How to Stencil an Accent Wall Post Preview: You will find out how to paint a stenciled accent wall, along with stenciling tips and tricks.
This post is sponsored by Stencil Revolution. All opinions are entirely my own.
Everyone has a spot in their house that drives them crazy, am I right!? For me, it was our mudroom.
It was boring, barely functional, and beyond a mess.
So, we embarked on a mudroom makeover and starting building an entryway bench with locker cubbies. In the meantime, I wanted to add a little character to the walls.
With its beige walls and grayish tiled floors, the mudroom room was just so plain.
So, I had a plan to DIY my own “wallpaper” aka stencil an accent wall.
Can I just say that stencils are amazing?! I’ve used stencils before on a world map wall art project, but never on a wall. I couldn’t get over how much the stencil completely changed the look of the room. The previously boring space became completely modernized with the stenciled accent wall.
The best part?
With wall stencils, you get to choose your own colors, rather than be stuck with premade wallpaper. And, you can save money by doing the work yourself – perfect for DIYing on a tight budget.
If you’re thinking about stenciling a focal wall in your home, it’s super easy – it’s definitely a DIY project that anyone can do.
Today, I’m sharing all my tips and tricks for how to paint a stencil on an accent wall.
How to Stencil an Accent Wall
First, I’m going to take you back a minute and show you a crazy before and after. It’s a little embarrassing, but seriously, this is what the room looked like prior to the mudroom makeover.
And here is what the mudroom looks like after its makeover.
And here’s another angle – I continued the stencil across the adjacent wall too.
So let’s get started! To stencil an accent wall, you’ll need a good chunk of time, and the following items.
Materials for Stenciling a Wall
- Stencil – We used the Freya tile stencil
- Rounded brush – This is a great brush set for stenciling
- Paper towels
- Optional – level (not needed if you use registration marks on the stencil), paint stirrers, plastic cup for small amount of paint, baby wipes (to quickly wipe mistakes)
Check out our wall stenciling video to see me in action, stenciling the wall.
Step 1 – Choose your stencil and paint colors
First, you’ll want to choose your stencil. Stencils are awesome because you can create a wallpaper effect for a really inexpensive price. We love the stencils from Stencil Revolution – you’ll definitely be oogling over their new tile line. The stencil we used is the Freya stencil and it’s part of their new line. We loved the colors they used with the stencil, so we mimicked those.
These stencils are especially easy to work with because they have registration marks, where you can easily line up each stencil with the one before. Because of these registration marks, you can get by without needing a ruler or a level.
After you have chosen your stencil, you’ll want to start thinking about paint colors for your stencil and, if necessary, the wall. Stencils don’t have to be the mono-colored. You can use two or three colors. Additionally, consider painting the wall or room, if it’s not the right background color.
We painted over our beige mudroom with white paint, as we wanted the background of our stencil to be white.
Then we chose two colors for the stencil – tan and charcoal. When you’re deciding on colors for your stencil, try them out with the stencil in a test area. I had a few different versions of tan before I settled on my favorite. You can try the wall stencil on an area of your wall that will be covered (I tried mine where the shiplap was going) or you can use a foam board.
Paint Tip: When choosing paint for the stencil, it doesn’t need to be wall paint. You can use acrylic paint from the craft store. Using the small acrylic containers from the craft store make it really easy to test colors too.
Step 2 – Prepare the wall
Next, you want to prepare your wall. If you are painting the wall first, you’ll want to do that now.
If you want to wipe down your wall or the baseboards or tape off any area, you’ll want to prepare that before starting to stencil.
Side note – If you’re painting your wall white over a darker color like we did, it can take extra coats to get back to white. Keep that in mind when you’re thinking about your project timeline.
Step 3 – Decide where you want your stencil to start
Choose an ideal starting point for your wall stencil. Ideally, this is the spot where you’ll want your wall stencil to look the best. The most visible part of the room is always a good choice.
Keep in mind that at the opposite end of the wall, depending upon the length of your wall and the size of the stencil, the last stencil could cut off. When you’re making your starting decision, factor in the opposite end or ends of the wall.
Depending upon your stencil’s design, you could nudge your starting point just a little bit to help the opposite end terminate at a better point.
Or if you get really lucky, the stencil might fit perfectly across the whole wall.
I started the stencil right next to the window, as this part of the wall was the most visible when walking into the room. The stencil cut off at the opposite end of the wall, but I started the first stencil a half an inch inward, so the last stencil would cut off exactly halfway. I was okay with it cutting off there because that end was in a more hidden corner of the room.
Note – The starting point for the stencil doesn’t necessarily need to be where you first start painting. It’s just where the stencil pattern starts. You could begin painting in a less visible area, such as toward the ceiling, so that any early mistakes are made high up, where people won’t be able to see.
Step 4 – Secure stencil to the wall
Next, you’ll want to attach the stencil to the wall. To do so, I just used four pieces of painter’s tape. It was super simple. When you’re done, you just peel the stencil and tape off and move to the next spot.
Some people like to use a spray adhesive, but I found that unnecessary. The tape was very simple.
Step 5 – Use a small rounded brush to start dabbing on the paint.
Now the fun part! To stencil the accent wall, you’ll want to use a rounded, stiff brush to stencil your wall. If the brush is too soft, it will bend. The best brushes are rounded that come to a point.
With your rounded brush, you are just going to dab the end of your brush in the paint. Do this as evenly as you can, and then blot the extra paint. This is important because if your paint is too thick, it will slip under the stencil and cause unclean lines. A little paint goes a long way.
As soon as your paintbrush is ready, gently dab it onto the wall. When you’re painting the wall, don’t use brush strokes, just stipple it onto the wall.
Now it won’t be perfect. But with a small amount of paint and a small rounded brush, it will be pretty close.
If your stencil isn’t flush against the wall, you can use your marker or pencil to hold the stencil flush against the wall with one hand, while you paint with another. I used a drill bit, rather than a marker, because it was the first thing I found 🙂
Brush Tip: As for brush size, keep in mind that a smaller brush will get you more accuracy and a bigger brush will get the job done faster. You could use a bigger brush in higher areas, where people won’t be able to see up close (because it goes faster) and a smaller rounded brush in lower areas.
Step 6 – Remove stencil and repeat
Simply peel back the stencil and remove. If there are any stray marks, you could always wipe with a paper towel or a baby wipe before it dries.
Then, line the stencil up with the registration marks (see above) and work on your next stencil.
It will be slow going at first, but like anything, it gets quicker as you get used to it.
A Few More Wall Stenciling Tips
For our mudroom wall, I only stenciled the top third of the wall. On the lower part, I attached shiplap, which made for a really cool look.
I also ended up stenciling more than I thought. My plan was to just stencil the wall around the window, but I kept going around the doorway of the laundry room. If you are undecided on whether to continue the stencil on a neighboring wall, you can start with the wall that you are sure about. Then, go from there.
Stencil Cut-Off Tip: If you are doing a lot of stenciling and your wall stencil cuts off at the corner or around a window, you could do a couple of things. You could simple bend the stencil and tape it. I would use a lot of tape so it doesn’t slide when you are painting. It’s a little tricky to do but that’s what I did (see picture above).
Or, you could order more than one stencil, and cut the stencil so that you have a flush fit when stenciling around windows and near corners.
Here’s a close up of the finished wall, with the stencil at the top third, and the shiplap at the bottom.
Next, we put shiplap on the lower portion of wall, and we have a full tutorial coming on this! It was super simple 🙂
Here’s a few more pictures of the other side of the room, including the portion above the laundry room nook.
And, I just adore these hooks! They look perfect with the stencil and the shiplap. I think there’s about 16 of them in the mudroom now 🙂 They’ll be no excuses for bags and coats not hung up.
Go for it!
If you’re debating whether or not to stencil a wall, definitely go for it. Stenciling a wall is an easy, budget-friendly DIY. With a little bit of work, you can completely transform the look of a room.
If you love the way the shiplap looks on our accent wall, that post is coming next, and our whole mudroom makeover will soon follow.
So, there we have it! A completely transformed room with something as simple as a wall stencil. If you are looking for a thrifty way to redo an old space, definitely consider stenciling an accent wall.