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Cottage Style Stenciled Wall

April 09, 2020

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Completely change the look of a bland and boring bathroom in under an hour with an elegant wall stencil.

Here's how to stencil your bathroom wall, the easy way.

It's my super simple how-to,  including my tried and true tips and tricks.

And the dramatic transformation.

Cottage Style Bathroom White Wall

Almost a year ago, my husband finally decided to tackle my long awaited hall bathroom renovation.

I believe it was the Saturday before Easter when he got out his tools and began ripping tile off the wall.

And while it made for an interesting Easter Sunday, especially with all the unexpected bumps in the road, it was about time.

Red Bathroom With Tulips
*This post is sponsored by Stencil Revolution. All opinions are my very own.

I’d been living with the same tired and faded red paint for over a decade. I loved the color, but I was ready for change.

Unfortunately, when the room was done, I was slightly disappointed.

I was excited about the light, bright, fresh feel it had, but it was missing the decorating drama I craved.

I'd been so used to those crimson walls, that without that dark hue to provide contrast, my decorating vibe was completely off.

For months, that room vexed me.

Cottage Style White Bathroom with pictures on wall

No matter what I added ~ pictures, towels, flowers, shower curtains ~ it was bland, boring and just plain blah.

Funny, I was so sure I wanted an all white bathroom, until I got one. Always the way, right?

What the room needed was some kick, so I put my thinking cap on.

I considered wallpaper for about 30 seconds, until I remembered the agonizing days of steaming and scraping in our old house. No thank you.

Plus, that wasn't a great solution for a girl who likes to change up the decor on a regular basis.

It was also tricky to properly hang and not ideal for a steamy bathroom. So with wallpaper out, I tried to think about a way to add some pattern and pizazz to the room.

That’s when the wall stencil lightbulb went off in my head. Over the years, I've done a lot of stenciling, adding accents to my old cottage and my new cottage, as well.

Signs, pillows, plates, trays, and while I'd never stenciled an entire wall before, I was confident I could do it.

Believe it or not, at almost the exact same time, Stencil Revolution asked me if I'd like to try out their new wall stencils. Are you kidding me?

Had they been reading my mind? Of course, I said yes!

How To Stencil A Wall

My stencil arrived the first weekend we were quarantined, so I was happy to have a project to do and even happier when it turned out so well. 

For an even more detailed DIY visit
Hometalk and check out my post. 

taped stencil pattern to wall

Step 1: Choose A Stencil

I poked around their website for a bit, looking for something rather nondescript. I knew I wanted pattern, but not a lot of it.

There were so many to choose from, but when I came across this lovely, Ribbon Stencil the search stopped. It had the look I wanted, delicate and charming, just right for a cottage style bathroom.

However. Since I'm a visual sort of gal, sometimes it's hard for me to commit to things until I actually see them in place.

So here's my little trick for envisioning a new stencil on a wall.

Take a screenshot of the pattern you like, enlarge it, then print it out and tack it up where you're planning to put it.

Naturally, it won't be to scale, since wall stencils are very large, but you'll get the idea.

Stencil Supplies Roller and Tape

Step 2: Buy A Roller 

From my experience, I have found that blue painter's tape and a 6" high density foam roller are absolute essentials when it comes to stenciling. This is especially important when you have a wall to cover.

I first used a roller years ago, when I stenciled pillows. Since then, that's all I use.

A 6" roller is large enough to cover a broader area, small enough to allow you to move slowly for control and dense enough to give you a smooth, even finish. Perfect.

Supplies For This Project:

Check the links for the project supplies:

Roller Paint Pan Set
Blue Painter's Tape
Stencil Revolution Ribbon Stencil
Your paint of choice

Ribbon Stencil Wall Stencil on bathroom wall

Step 3: Choose A Place To Start

Ok, so other than a buying that roller, the most important part of this process was choosing a starting point.

It makes it much easier to map out the wall and ensure a cohesive look.

I chose the most visible area. Luckily, it was also the spot where the shower tile met the wall near the ceiling. Even in an old house, I knew this would be the squarest spot of the room.

It was the ideal place to begin adding my pattern to the wall.

You see, if the first stencil block was off, the entire wall would be crooked. And there was no way that would fly with this detail oriented decor perfectionist.

I just needed to tuck it firmly into place, anchor it with tape and start rolling.

Two quick tips here, if you don't have an obviously square spot in your room, I suggest you use a level to set your first stencil. Also, tape your stencil down really well, no bumps, lumps or buckling allowed.

That will prevent paint from seeping underneath the cut outs.

Using  A Roller To Stencil a wall

Step 4: Roll

Now, I was ready to roll. Literally.

I dipped my roller into the paint, getting enough on the foam so it would evenly cover the wall, without dripping or bleeding underneath the stencil itself.

That is key, since you don’t want excess paint to get on the wall when you move it. I used the same satin paint we had leftover from my vanity makeover, for continuity in the room.

Plus, I knew I liked it...and since we were stuck in quarantine, I wasn't leaving for any other paint.

When I was sure I had good coverage, I lifted the stencil away from the wall and moved it to another area.

I waited a few moments for the initial paint pattern to dry, then placed the stencil over a previously painted area, with a bit of an overlap to ensure proper positioning, taped it down again and rolled.

moving stencil and overlapping pattern for a unified wall

Step 5: Move And Trim

I repeated this process, until the entire wall was covered.

I did need to trim my stencil slightly at the very end, to make it fit into the last few tight spots around the edges, and above the shower tile, but overall, the majority of the wall was covered by the full sheet.

Now I can confidently say that my bathroom renovation is complete. Six months after the last tile was laid and the shower curtain was ironed and hung up, I finally have the bathroom of my decorating dreams.

That one stenciled accent wall has filled the entire space with the subtle, aged, cottage style coziness and relaxed elegance I craved.


Cottage Style Stenciled Bathroom Wall

Ok...well, sort of. I don't think my shower curtain goes anymore and my daughter suggested a pink one for spring. Which I think would be absolutely darling.

So I'm on the hunt. Update! I found a gorgeous shower curtain

Of course, that also means I'll need to change the artwork in the frame and I'll probably {definitely} need new towels.

However since it doesn't look like I'm going anywhere anytime soon, what I have will have to do. And I'm ok with that.

All in all, this project took me about an hour to complete. Crazy right?

An hour to totally transform my blah and uninspiring bathroom wall into a charming showstopper.

Well. One year and an hour if we're being really honest.

But totally worth the wait.

Easy, inexpensive and absolutely fabulous.

I love it when things work out that way.

What wall would you stencil?

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Post a Comment | 47 Comments

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  1. I love it! I looks so elegant!

    1. Thank you so much, Briana!! I love it, too.

  2. Kin,

    Love the stencil you chose. Simple and elegant like you said. I like you have stenciled for years.

    Using satin in the same color has always been a great idea.

    I have to say I can see a soft blush pink looking beautiful in here.

    I can't wait to see what you decide.

    Love it!


    1. I'm excited to accessorize now too, Cindy! I think that blush color would be the perfect accent. I will definitely share once I make my choices.

  3. This turned out so great Kim. What a great project to have while we have all been sheltering in place. Great job. Love it.
    Happy Easter. Glad you and your family are safe and well.

    1. Thanks so much, Kris! I really love it. It was the perfect solution for that wall and for a bathroom. Hope your holiday was lovely! xo

  4. Love the tone on tone neutral! Very elegant! I’ve stenciled my floor before but now I’m thinking I need to try a wall!

    1. Thank you, Stacy! I knew I wanted something very subtle and this was the perfect solution. And a floor, huh? That sounds gorgeous!

  5. It's beautiful and very elegant, Kim!

    1. Thank you, Brenda! It was almost too easy...and I love it.

  6. How lovely, Kim! Very subtle, but beautifully it!

    1. How sweet, Linda! Thank you so much. ❤️

  7. Oooooh! I absolutely love it! I love the neutral colors you chose and the pattern is perfect! Now I have to think about where I might need to do this.

    1. Thanks Mari. I love the neutral tones, too. If you decide to stencil I hope you'll share, so we can peek at the pretty!

  8. Great choices. I love the pattern and the color. Just beautiful.

    1. I fell for that pattern, too, Lorri. It worked out better than I could've imagined.

  9. Love it! The pattern and paint color were the perfect choices and your skill created a very pretty bathroom.

    1. Thank you, Donna. I would love to say there was a lot of skill involved, but it was super simple. I love that.

  10. Kim,
    Love how this looks and you can change the colors of accessories to change the look of the bathroom for different seasons and even Holidays if you want...
    Thanks so much for always visiting!
    Happy Easter to you and your family!!
    Stay safe, healthy and Happy!!

    1. Thank you so much, Debbie! It's got just enough interest to give the room some personality, but subtle enough to accessorize, as you said! Stay safe!

  11. I love the way it turned out! Subtle but strong pattern! Perfect!

    1. Thanks so much, Deanna! I think that's the perfect way to describe it.

  12. Kim,
    It is lovely. Well done.
    Stay Safe my friend,

  13. WOW!!!!!!!! That looks gorgeous Kim. Just the right touch. I always seem to mess up when it comes to stencilling. Perhaps I'm too impatient or overload my brush or something? I must try one of those rollers, but I'll start small just to test it out first. Really love how your wall turned out.

    1. I think you're right Michelle, if you go too fast or overload, you can end up with a little bit of smudging. I've found that the roller really helps with both of those. And thank you my friend!

  14. Kris, wow, that is so pretty and really adds more charm to the bath. I love using stencils and think that they work so well in all kinds of projects, BUT, just like potato chips, I would not have the good sense to stop at one wall, but it is perfect and looks wonderful with your mirror..Happy Easter..Stay well..xxoJudy

    1. Haha, Judy! That's funny...potato chips. Trust me, I was so ready to keep going, but it was so pretty on that one wall, I thought it actually really stood out more that way. Now when it comes to those potato chips, all bets are off! xo

  15. Replies
    1. Thank you, Florence. Just what I was going for...

  16. I love stenciling, but I've never had a lot of luck with rolling the paint on. It always seems to bleed. Your bathroom looks great and I can't wait to see what you do next!

    1. Thanks Ann! I'm really looking forward to fun accessories.

  17. Wow! The stencils added just the right touch! It looks great. You are sooo talented. I would never even begin to try a project like this:) I could never live with all white even though I look at photos of such and they seem so clean and fresh. I love color and just couldn't live without it. Hope you had a nice Easter...sure was a strange one this year. For the first time in my life I wasn't in church on Easter Sunday. Thankfully my preacher was on the radio though:) Stay well!

    1. I love color, Cheri. The lighter look was what I wanted - or thought I did - but it just didn't look great once it was on the wall. This is much, much better. Thanks for popping by to take a peek and leave such a lovely comment.

  18. Oh my, your stenciled wall is lovely, Kim. I've never had the courage to stencil, which is funny because I'm not one to shrink from trying things. I think I just worry that the whole thing will be crooked, and even though I can understand what you did to avoid that, I'm just not sure I could pull it off without losing some of my hair in the process. Can't wait to see your bathroom with the new shower curtain, towels, etc. Hugs, Nancy

    1. Thanks so much, Nancy! I think you could do this with no problem at all. You're very creative and this is easier than it looks. It really is all about setting that first block, then it's just roll and go. I promise! Hugs to you, friend!

  19. Beautiful, Kim, like room in a posh hotel. Stay safe!

    1. Thank you so much, Amalia...and a posh hotel, huh? I'll take it!! 🥰

  20. I like the way the stenciled wall looks in your bathroom Kim. You did a great job and you have so much patience for that kind of work. It will be fun to pick new towels and a shower curtain.
    Enjoy the week and stay safe and be well.

    1. Thank Julie! I'm really looking forward to picking out some new accessories. Shopping online, of course. Stay safe!

  21. That is sooo pretty! Absolutely love it. The color is perfect and it looks like you did a fantastic job.

    1. Thank you, Melanie. It was nice to have a project to focus on.

  22. Kim,
    Me again...Just stopping by to thank you for your visit!! Actually, from an infection control point of view your husband does not have to wear a mask outside unless he is going to be within 6 ft. of another person and that is only someone not living in your home so if he is doing yard work, he really does not have to wear a mask because it is not protecting anyone from him as long as there is no one else in the yard. And remember , the fabric masks do not protect the wearer, they protect everyone else from the wearer...

  23. Holy cow that is gorgeous and timeless!! I love it!

    1. Thank you Christine! I really like this one...