Thursday, March 17, 2011

Renovate Brooklyn! Day Twenty-Seven: A Slow Trickle of Stenciling...

A couple of nights ago, I got the notion into my head to stencil a wall in our bedroom. Since our last wave of bedroom "renovations", something has felt a little flat in there but I couldn't quite put my finger on it. I was thinking about painting one of the walls something bright for a little more contrast, and then suddenly, like a bolt of labor-intensive lightning, I realized that what the room needed was a little stenciling.

When I mentioned this to my mom, there was a long pause. I could hear in the loud silence that she was envisioning some kitschy border of grape bunches or block-stamp tulips, and was wondering how I'd gotten so off track.* "No, wait," I said. "I mean- seriously stencil. Like floor to ceiling stencil."

And now, I have a greater appreciation for the seriousness of those words. Oy.

I initially found this stencil online- on the Tatertots & Jello blog-- where they used it to spice up a little step stool and a wall-mounted tray. Like a lunatic, I thought, that would also look smashing on a wall! On a 4-ft. wide by 10-ft. tall wall... I rue the day.

In order to complete this crazy-person project, I printed eight copies of the template from the the T & J blog, cut out the pattern and then taped them all together. Retrospectively, I'm pretty sure there is a more savvy way to do this, but you know-- I'm whippin' this stuff together between 8:00 and midnight, and sometimes ingenuity gets lost in the fray.

Sadly, I have to be on the Upper West Side of Manhattan at 8:30 Thursday morning (gasp!) for a day- long project, so around midnight, John (kindly) put his foot down and suggested that I finish my maniacal stenciling tomorrow night. It is a wonderful thing to have a voice of reason sitting nearby to remind you that sleeping is almost as important as home design. Or I'd just keep on stenciling through the night...

These are just a couple of action shots and mid-way through photos, and then I'll fill in all of the blanks and details when I finish painting the wall tomorrow night.

In the throes... I love it already!

Of course I couldn't resist hanging our map back up once I'd called it a night. If I close my right eye, it almost looks finished! 

Sadly, I actually have two working eyes- which reveal how much of the wall is left to paint. There is also a good 3 feet above this picture, and a solid 4 1/2 feet below. By gad-- that's a lot of stenciling! And the worst part-- I love it. And now I kind of want to do the same thing to the wall behind the dressers. Ugghh. This is what happens when you have an idea you really like. You almost always get stuck doing it.

*Just a note: I'm not knocking the stencil border, so if you're an enthusiast, please don't take offense. But let's be honest-- a quirky tenement building in Brooklyn isn't the most appropriate place for one.

Stay tuned for more adventures in stenciling! 


  1. Love it. It looks wonderful. A ton of work, but the result is fantastic. Hugs, Marty

  2. Thanks Marty! We've had a blast so far... and there is still so much left to do!

    We hope you'll check back on our progress again soon.
    Christina & John