The Sweetest Stencil Embossing With Joint Compound in 9 Easy Steps

Royal Design Studio
by Royal Design Studio
3 Materials
A little bird told us that you’re looking to transform your nursery or little girl’s bedroom into a charming nest! A sweet way to decorate this space is to paint an accent wall with our Swan Serenade Wall Stencil. Inspired by Swedish design and the lyrical beauty of the classic Swan Lake, this allover pattern is shines when painted in pinks and creams. We took this sweet style one step further with a raised stencil pattern. This technique takes a little more time, but it’s actually quite easy and inexpensive when done with paint and joint compound. Follow the step by step instructions below to see how you soar to new heights with your wall stenciling:
Video Tutorial!

Swan Serenade Wall Stencil

1 ½” Royal Stencil Brush

Premixed Joint Compound

White Latex Paint

Japanese Trowel, Plastic Spatula, Sanding Black/Paper, Level, Contractor Paper, Stray Adhesive, Paper Towels, Painter’s Tape, Terry Cloth/Rag

Steps 1-3: Prior to stencil embossing you will want to establish the repeat of the pattern on the wall by stenciling key elements first with just paint. This will allow you to leapfrog the stencil around the wall and give each repeat time to dry adequately.

Step 1: Place and secure the stencil on the center of your wall with a level and painter’s tape.

Step 2: Load the stencil brush with white paint and then offload onto a paper towel to remove excess paint.
Step 3: Stencil just a few key elements of the pattern. Repeat the stencil pattern across the entire wall using the registration marks until the entire wall is stenciled. These painted areas will mark the pattern repeat registration for when you do the stencil embossing.

Step 4: Lightly mist the back of the stencil with spray adhesive and place the stencil directly over one of your previously painted repeats.

Step 5: Mix one part white latex paint with 4 parts premixed joint compound. This will create a more durable joint compound mix with bright white color.
Step 6: Use a plastic spatula to load the trowel. Gently trowel a generous and even layer of the joint compound mix over the stencil pattern. Make sure to hold the trowel at a low angle and apply the mixture as if you were “icing a cake”. Try to maintain an even thickness of the Joint Compound mix throughout.

Step 7: You will need to clean the stencil off between repeats-or possibly every 2-3 repeats. This will depend on if or how much excess material gets pushed under the stencil. To clean, gently remove the remaining joint compound mix from the front of the stencil with the trowel or a plastic scraper. Clean any dirty areas on the back of the stencil with rag.

Step 8: Reapply the spray adhesive on the stencil and skip one previously troweled repeat on the wall. Place the stencil over the next set of registration marks. Stencil embossing every other repeat with allow for more drying time for each repeat while you continue to stencil. Stencil with the joint compound mix and repeat Steps 6 through 8 until every other repeat is stenciled. Then go back and fill in the repeats in between. Let dry overnight.
Step 9: Use a sanding block or sandpaper to carefully smooth any ridges or uneven areas. Clean the sanding dust off the wall with a damp rag. Use the wall base color paint to touch up any areas that inadvertently got the joint compound mix on.
Suggested materials:
  • Swan Serenade Wall Stencil   (
  • Royal Stencil Brush   (
  • Japanese Trowel   (
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
  2 questions
  • Iml28903180 Iml28903180 on Oct 09, 2017

    How do you prevent the compound from going under the stencil? And do you lift the stencil off right away?

  • Cathdarnell Cathdarnell on Jan 18, 2021

    Do portions of the stencil pattern chip off over time?

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3 of 6 comments
  • Sam Sam on Aug 09, 2017


  • Shelley Shelley on Jan 19, 2019

    I did this almost twenty years ago for my sister when her second child was on the way. I used two different grass/fern/flower stencils around the bedroom, right at the baseboard. I then used a third stencil to add butterflies around the grasses and up the walls. After painting the rest of the room, I hand painted every blade of grass, flower and butterfly. Mixing colours so nothing was the same. Six months later they sold the house and moved. I was heartbroken but still proud of my work