Wall Stencil VS. Wallpaper

How to use a wall stencil

Pretty sure we will never install wallpaper in our house. When we moved into our current house, 2 of the rooms had wallpaper – horrible, textured wallpaper. After removing all the wallpaper Thomas and I promised each other that we will never, ever install wallpaper. BUUUUT…. Wallpaper can be so beautiful! Cue: the wall stencil.

Seriously, wall stencils are the way to go. They are super inexpensive (mine was about $30 on Etsy) and are not difficult to use.

I purchased this wall stencil from cutestencils on Etsy. I highly recommend this shop, Holly has everything organized and explained perfectly. My stencil came with thorough instructions for application and cleaning. She also provided 3 sheets of stencil, 1 large, and two smaller pieces for corners and tricky areas.


stencil from cutestencils on Etsy

When you start stenciling, you will want to start in the middle of your wall and work in sections to allow the paint to dry. You can see below that I overlapped one row of the stencil on a previous area. This is how you get the pattern to line up straight throughout the whole wall. If your first stencil is level, the rest of the stencils will be level if you line it up carefully. I worked in a circle from the middle out. Usually by the time I came full circle, the paint had dried enough to lay the next stencil down. If that is confusing, look at the pictures and it should make more sense. Because you aren’t laying the paint on super thick, the paint is dry enough in 5-10 minutes.

IMG_3415 How to apply a wall stencil

How to apply a wall stencil









You can see I just used painters tape (and some spray adhesive) to hold the stencil. Some people use spray adhesive to hold their wall stencil, but I found it much easier to just use the painters tape. The spray adhesive was very hard to clean off afterward and didn’t have any affect on the paint bleed of my stenciling.

How to apply a wall stencil How to apply a wall stencil

I definitely had some tricky areas, it was difficult to stencil around the outlets/thermometer. It was also tricky stenciling up along that vaulted ceiling. The stencil will curve somewhat, so I taped along the ceiling and then used my roller to get those awkward spots. You will not be able to get in the little crevices (like along the ceiling), but I went back through with a small paintbrush and filled it in by hand.

A few tips and recommendations:
If you are a perfectionist – stenciling is not for you. Your stencil will bleed sometimes and the edges are not always crisp or perfect. But when you are looking at the wall as a whole, the eye does not pick up on the imperfections.
Do not overload your roller with paint. Your paint will seep under the stencil and cause the paint to bleed. Every. Time. To prevent overloading, use some paper towels. I would load my roller with paint, and then lightly roll off any heavy excess onto the paper towels.
Do not “push” when you are rolling the paint on your wall. Only use light pressure to apply the paint. I found that if I started applying more pressure to my roller, my stencil had more paint bleeds.
It takes a bit of practice, but this was my first stencil project and it turned out great! And no, I didn’t go back and touch up any of the spots where the paint bled. Like I said earlier, when you look at it as a whole – it looks like perfection. Everyone assumes this wall is wallpapered, and I take that as a compliment.

How to use a wall stencil How to use a wall stencil

This project took me 4 hours total (spaced between 2 days). I find that quite comparable to the time it would take to lay wallpaper and (eventually) remove it. AND – it is a fraction of the cost!

Thanks for stopping by, I love and appreciate all of your kind words of encouragement and comments.

Megan Signature

2 thoughts on “Wall Stencil VS. Wallpaper”

  1. Hi, your dad and my husband served their mission in the same area and time so I know your parents. I just found your blog. I love it!

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