When I first moved into my rental house, I took it upon myself to paint. I used the whole “It’s easier to ask for forgiveness than permission” reasoning, and just did my thang. Let’s be honest here. I picked a totally beautiful neutral color. The owners should love me. I just upped the value of their rental property for them. (They’ve seen it, and the wife asked for the name of the color because she loved it so much (Sherwin Williams Popular Gray BTW). For this next painting project I’m about to unveil, I continued in my “devil may care” ways and didn’t ask permission. Is this something you could do in any rental property. Probably not. Is it something that would be easy to paint over when you leave? Totally…although it makes me really sad thinking of how easy it will be to paint roller over my tedious little quatrefoils that I slaved away on. My kitchen isn’t my favorite room in the house. The floors aren’t the greatest. They cabinets are kind of orange-y colored wood. The appliances speak for themselves. It’s kind of an awkward shape. (It redeems itself with a ton of storage, though). My kitchen needed a little pazazz. I’m going to take you through this whole process now, from my inspiration to how I figured out how the heck to do this for free. Oh yeah. Did I mention this cost me ZERO dollars. I’d been putting this off for a while and just started in the middle of the night one night. Here’s what I used: 1. A leftover sample of paint that I almost painted my house with, that ended up being a little too dark (Sherwin Williams Perfect Greige). 2. Leftover trim paint. White in a gloss finish. 3. Painters tape. Mine was frog tape because that’s what I had, but any type of masking tape would have worked. I used it to make my stencil. 4. A paintbrush that I’m pretty sure came from a children’s water color set. 5. A mechanical pencil.
So my first thought was, “I will stencil my wall using my Martha Stewart quatrefoil stencil that I already have.”
Um. No. Maybe I didn’t get the memo, but stenciling like this is the most frustrating thing ever. I couldn’t do a single shape without it bleeding through! Plus you can only do one set at a time because you have to wait for each set to dry so you can layer over it to match up the pattern correctly. Like I’m going to spend all my time doing that AND THEN go back over to touch up everything. No. I’m not.
Then I stumbled upon a vinyl quatrefoil backsplash. I was seriously considering this option, but it was going to cost me a whole lot of money because my kitchen is so loooong. I measured and calculated. Then I figured in me screwing up applying the vinyl, and the cost was just too much. I kept seeing this pattern everywhere though, so I knew I had to find some way to make it work.
Using some pinterest resources I decided I was going to make my own stencil, trace it on the wall in a pattern, and then paint over the lines.
I found the stencil that is the exact same shape as the vinyl backsplash here (fo free!)I got real ghetto here, y’all. I just opened the file on my computer, and…(I hope Aaron doesn’t read this…he would be cringing)…I just used a pencil to lightly trace over the pattern onto paper. It was like those old light-up desks you used to trace on as a kid. Just like that. Except on a macbook screen. I’m pretty sure I shouldn’t advocate this. Just print it out, guys. I only did it because I was so motivated to get started that night and my printer was upstairs and out of ink.
This next pinterest find inspired me to use painter’s tape to make my stencil.
Totally different from mine, but credit for inspiration where credit is due. All I did was cut out my clover shape, lay strips of tape over it, and trim it to shape of the paper. Then I flipped my clover over to the other side, laid striped of tape over it, and trimmed again. I just kept flipping and trimming until it got to a thickness I thought would hold up well to stenciling around the edges fifty billion times.
The painter’s tape stencil ended up working fabulously. It was very bendable, so I could fold it around corners and edges so easily. It was kind of miraculous. This next pin led me to a blog that gave me the technique I used to stencil and paint.The biggest take-away messsages I got from that blog are:
1. Don’t try to make it perfect. 2. Trace around the shape. Paint right over the line. 3. It won’t look perfect close up, but it will look fabulous from far away. 4. It’s very tedious and time consuming. 5. I probably should have made my shape a little bigger. So I got started stenciling and painting.
I was so impressed with myself after the first section. Then I thought,”Hey wait. I’m going to blog about this! I need before pictures.”
Warning! It is very hard to stencil right-handed in a corner with a wall on your right side. You wish you had a picture of me in all the crazy positions I was stenciling in. At one point my foot was on top of the refrigerator.
Look at that fancy wallpaper/tile backsplash! (Not the ugly appliances).
Do you want to see it up close?
I mean really close?
See totally not perfect, but you can’t even tell from far away. I am in love with it and I would totally do it again. It’s a lot of tedious work, but the result was so worth it. I’m so excited to finish decorating my kitchen. Now all I need is some curtains, right?