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Porch Stencil REVEAL

Sorry for the delay — I was battling a little stomach bug.

In better news: The porch stencil is done-zo! And it looks great!

I’m in love.

I’m thrilled.

I’m SO over stenciling for a while!!!!!

Nah, I jest. It really wasn’t bad at all. It did take four separate stenciling sessions, but that’s mostly because I was working alone & only had snippets of time to dedicate to the task. If I’d had help I wasn’t too control-freaky to let Dan help or a longer stretch of time to work on it, I could have accomplished it all in in one go.

The process was exceedingly simple:

1) I cut my stencils

2) I chalked & taped off the design, complete with a simple border

3) Then I painted in the border & began stenciling

see the process here  and the progress here

I went with a simple pattern that I hope loosely replicates the look of a large jute rug. Since I’m waaaaay too cheap to buy a large jute rug.

I used the same shape of stencil to create the entire pattern by simply alternating the direction of the lines square by square.

And after trying several application methods, I determined that sort of smooshing the paint on with the side of a 1 1/2 inch brush was the most effective technique.

I also found it helpful to trim off the tips of the bristles on my cheapo brush to keep control of my paint.

This pic is actually from one of my early experiments. The results of which revealed that, for this particular project, a 2-inch brush is too wide & will stick to your stencil. In subsequent experiments, I also left the bristles a little longer, which improved ease of application. Nonetheless, this photo is a good illustration of the overall idea of trimming back the bristles.

Of course, a little smearing was inevitable… the porch floorboards are very, very textured, so paint was going to pool underneath the stencil in some places.

For the most part though, I think the rough edges add to the faux-natural look I was going for. I’ll use some touch-up paint to address a few really big glops, but I want to leave it mostly as-is. I even allowed myself a decent amount of freedom when placing my stencil. I kept the tilt of the stencil more or less straight, but didn’t obsess about it. And while I made sure my rows weren’t skewing too much, I kind of crowded the pattern a little in some places, while leaving it looser in others.

When you look at it as a whole, it blends without looking annoyingly perfect. Kind of like a woven rug.

And this one is skid proof, trip proof, stain proof, stink proof and dog fur proof!

And it only cost me about $10.

And only took about 3 hours.

Win-win-win-win-win-win-win!

A couple of things I learned:

1) Leave as much “edge” around your stencil cuts as your pattern will possibly allow. You can work a lot faster if you’re not constantly paranoid about lapping over the sides.

2) Painting your porch  at night will both keep your stencil from getting sticky as quickly AND freak out your neighbors. Another win-win ;-> Oh, and the paint dries best overnight.

3) Peel your stencil off gently in the direction of the pattern.

4) Don’t let your mind wander if your pattern repeats. Keep a wet rag nearby for when you do. Wipe FAST!!! If you screw up this step, don’t freak out — just paint over the offending squares with your base color paint, let dry & reapply the stencil correctly. (And forgive yourself. Russell Brand would look hot mowing your lawn shirtless.)

So, anyway… that’s about it! It was a fun, easy project I totally recommend.

And now I can’t wait to rehab our patio furniture so I can put it back where it belongs. Once it’s spiffed-up a little, I think it’s going to go famously with the new stencil! 🙂

Also still on the to-do list before we can call this porch makeover an official success:

1) Address plaque facelift

2) Peekaboo porch step flashings

3) Porch light switcheroo

4) DIY dropped-effect lighting

5) Touch up paint

6) Potted plant placement

So stay tuned! It sounds like a lot, but really the painting/construction projects took the most time/money/effort. Now we get to play decorator 🙂 And it should all come together relatively quickly. Knock wood.

Here’s one last pic of my oh-so-ingenious-and-unique solution to being too cheap to buy a rug.

I dig it. I really do.

NEXT POST: PORCH PROJECT CONTINUES…

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One thought on “Porch Stencil REVEAL

  1. Love the stencil. Looks simple to do and leaves a great impression.

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