• March 12, 2014

    Basement Project


    Recently I mentioned a project that displaced me from my office area and wreaked havoc on my life for most of February.  I also mentioned that I’d share that project with you.

    So, without further ado, here’s my shiny new basement!

    We went from this:






    To this:






    To this:






    The accent wall is my very favorite part of the whole room.  I had never stenciled anything before, so I was pretty fearful that it would be a disaster… but I think it turned out pretty amazing.  I had the help of a great friend which made the process bearable and so much easier.

    If you would like to achieve a similar style and aren’t sure where to start, let me advise.
    First, you need the following things:

    • Stencils (two of the same if you can swing it financially)
    • Paint
    • A little roller with a foam pad (not the regular furry pads)
    • Tape
    • A level
    • Your best friend (or at the very least, someone who you don’t mind getting a little up close and personal with)


    The first thing you’ll do is pick a spot on the wall to be your starting point.  It doesn’t really matter where, but it is best not to start at a corner or at the ceiling or floor.  You see, most houses aren’t actually square and most walls are really crooked.  By picking a point in the middle of the wall as your starting point, you will create the illusion that your wall isn’t wonky.

    Once you have your spot picked out, go ahead and use that level to make sure your stencil is straight.  Then you can tape it to the wall and start painting!

    When you load the paint roller up with paint, try not to get too much paint soaked in.  We found that loading the roller and then rolling the excess off on paper bags helped immensely.  The rollers worked best when they were a little tacky, not soaked with paint.  If you can, I would actually recommend doing a trial run on another wall you haven’t painted yet or a piece of cardboard.

    Once you have your first stencil down, it’s easy to move along by just matching up the correct points on your stencil.  Smooth sailing until you hit a wall or window.  Then, you need your best friend to bend and hold the stencil up for you against the wall so you can push your roller in and cover wall to wall.  I suppose you can do this yourself if you needed to… but it was so much better with someone else to help and hold things in place!

    So, you just keep after it as best you can and after a while, voila!  There is a beautiful, stenciled wall!




    Pro Tips:

    More complicated patterns show mistakes less readily than simple lines.

    Choosing colors that are similar also show mistakes less readily than two contrasting colors.  However, choosing colors that are similar also makes it really hard to see when you’re actually doing the painting.

    Make sure you have really good lighting, it will help SO MUCH.

    Using two stencils helped the process move much quicker than just one would have.  As you paint, some will seep under the stencil and end up on the other side… by having two stencils, we were able to let one dry while we worked with the other.