Well, I don’t wanna make anyone jealous but, I’m currently sitting outside behind the protective screens of our not-completely-decorated but completely functional patio and it. is. awesome. This atmosphere is going to make writing posts even more fun. But anyway, while I’m looking at it, let’s get back on the stenciled concrete train and talk about how I painted the stencil onto our floors. (In case you missed it, here’s how I made the stencil.)
With the floor all clean and sealed, l ran to Lowe’s and grabbed this porch and floor paint by Valspar.
They had a bunch of different colors to choose from plus a few base cans you could get tinted so, since they didn’t have a plain white, I grabbed a tintable can and had the paint dude make me white. I was a little nervous when he just told me “sure, I can make it white” right after I asked him if he could because I hadn’t had time to figure out which white I wanted nor did I have any swatches in hand. But, I convinced myself in those two seconds that it would probably just be a neutral white and there was nothing to fear and to just get over it. And all turned out ok and I saved myself loads of hemming and hawwing over which of the 105853 whites to get.
Home I went and during the next naptime, I got to work. The supplies:
-my new paint in a small paint tray
-a small foam roller
-a measuring tape
-something to kneel on
(Note: Freshly painted toe and fingernails NOT recommended! They will look scuffed and chipped after an hour of brushing up against the concrete. Whoopsie.)
By using a foam roller instead of a thick fiber roller, I was able to paint on a thinner coat to achieve an imperfect, semi-worn look. I didn’t want the stencil to look solid white but I wanted scratches that developed over time to blend in and look like they had always been there.
So, starting in the far corner of the room, I started stenciling away. I used the dots on either side of the design to line up the stencil. (Note: I realized a few stencils in that those dots weren’t evenly spaced, something I wish I would’ve noticed while making the stencil. One was a little farther away from the design than the other. Once I realized that, I continued by basically eye-balling the design, making sure it was centered, and using just one of the dots as a guide. If you ever make this stencil, make sure you draw in your own large dots instead of tracing the ones already there like I did and make sure they’re spaced the same distance from the larger design.)
To secure the stencil to the floor so that it wouldn’t slide around as I painted, I grabbed some sticky tack and stuck it to the bottom two corners and the concrete. I secured the stencil I used in the girls’ room to the wall the same way and it works like a charm; so much better than tape.
As I moved, I lifted the stencil with the sticky tack and restuck it to the concrete. I wasn’t sure if it’d get stuck in the concrete or not but thankfully, it didn’t.
After I had stenciled the first row, I realized that the upper corners of the stencil were going to get in the way of the freshly painted stencil above. So, I quickly grabbed the scissors and cut off the corners.
(I went back in after I was finished and the stencil was dry to stencil along the edges of that upper wall above too. More on that farther down.)
I got about eight rows done during naptime that day (about 1 hour of time) and I was able to finish that one small slab (there are two slabs that make up our patio) after the kids woke up. It was risky, painting while they were awake, but they listened so well and didn’t step in the paint but gave me a good audience and loved being able to play outside on the part I hadn’t gotten to yet. Crisis averted and no face palms necessary.
A little more progress:
I probaby could’ve gotten it done in half the time but I took a ton of breaks…haha! My legs needed them!
As far as measuring goes, I tried to keep things as evenly spaced and straight as I could by eye-balling but occasionally, I broke out the measuring tape to measure the distance from the next stencil I painted to the wall. Making sure each row was the same distance from the wall on both ends helped everything line up.
This is what the first stage of stenciling looked like:
After I was done stenciling and everything was dry and able to be walked on, I went in with a paint brush around the edge of the room and free-hand painted the design so that it almost touched the wall. I didn’t want a gap between the stencil and the wall.
Here you can see what a difference it made:
It wasn’t a huge deal to have the gap but it made it look better in my opinion and didn’t take long to do; maybe fifteen more minutes.
That part might sound tedious but it took me all of ten minutes.
I mentioned above that our patio was made up of two slabs; one must’ve been poured when the house was built and then the smaller added to expand later because they’re two different textures and one is a slightly lighter color. The difference in the slabs was one reason I wanted to stencil the floor – I thought it would make them more cohesive.
Having two slabs though made it a little easier for me to stencil. I did the smaller slab at the far end of the room first – first painting the stencil and then going back over it with two more coats of sealer. After that small slab was done, we were able to move all the furniture from the other slab to it, making it so that we didn’t have to keep our furniture outside for a few days while I stenciled.
One problem I ran into was getting the stencil to line up in the end. I had to stencil so that I ended at the french doors and didn’t back myself into a corner, unable to step on wet paint. So, since I really wasn’t too strict with my measuring and had to skip over that entry area to stencil the opposite side of the room, things got a little wonky by the door. It irked me a tad but I think we’ll put a rug down there anyway so hopefully it will go pretty unnoticed.
In case I lost you on my process, here’s a breakdown:
1. Stencil the first slab.
2. Go back in and extend the stencil to the wall once everything is dry.
3. Add the small dots amongst the larger design.
4. After all is dry, roll on two more coats of sealer, making sure the first is completely dry before adding the second. (One coat would probably do too but we had sealer leftover so we figured we’d use it all up.)
5. Repeat with the second slab.
(Obviously, if you’re just working with one slab, you’ll just stencil, extend, dot, and seal.)
And, a cost breakdown:
stencil: 83 cents (used a stencil blank I had leftover from stenciling this rug)
sealing/stenciling supplies: $0 (already had the paint trays, rollers, and trim edge)
floor paint: $15 (but there’s still 1/3 of the can left so…front porch?…Anthony says “I don’t think so.”)
grand total: about $40 (add $10 if you had to buy everything I had on hand)
It’s kind of sad that we’re covering a big portion of all that tedious stenciling up with a rug but, we are. I want the kids to be able to bring out their toys and play in comfort and overall, I think the rug just ups the cozy ante out here. Here’s what the floor looks like right now:The rug was originally from Target (Threshold line), but I found it at Dirt Cheap. It’s a natural fiber 8’ x 10’ and was a steal for $35 but a few of the edges are a little worn (like they had been drug along the floor for awhile somewhere) and they were a little dirty but I cleaned it right up after I brought it home and don’t mind the little wear. I wanted something neutral on the floor in here so that I could play up the color wheel elsewhere, like on the chairs and sofa and with pillows and art and so this rug is perfect.
I cannot WAIT to finish up decorating this space but there’s much to be done before we call that finito – sanding down and either restaining or painting the furniture (all thrifted/handed-down!), recovering the furniture cushions, hanging string lights, hanging a big ‘ole piece of art on the wall (still just an idea…), setting down some big, potted plants, finding a shallow table for the wall near the french doors to hold party food (oh yes, there will be parties out here), whipping up some ottomans/stools, etc…, and then there’s lots of landscaping to be done on the other side of the screens too.
But, the main thing right now is that it’s functional. Lady baby will get here before it’s functional and stylish, I’m sure, but at least she’ll be here to put in her two cents on decor when I do get around to finishing up. “My swing can go here and I only want to be nursed in a striped chair”…things like that. ;)
Now, who wants some lemonade? The weather is fantastic and these Southern mosquitoes can’t get us so let’s toast to finally seeing something come to life that we’ve saved for for a couple of years. I’ll detail exactly how much we had to squirrel away to make this entire room happen in a later post but for now, sit back, relax, put your feet up with me, and…zzz… ;)