiar.
      Stenciling close to the moulding on the stairs was a bit tricky. At some points, I didn’t even tape it to the wall – – I had to just hold the stencil with one hand and paint with the other. Also, because the color of the paint was tone on tone but with a different sheen, it was a bit more forgiving. I did use painters tape to avoid paint from getting where it shouldn’t be.

    • Jenna says

      Thanks Debbie for stopping by and checking out my new stencil project. Definitely check back on Thursday to enter the giveaway!

  2. says

    So, I haven’t really been a fan of the stencil things, because 1) I think it would take a long time and 2) like you I’m not sure how well it would turn out. BUT, your wall looks FABULOUS!! I think using the same color of paint with different finishes was a great idea, and your wall is the best stenciled wall I’ve seen! ♥ it! Visiting from TT&J.

    • Jenna says

      Thank you so much Amy! You’re comment is SOOO appreciated and I’m glad you like the result of using the tone on tone color but with a different sheen. If you haven’t stenciled before, a small wall or area is best to start out. I could not IMAGINE doing an entire room…I would have gone bananas. I think choosing an accent wall for a stencil is a perfect addition to a space. Give it a try though. If you’d like to win a stencil, link up to the Blogger Block Party and you’ll automatically be entered. Here’s the link ~

    • Jenna says

      Thanks so much Beth for visiting SAS Interiors and for the kind comment about my project. The stenciling has definitely made the foyer and entrance to my home more inviting and homey. Thanks again for stopping by! xo Jenna

  3. says

    I know this is an older post, but I wanted to ask a question about your entryway. I have angled stairs like you do. How did you use the stencil with that angle? If you could offer any tips, I would really appreciate it! Your stair makeover looks great BTW. I found your site from East Coast Creative. It is definitely going on my daily reader list!

    • Jenna says

      Sorry for the delay in my response. When it came to the angle, I held the stencil in place with my hand and then rolled the foam roller as close to the stair edge as I can. The stencil doesn’t go perfectly to the edge of the stair trim, but is about a 1/2″ away. Make sense. Once you start, you’ll get the hang of it. Let me know if you have more questions! -Jenna

  4. says

    Saw the link to this post from your stair reveal over at remodelaholic and had to check it out. I LOVE this look! I never thought to try a tone on tone with the stencil, but I think that may just be what my foyer needs. Thankfully, our landlords are quite happy to have us paint whatever we want, however we want, so I get to experiment.

    I have found that a light coat of low-tack spray-adhesive on the back of the stencil helps to keep the paint from seeping under as well, especially when you’ve got odd angles to work with. One coat of the adhesive usually works for 2 or 3 repositionings, along with the taped edges. Makes alignment easier too!

    • Jenna says

      Thanks so much for stopping by Julie! Great tip on using the spray adhesive for stenciling. I’ve got quite a few more projects up my sleeve, and will definitely be using that idea. xo Jenna

  5. Bernadette Leahy says

    After sending another hour looking at stencil choices on Etsy and becoming increasingly less confident, I found your hallway stencil project. I had already ordered the foam roller and level kit from Cutting Edge a few months ago. The concept has been a vision for some time, and now that my bath/laundry room has been updated, it is time. I am going back to Cutting Edge now.

    Thank you for sharing your learnings, recommendations. In my research I have learned that a suggested paint is Benjamin Moore’s “Ben” which is ideal for stencils and comes in three sheen choices in all of their colors.

    Taking the plunge!

  6. Brenna says

    I think this is Beautiful! I’ve been wanting to do this on an accent wall in my living room, and I recently came across an article on pinterest where the blogger used a paint pen to do stencils. If I did a stencil, I would want one like this- where only the outline is painted. Do you think that could work? it seems like it might be less hassle than getting out actual paint and a drop cloth and everything