Asked on Oct 05, 2013

Help Me Paint: How to Repaint but Keep Expensive Stencils?

Our kitchen is very large and when we bought, whole house was pure white except for stencils (sorry picture quality isn't great). The stencil was hand done and cost almost $1000 in 2002. (Found receipt with appliance manuals that the owner left.) It's very well done; each hydrangea has hand painted strokes along with stenciling. It's Sherwin Williams paint, not crayon stuff that comes in kits and bleeds thru when painted.
White walls need to be repainted and I'm sick of the gold. Since kitchen is large, must be light color (I'm thinking Benjamin Moore Monterey White used above chair rail in adjacent dining room.
I have patience and skills to get very close to the bottom of the stencils. I don't want to lose them, but I don't want the transition so that it doesn't look like I just ignored top 8 inches of wall. Any Ideas? Especially glazing: I am thinking clear glaze with just a bit of color, but I have no experience at all with glazing. Please help. The stencils are the one part of decor of home that I like. Thanks!!!
Sorry for quality; not used to inside pic. Kitchen and hallway: 38-feet long; hall 6-ft wide; cooking and eating areas both 15-feet wide. I don't mind glaze to mute stencils, but don't want to give them up. Thanks.
  11 answers
  • Linda Linda on Oct 05, 2013
    Hi. I know how you feel. I have painted stencils in every room of my home. I did them years ago. The rooms all need painting again. I don't know of any way to save the old painted stencils. Why don't you just repaint the room and do the stenciling yourself. It's very easy but takes a lot of time. Some stencils have 2 or 3 overlay patterns. I go all around the room with the first stencil then go around the room again with the second or third stencil in the pattern you choose. It only looks hard and complicated. You can buy the stencils on line and at craft stores. You can find more variety of designs on line. The secret to good stenciling is don't use much paint on your sponge or brush so it doesn't seep under the stencil. It good to change things and make it your own. Good Luck!
  • Tegma Tegma on Oct 05, 2013
    I would just treat the stencils like a border..... tape a line under them and paint from there on down. If the color is right, it will end up looking like a border. The only other alternative is to paint the whole thing and re-stencil. I'd opt for the border look with a co-ordinating color on the walls.
  • Barb Rosen Barb Rosen on Oct 05, 2013
    What about adding a piece of painted molding all around the room just beneath the stencil so it looks intentional?
  • Elaine Simmons Elaine Simmons on Oct 05, 2013
    I think Barb has an excellent idea!
  • Mary Insana Mary Insana on Oct 05, 2013
    I like @Barb Rosen idea too. It doesn't have to be a fancy molding either. Something the size of lattice wood or narrower would be perfect.
  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Oct 06, 2013
    Great idea is to place a strip of very thin painter's tape across the bottom of the stencil just slightly below the last of the paint of the stencil so you will have a slight blank space...then drop down about 1/2" and place another strip. Paint between these tapes to match stencil. This will look like a border on the stencil. Give this a day or so to dry and tape over the blue line and add your white. This method will take a little more time, but if you try to free hand it, it will ruin the effect.
    • See 3 previous
    • Marie Marie on Oct 07, 2013
      @Jeanette S I love this idea of painting a thin border line at the top of the wall. I would use one of the colors from the stenciling to keep the look deliberate, and to make it "pop"!
  • Scottie Vosburgh Scottie Vosburgh on Oct 07, 2013
    If you paint the wall color first and then the new color, you won't have the seepage problem because what "seeps" is the same color as what is underneath. If you don't have the color underneath, try to get close to it. Either way, make sure to "burnish" the tape (take a straight edge and run it over it to stick it down really well) doing that also cuts down on bleed. You've gotten some excellent suggestions- good luck!
  • Ann S Ann S on Oct 07, 2013
    i would tape off the stencils and start my paint line below the tape.. would need contrasting color
  • Connie K Connie K on Oct 07, 2013
    One trick I have used successfully to prevent seepage under the tape is to use a clear glaze with a small (like 1") brush and run a coat of the glaze down each side of the tape. If this seeps you won't even see it because its clear and your paint color will be on top. Works well when doing stripes etc. where clean lines are needed.
  • Frankie Laney Frankie Laney on Oct 07, 2013
    @Jeannette S beat me to the keyboard. I like the idea of another line of color, and @Barb Rosen's idea is another choice of the same idea. Nice to have choices.
  • Dee Dee on Oct 05, 2023

    I think a thin piece of decorative molding painted either the same color as the wall or coordinate the color with one of the colors in the stencil. Make it look like a border.