Charming Cottage Style Stenciled Accent Wall

8 Materials
1 Hour

*I was compensated by Stencil Revolution for this post. All opinions are my very own.*

Over the summer, my DIY guy finally decided to renovate our tiny hall bathroom. It was about time. I’d been living with the same tired red paint for over a decade, and while I love color, I was ready for change. Unfortunately, when the room was done, it was missing the decorating drama I craved. Thankfully, one beautiful wall stencil and one quick DIY later, I had the bathroom of my dreams.

For months, that room vexed me. It was bland and boring and just plain blah. I was sure I wanted an all white bathroom, until I got one. I appreciated the light, bright airy feeling the room had, but it definitely needed some kick.

I considered wallpaper for about 30 seconds, until I remembered the agonizing days of steaming and scraping in our old house. Nope. That wasn't a great solution for a girl who likes to change up the decor on a regular basis.

Plus, it was tricky to hang properly 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 without it. 

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. Sign, pillows, plates, trays, and while I'd never stenciled an entire wall, I knew it'd be an easy DIY.

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!

Step 1: Choose A Stencil

I poked around their website for a bit, when I came across this lovely, Ribbon Stencil. It had the look I wanted, delicate and charming, just right for a cottage style bathroom. I was almost sold. 

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. 

I decided this pattern was perfect and started planning my color scheme and gathering supplies, while I waited for it to arrive. 

Step 2: Get A Roller And Tape

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. These rollers are 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. 

Step 3: Gather Supplies and Prep

I also grabbed my paint, a roller frame, a paint tray, a drop cloth, and scissors.

Once my wall stencil arrived, I took it out of the box and paper it was carefully wrapped in and let it sit on a flat surface for a bit while I removed the mirror and towel bar from the wall. Then I spread my drop cloth out to protect my new tile floor and got moving.

Step 4: Set Your First Stencil Placement

The most important part of this process was choosing a starting point. I chose the most visible area on the wall. 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. 

Step 5: Start Rolling

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 satin paint we had leftover from my vanity makeover, for continuity in the room. 

Step 6: Move The Stencil

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, and taped it down again.

Step 7: Trim If Necessary

I repeated this method over and over again, 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, but 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 cottage style coziness and relaxed elegance I craved.

All in all, this project took me about an hour to complete. Crazy right? An hour to totally transform my blah and uninspiring bathroom into a charming showstopper. 

And I did it all by myself and with leftover paint to boot. 

Easy, inexpensive and totally fabulous. 

I love it when things work out that way.

What wall would you stencil? 

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Kim  |Exquisitely Unremarkable
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  • Debra Morgan Debra Morgan on Mar 27, 2021

    Did your wall have any texture?

  • Carmela Carmela on Mar 29, 2022

    This looks beautiful! I wish I had the patience to do this in my little half bathroom.

  • Robin Robin on Apr 02, 2022

    This gorgeous! I may try this in my master bath. I am curious however what you do with the small areas that couldn’t accommodate the full stencil?

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