July 8, 2014

Rockin' Roses Stencil Wall.

I was so optimistic about doing this stencil wall. First, it's not a very big wall--not even six feet high. It's just this little patch of wall at the top of our stairs. Like I blogged about before, what I really wanted was this Hygge & West wallpaper called Petal Pusher that I couldn't afford. Instead, for Mother's Day, I asked for this Royal Design Studio stencil called Rockin' Roses, since it's really similar to the wallpaper.

I think I just went about this whole process all wrong and made it way too hard. It literally took me about six weeks from start to finish--although I took plenty of breaks along the way because I got frustrated. In fact, I can't remember ever getting so frustrated with a home project. I wanted to paint over it many times and just pretend I had never attempted this. I normally love taking these things on, if you couldn't tell. But I'm not an artist, and I ended up having to basically hand-paint on every detail because my stencil work was not good. For one thing I think I should have ordered the paint and the stencil brushes that Royal Design Studio sells, instead of trying to save money and source them elsewhere. Instead I used this crappy Martha Stewart stencil brush I found at Michaels and this Sherwin Williams' Metallic Impressions paint, which was really shimmery (like I wanted) but also really watery (which meant I had to roll on three coats of this very expensive gold paint to get started, and which meant any touchups I did with the gold had to be retraced at least twice). For the white paint, I used Sherwin Williams' "Alabaster."

Among my mistakes, I used an apparently lint-covered paint roller that left maddening specks of lint all over the wall. It was so bad that I had to sand the wall to get them off. I've since learned to put my new paint rollers in the dryer for a few minutes and then go over them with a lint roller before putting them anywhere near a wall. I also just taped the stencil onto the wall with painter's tape, but I think I would have had better luck using spray adhesive like a lot of people online suggested. Finally, I am quite sure I could have chosen a way more basic stencil instead of this majorly elaborate (but totally gorgeous) one.

In any case, I love the result, which is what matters. I don't even want to think about how many hours I logged at the top of my stairs with just me, Spotify, a bottle of beer, and my paintbrushes. Towards the end of the project, Tessa would catch sight of me working on my wall and say, "Mom! Are you working on your project AGAIN?!" Shamed by a four-year-old. But man did it do what it was supposed to do in my mind's eye, which is give my hallway a really fun pop of personality with a glamorous edge. In my mind's eye this pop of personality would be far less imperfect than it is, but so be it. And finishing this wall also encouraged me to add quarter round around the edge of the floor, where there was a gap from me pulling up the carpet and painting the floors last year. Now I just need to do the rest of the upstairs trim. Fun times. I'm actually serious about that "fun" part. Everything is fun compared to stenciling. And my upstairs already looks so much more polished with the trim in place.

By God, I love it. Worth it. That's what I tell myself anyway.