Just Beadiful

I’ve been wanting to up the ante in the girls’ room since they moved in way back when Sebastian took over their old room.  During a few weeks in October, I finally got my chance.

Shortly after we moved in, we took a can of creamy beige to the walls in here and it worked as a guestroom/office for several years (paint color was Drifting Dune by Valspar).  The cream walls were a perfect canvas for adding whatever color of decor I felt like and they still are.  Except this summer a friend gave us a beige rug she wasn’t using anymore and I thought the girls’ room would be the perfect new home for it except…IMG_6105…really it just created one big, beige box.

I loved the rug too much to part with it so something had to be done.  One of those things came in the form of an idea of creating a colorful accent wall behind the cribs. 

Initially, I had schemed to knock-off this Anthropologie wallpaper by stenciling something similar using some sort of watercolor technique I still had to come up with.  But then over time the room started collecting lots of colorful artwork above the girls’ dresser and I thought maybe the colorful wallpaper knock-off idea would just create too much pastel-ish color.  Is it possible to have too much color?  I don’t know but the thought of walking into a soft-palette, watercolor room read “overstimulation” to me.  Plus, the watercolor stencil would’ve probably been a lot of work and it’s not one of those designs that could easily be melded into a new decor plan in the future…the future being when the girls’ turn into real little girls and I want to turn their room into a funky modern yet girly space.

So then…I know, “get to the point already!”, I thought maybe I’d just stencil a simple pattern onto the wall that wasn’t in-your-face but wouldn't totally blend into the wall either; accentuating with subtlety.

Enter Cutting Edge Stencils and the girls’ new-and-improved, but still ever-tweaked, room:  IMG_6558

I’ve made my own stencils before but, for what I wanted on this wall, I didn’t have the skill to just whip up a diy stencil much less create something big enough to stencil it.  Good thing Cutting Edge does have that skill.  When I was set on the subtle stencil idea for this accent wall, I started perusing their site.  I had heard of them lots of times via other blogs and I knew they had some really awesome designs.  So, together with Chelsea at Checking in with Chelsea, we contacted Cutting Edge to ask if they’d sponsor a post and they said “YES”!  Honestly, I was planning on grabbing a stencil during their next sale anyway but I thought maybe we could try to collaborate with them first and so I was floored (walled?) and excited when they sent us each a Beads Allover stencil plus a Stencil Essentials kit.

But anyway, enough with the small talk.  Let’s talk about how this went up.

First, I moved everything away from the accent wall, took down the mirror, and gave the wall a quick wash with some mild soap and water.IMG_1892
I started the stenciling process by stenciling along the ceiling first.  Cutting Edge includes a top edge stencil with their allover wall stencils to make stenciling along the ceiling a breeze.  I found that using the end of the foam roller that came in the Stencil Essentials kit to stipple the paint onto the stencil worked the best for me.  The walls in the girls’ room have a fair amount of orange-peel texture to them but the foam cut the bleeding because of the texture to a minimum and allowed me to get super close to the ceiling.
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I did have to wipe off the back of the stencil after every couple of rounds but having a pack of wet wipes close made it easy to do.
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This might not have been as necessary with non-textured walls but since mine are, paint did tend to seep behind the stencil a tad.  Spraying the back of the stencil with spray adhesive would probably have cut down on the bleed too but I didn’t want to spray that stuff in the girls’ room and the thought of running to and fro outside and their room wasn’t appealing time-wise. 

That black strip attached to the stencil is a clip-on stencil level.  This little thing was awesome and I highly recommend grabbing one for your next stenciling project!  It’s a miniature level that attaches to the top or bottom of the stencil.  It cut out all the measuring to make sure the stencil was painted on straight.  One quick glance at the level is all you need get things nice and straight so that you can spend more time focusing on important things like painting and watching how much paint you’re getting on your roller.

Here’s what the wall looked like after I was finished stenciling along the ceiling: IMG_1895[Sorry for the poor picture!  I worked at night and you know how well poor-lighting plays with cameras…]
I don’t know if borders are out these days but I thought the Beads stencil looked cute just along the top of the wall.

Next up was…the rest of the wall.  I didn’t realize how large this stencil actually was before I took it out of the packaging.  It’s big.  Great too because a big stencil meant less work for me.

I started stenciling several inches from the corner of the wall, thinking that I’d tackle the corners last.  I wasn’t sure how the stencil would hold up with me bending it into the corners so I was a little concerned that if I did the corners first and the stencil didn’t hold up, I’d be in deep trouble.  (Spoiler alert:  not only did it hold up to the corners but there were no bends, breaks, or warping to be seen after!)

At first I just taped the sides of the stencil to the wall after making sure it was level using some painters’ tape I had on hand.  The problem was that the painters’ tape I had wasn’t really holding the stencil up.  It was painters’ tape I’ve had forever and was probably cheap.  Doh!

I didn’t have time to go out and grab more tape since I had a limited time schedule (bedtime for a couple of nights only) so I remedied the sad sticking situation with sticky tack!

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I just stuck a little ball of it to the four corners of the stencil and it worked like a charm!  The stencil was going nowhere but onto the wall!  I think I’ll go for the tack over tape for any future stencil too.  It’s easy to remove and just stick to the next area; no grabbing another strip of tape or worrying about where the heck you laid the tape you need rightthisminute.
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To paint the stencil, I used the foam roller on it’s handle.  Since my walls are textured, barely covering the roller with paint was KEY!  Using the paint tray below (Home Depot, I think?) made it easy for me to load up the foam roller with paint and then roll the excess off onto the platform.
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I also figured out that if I went over the stencil twice, each time with very thin coat of paint, it cut out on the bleeding even more.  I did the coats one-after-the-other.  And, just like with the edge stencil, I made sure to wipe off the back of the stencil after every couple of uses.  In the end, I still didn’t have super-clean edges like I would’ve with a non-textured wall, but the edges weren’t awful either.  Perfectly imperfect.  :)

After I was done stenciling the entire middle of the wall, it was time for the corners.  Like I said above, I was a little nervous about these because I wasn’t sure if bending the stencil into the corners was going to  permanently bend the stencil or if all would be unscathed.  I was pleasantly surprised and super impressed with how the stencil handled corners though!  It came out looking as great as when it came out of its packaging!   
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So, in conclusion…

The stencil itself?  So awesome.  The quality is so great and it was (and still is) seemingly indestructible.  It rounded the corners well without cracking/breaking and showed no signs of injury when I accidentally dropped it…oops.  Five stars/two thumbs up/hearty applaud to Cutting Edge for creating a high quality product and gaining a loyal customer in me.  (Master bathroom walls, I’m looking at you…)

Sticky tack worked so much better than tape for me and was a lot more efficient, especially since I was on a major time crunch to get the girls’ room back to normal.

If you are stenciling textured walls, wipe off the back of the stencil every few rounds.  Don’t be afraid to give a little stencil-love to textured walls!  It can be done!

Stippling with the end of the roller was a great way to get really close to the ceiling vs. rolling the paint on along the narrow edge stencil.

The paint tray I used with the small platform on it was great at helping get the right amount of paint onto the roller (this one* is similar to mine but I’m sure you’d probably be able to find one at a home improvement store too).

I used a white Glidden paint in satin to paint on this stencil.  It dried fairly quickly which is key in stenciling.  The faster the paint dries, the less chance it has to bleed or get smudged. 

Cutting Edge has a great list of FAQ’s on the actual stenciling process that you should definitely check out when buying a stencil.

Overall, I really don’t have anything bad to say about the whole experience.  I’m 100% sold on stencils (again) as a much, much, much cheaper wallpaper alternative and to liven up any room.


IMG_6561  IMG_6564                                            [refurbished mirror, over-sized letters are from JoAnn Fabrics]
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I’ll have lots more details about all of the other projects I finished in this room in the coming weeks but for now, let’s take a little tour of the girls’ sweet space, shall we?
IMG_6565                                                        [diy play kitchen from an entertainment center]
 IMG_6566These pictures of the dresser wall came out awful for some reason (shoulda turned the lamp off?) but at least you can kinda get a glimpse of all the pastels going on there. IMG_6567 IMG_6569                                                                                  [mirror refurb]

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My favorite tours though, are those that bring up what used to be.  Like how the room looked like this right after we moved in and scrambled to put it together before guests arrived with stuff we had on hand:guest office ip 
But then we made big progress into turning it into a guestroom guests would feel much more cozy in.may182012 008

And then the twins got moved, mom got busy and moved up in the photo-taking world to bring us where we are today:IMG_6560

And in case you’re wondering how in the heck I keep their room so clean, I don’t.  I just lock them out when I need to take blog pictures when the bright sun is shining in during the late-afternoon…and I call on a certain Explorer to babysit.  Once that lock is unlocked though and the cubs are let in, it’s all scatter and dump.  IMG_6591

And that’s real life.

.           .           .

Make sure you check in with Chelsea to see what she did with the Beads stencil!

*affiliate link

 

And PS, thank you for all the love after our bitty baby announcement Friday!  I’m so blessed to have such friends in my readers!  XO! 

7 comments

  1. I've been eyeballing that particular stencil for a while, and it is SO NICE to see someone actually use it! I love it even more! I think you've convinced me to stop hesitating and just buy the darned thing!
    - Christina

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    1. Awesome! I love when that happens! If you do end up getting it, I'd love to see what you do with it Christina!

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  2. I LOVE that accent wall! I've been trying to decide how to decorate the girls room since we moved. I'm thinking this stencil will play a big roll in what will be done now. I have huge galvanized letters from their first birthday that I can now vision in their room too! You are so inspirational. Now, can you tell me how you find the time to do all of these things?

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    1. It's so hard! There are just way to many ways to decorate little girls' rooms aren't there?! The stencil idea really is awesome though. You should totally do one and those galvanized letters sound amazing!!
      As far as time, it's all nap time! Seriously, once their heads hit the bed I'm off to work! Well, except for the stenciling. That I did a couple of days during daddy duty. :)

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