**Just a heads up: this is a sponsored post. I was compensated for this review with free product. That being said, I wouldn’t say amazing things about the product if I didn’t love it, so all opinions and feelings are my own.**
I have always wanted to try wall stencils. I’m not sure why. My grandmother stenciled my nursery before I was born, so maybe I just want to be like her? That wouldn’t be the worst thing. I always want to be like her. That being said, when Royal Design Studio contacted me about reviewing a stencil, I freaked. It wasn’t the most attractive moment of my life. For one, I was really excited. For two, I was COMPLETELY TERRIFIED. See, my grandmother (and all the DIY bloggers before me who have used stencils) are masters of their domain. They are practically professionals and they always do things the right way and they follow the right steps and ALL THE THINGS (or that’s all in my head). Me, on the other hand? I’m very good at getting impatient and skipping steps and not knowing where to find what I need to complete a project.
Step 1: Pick a stencil. I am star-obsessed. My tattoo is a star (there IS a reason for that). I draw stars when I doodle. The pumpkin I carved this year was a moon and stars. And in the early 2000s when the whole moon/star thing was big in decor? Yeah, I wanted that. Look at the extensive selection of stencils, consider how badly you need to be ready for Christmas AND redo your office, choose Starry Night stencil. Because…stars.
Step 2: Pep talk self while you wait for the Starry Night stencil to come. Remember that you tried out stencils at Haven (a year and a half ago…skills may be rusty) and try to remember the techniques they taught, especially the one about moving the brush bristles in a circle over the edges of the stencil- this really works! When your stencil arrives, read ALL the instructions. They’re very comprehensive and helpful and wonderful. These people make it hard for EVEN ME to screw it up.
Step 3: Go find metallic gold paint at Home Depot and buy one similar to these, but in “Cloth of Gold”. If I had to do it over, I would choose some of Royal Design Studio’s Stencil Cremes. The Ralph Lauren paint worked beautifully and is GORGEOUS paint, but, if I could do it over, I’d use the products that were all designed to work together.
Step 4: Buy a cheap stencil brush at Home Depot and then go back and buy the supplies that belong with the paint part of the way through the project, like a fun nappy roller and big stencil brush (these really helped). This is more proof that I should’ve just bought the supplies that were created to go with the stencil, but this should NOT get in the way of creating your
destiny! stencil wall! Just learn from your mistakes before next time.
Step 5: Receive stencil and hang it for the first time and SQUEAL because it is going to look SO GOOD. This is when I decided to try to do this both ways. I brushed AND rolled. Basically, no matter what you do you have to be sure to not soak the brush/roller and then get off what feels like *most* of the paint. I know this seems counterintuitive, but it really helps the stencil stay crisp, whether you brush or roll. This is all in the instructions with visual aids. A key part of this step is to NOT wash or brush your hair the day you stencil so your spouse/significant other can take shockingly flattering photos.
Step 6: Fall in love with your wall.
We decided we would stencil inside our office closet. I’m sure that seems dumb, but this closet has served as a cloffice (closet-office) for the past 2.5 years and we’re currently redoing the whole office. This became the perfect opportunity to clean out the closet (kind of), stencil, and reorganize it to be practical and beautiful! For the Christmas season, I’m using the cloffice “desk” to display my nativity scene. Get it? Stars? Nativity? Christmas?!
I have to say, I am really proud of myself because I really followed their directions. I made sure to roll my roller on the textured part of the paint tray AND on paper towels. I also blotted my brush (in a circular motion) on paper towels 2-3 times each time I got new paint…except once. This is what happens when you’re impatient and you don’t trust the process, folks.
Chris said we’re naming it (him?) Milton. I was able to get some of the excess paint off of the navy, but, alas, we don’t have any more of this navy to touch it up and I don’t need perfection.
Rolling was obviously way, way faster and I was able to line up the stencil at the bottom so I got almost to the bottom of the wall. I would definitely recommend the roller method if you are using the whole stencil continuously. When I use the stencil in the future, I may just brush for small accent projects. Had I continued all the way down to the baseboards, we would have lots of 1/3 stars, so I’m content with the space. The whole shebang (remove shelves, clear closet, dust walls/baseboards, stencil and paint, rehang shelves, set up nativity) took one afternoon. Quick and painless, people. Just like the holidays should be. 🙂
When the paint was dry, we re-hung the floating shelf (for the Christmas angel) and the cloffice “desk” so I could display our beautiful nativity set. I’m so excited for people to come visit this holiday and see our newly striped office with this GORGEOUS holiday accent wall. The extra-good news is that these gold stars will be festive and glamorous all year long, so they’re staying! Oh, and in case it was too dark on our little model of Jesus’ birthday, I added some gold globe lights. The cloffice already had some Christmas lights strung around the doorway, but you can NEVER have too much twinkle, am I right?!
Here she glows!
Christmas miracle moral of the story here is: a) stencils are gorgeous and Royal Design Studio may very well make the best ones out there, b) buy the brushes/paints from the people who design the stencils- there’s a reason they sell it all, c) don’t be afraid to try something even if you’re not a pro because this turned out exactly how I’d envisioned it, and d) perfection is overrated, but following instructions is not.
This peaceful little scene makes my heart so happy and I couldn’t have done it without the Starry Night stencil. Truly, I just want to go sleep in the office floor with the Christmas lights on. Merry Christmas!