Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Are you ready for this?

This is the biggest project we've done in a long time! We finally decided to tackle painting our master bedroom. Yes, we've lived in the house for about 9 months, but we've put this project off mostly because of the high ceiling (knowing it would be a pain in the booty). The other issue is that we are the most indecisive couple in the world, and we knew that whatever we did would be a huge commitment. If you would like to see some 'before' shots of this room, click here or here.

It all started with the vanity nook. I found this really cool birch tree wallpaper at Sherwin Williams a while back, and I thought it would be fun to hang the wallpaper behind the vanity. But, when I went back to buy it, it was almost $100 per roll! What? Oh my. Not only that, but I wanted to wallpaper like a 4' wide by 8' tall space, and would only need 32sf of paper. Not gonna happen.

It was then that I decided that we would take a different approach. We started thinking of possibly doing wood slats wrapping up to the ceiling, you may recall this nifty little sketch...

And then, after reading many blogs that have recently been in on this stencil craze, I found it. The Birch Forest Allover Stencil. It looked eerily similar to the wallpaper that I originally liked, and it was around $65 or so. It was at this point that I decided (as my friend Jennifer exclaimed this morning) GO BIG, OR GO HOME!

Next up, find a paint color that Brian and I could agree on. I turned to the room for inspiration on this, and with beige carpet, and cherry furniture, I knew I wanted something rich, but not brown. We have a single curtain panel that hangs in the room as well, and I love the mix of colors in it. I bought it a while back at World Market, and we are thinking we may need a second panel to fluff up the window a little..

Here's a swatch of it with the sun behind it. This may give you a better idea of the colors...

I have an app on my phone that is sponsored by PPG paints called The Voice of Color. Basically you open the app, choose 'select a color', take a photo of the colors you want to match, and voila! The app generates a list of paints that will match the colors of whatever it is that you want to match.

One of the colors that it generated for me was Polaris.

Funny enough, Brian and I agreed on the color right away! It was just the richness we were looking for.

And rather than just doing the wall behind the vanity (go big, or go home), we decided to do the largest wall in the room with the stencil, while painting the rest of the room with the solid blue-grey. The vanity nook would still be treated a little differently, just because we wanted to emphasize that wrapping wall. Therefore, since the trees were going to be China White, we decided to do the nook in China White as well.

After taping, caulking, and moving all the furniture to the center of the room, we started with the China White, since it needed time to dry before applying the stencil.

You can see the color difference from the white trim here.

Once that large wall and vanity nook was completed, we were able to move on to the other walls in Polaris.

The color looks pretty good with the curtain...

By the way, the color changes a bit in different lighting. Sometimes it looks really blue, sometimes really grey. 

The next day, we got started on the stencil, and while Brian helped me get it started, he moved on to the wall on the opposite side of the room, since we hadn't painted it the day before. This photo gives you an idea of the scale of the stencil. This is the first one...

You can see how we started at the bottom and worked our way up the wall.

There was a small register mark in each corner, so you were sure to align it perfectly.

At the edges, it required that I do some hand-painted fillers...

Also around the window frame...

Rudy even got in on the action...

Unfortunately, even after working on it ALL day Saturday and ALL day Sunday, we still didn't finish! So after work on Monday, we came home to do the last 5 sheets of the stencil. Only now we were at the most challenging (highest) point in the room AND we had to protect the white ceiling!

YES! We are done! Check it out in this morning's light shining in...

And here's the vanity nook...

One more shot of the accent wall...

Today, I emailed Cutting Edge Stencils to share some of the photos, and to let them know how happy I was with their product. Immediately I got a response, and they asked if they could post it to their Facebook contest. Depending on who gets the most 'likes', the winner gets a gift certificate for another stencil, so if you 'like' what you see, how about click on this Facebook Link and 'like' it! Thanks to Alicia who liked it even before I solicited everyone!

And if you want to order your own stencil (there are lots of patterns), please visit Cutting Edge Stencils (!


  1. Holy cow! I love it! it looks fantastic! I might like the stencil more than the wallpaper. I will go vote for y'all too. great work. I never have had the cohones to stencil. Love the color as well.

  2. Jennifer & Brian, that looks fantastic! I can't imagine the work. Love, Allison.

  3. Thanks Alison (and thanks Allison)! I agree, I definitely like the stencil more than the wallpaper now that it's done! It may be a while before we attempt another stencil, but overall it wasn't too bad! Just needed to dedicate the time to it.

  4. Oh, that looks great! I love the trees look, you did a great job on it. And wow, at the high ceilings, that must have been tedious. It really looks fantastic though!

  5. Oh I love the way it turned out! I have that very same stencil and plan to use it in the basement playroom. I better get started!

  6. Looks great! You should stencil the vanity area where you were thinking of the wood, I think it would be cool :)

  7. What brand of paint did you use? I read on Cutting Edge's website that they recommend a particular Benjamin Moore paint, and wondered if you used it. If not, do you have any feedback on the paint you did use? Love your results!

  8. Hi Kate, thanks so much! We actually used PPG(Porter Paints) The Voice of Color line. We used a latex, interiors paint, and actually because we had a couple of coupons for 'a free gallon of paint', we went with the premium line called 'Silken Touch' in an eggshell finish. We didn't have any problems with the paint, and found that it provided great coverage, and actually cleaned off of the stencil quite easily. Since you have to clean it after 5 or 6 uses, we'd just drop it in the bathtub filled with water, and scrub it off, and it came off in strips or clumps that I then just scooped out by hand (rather than having it go down the drain). We used China White for the base, and then painted over with Polaris. Good luck!

  9. Hi! I pinned this on Pinterest, posted on fb, and featured at Creative DIYers Club. Please feel free to grab the feature button :)

  10. You did an amazing (and very neat) job, it looks like wallpaper:)