My little stenciling project above the chair rail in the office has officially concluded. Woooo to the hooooo! It only took three 4.5 hour installments spread out over four days (so my hand-claws could turn back into hands between sessions). You can read all about my stenciling process here), but in short: it was well worth all that work and a bag of chips. Behold:
Of course since it’s a subtle tone-on-tone effect, the further away that you get the more – well, subtle – it gets. In person when you stand at the doorway to the office you see pretty feathery texture, but of course in photos it’s somehow MUCH harder to capture. Here’s a shot I snapped during the day (ignore the too-dark chairs, non-permanent lamps, bad leaning frames, too short rug, giant placeholder ottoman, random toy basket, lack of window treatments, etc):
And here’s one at night (again, avoid all the weird we’ll-change-that-later stuff going on). I wish the stencil were more obvious in photos, but in real life, yeah, it’s our favorite thing we’ve done so far. Maybe someday we’ll master the Nikon enough to truly do it justice on film.
Here’s the much requested shot from the dining room, where in person you can still see a soft & pretty tone-on-tone texture (you’d swear it was wallpaper from this distance). But again, in photos it’s nearly impossible to capture. It’s a nice amount of subtle interest beyond the bold teal built-ins and colorful textiles in the dining room. And hopefully when we hang some art and add window treatments in the office it’ll be a good balance between those two rooms.
But let’s get closer again. It’s more fun.
Oh yeah, that’s the stuff.
The writing on the mirrors is our weird to-do list madness. Ignore that too.
But don’t ignore this sweet faced chihuahua who just turned five (five days ago, actually). Burger is always my favorite accessory (tied with the bean of course).
But let’s go back to ignoring stuff. Like the just-for-now chair and too-big ottoman (borrowed from the living room) along with the too small rug. Just figured you guys might appreciate seeing the room from a few different angles (even though the only “finished” things in here are really the light, the desk, and the stencil):
As for the wall color under the chair rail (Moonshine by Benjamin Moore color matched to Olympic no-VOC paint in satin), we’re toying with the idea of going a smidge darker to ground the stenciled upper part and add a tiny tiny bit of dimension (don’t want too much contrast since that might look crazy from the dining room beyond the built-ins). Of course we’ll keep ya posted if we make any changes! The nice thing about stenciling is that any other regular painting project feels like a cake walk by comparison. Haha. I actually wish you guys could all come over and see it in person – it’s so much better than these photos! Who’s down for a quick visit?
Oh but before I go back to staring at the walls with the same expression that I reserve for Eric from True Blood, let’s get into the paint color details, how we did it, and the budget breakdown. As for those paint details, here you go:
- Gray paint for stencil: half tint of Moonshine by Benjamin Moore color matched to Olympic no-VOC paint in a satin finish
- Grellow paint for stencil: Sesame by Benjamin Moore color matched to Olympic no-VOC paint in a semi-gloss finish
Oh and how about a time breakdown? It took 13.5 hours over three evening sessions. Definitely not a quick project, but one that makes you especially proud/excited/relieved/amazed when it’s actually done. As for all of our stenciling tips and techniques, click here for a nice long post all about applying the stencil. Now here’s that budget breakdown for ya:
- Stencil (from here): $54
- Martha Stewart Stencil Adhesive (from Michael’s): $2.99 (with 50% off coupon)
- Foam brushes (from Michael’s): $2.50 (with 50% off coupon)
- Quart of gray paint* for stencil (half tint of Moonshine from Lowe’s): $11
- Grellow paint* for stencil: $0 (leftover from kitchen, but would be $3 for a test pot)
- TOTAL: $70.49
I’ll admit it, it’s definitely not a super cheap-o paint project (which normally run us about $15-30. But to wallpaper the entire room above the chair rail could easily have been five hundred beans or more. And the effect is so amazing that – dare I admit it? – I probably would have paid $150 to get ‘er done. But not a penny more. Haha.
And true to form, we we still have about ten million things on the ol’ to-do list in here (one project at a time = sanity, glorious sanity). So we’ll definitely be tackling these things over time:
- adding window treatments
- painting and reupholstering our desk chairs
- hanging art on the walls (no, the oddly small leaning frames aren’t for keeps)
- finding a more permanent armchair, ottoman, rug, etc (there are lots of placeholders goin’ on)
- replacing the lamps (or reupholstering the shades, not sure yet – but we’ll keep you posted)
Anyone else do any stenciling lately? Or make any home office updates in general? Do you have a special expression that you reserve for Eric (or some other celebrity)? Oh yeah, let’s talk about that. Who’s your famous man (or lady) crush? Any Jake Gyllenhaal ladies here? Matt Damon? Team Edward? Team Angie? When I met John he totally had a Britney Spears calendar… and she was wearing leather bodysuits with sneakers. Le yikes.
Psst – You can read all about my stenciling process & the paint colors that I used here (there’s even an application video).
Update – Wanna know where we got something in our house or what paint color we used? Just click on this button:
This looks amazing!! It’s my favorite thing you’ve done as well. I agree that a slightly darker grey on the lower half would look great too! Enjoy your new walls!
Christine Schwalm Design says
It turned out so great! The price of the stencil was definitely worth it. You may have achieved a similar look using 3 smaller stencils but that would have been a nightmare. I’d love to see some of the yellow/green in art/accents.
Marie in Colorado says
You did a fantastic job! It looks great! Just out of curiosity, how did the actual stencil sheet hold up? Was it good as new by the end? I’ve used some that held up better than others.
Oh yes it held up really well! It’s super thick plastic, so it didn’t tear or rip or anything. It was definitely full of paint (on the front only, just from dabbing) when I was done. But mineral spirits got it pretty clean. Not perfect, but definitely reusable I think!
Meredith @ La Buena Vida says
I really should get on ordering that Domino Book of Decorating before it’s out of print forever! Is it amazing?!
Also, the stencil looks fabulous. This might be a stupid question, but what’s the benefit to doing a stencil over a similar wallpaper? That you can paint right over it?
Oh yeah- it’s a great book! I probably flip through it every few months or so. As for the benefit, yes I think that you can paint over it (since it’s just one thin application) and the cost (since wallpaper can be hundreds of dollars per roll).
wow, it turned out so so gorgeous! i definitely have a crush on your office. also, totally my current favorite thing in your house!
my celeb crush (besides eric, who is extra dreamy) is james mcavoy… and lee pace. depending on what i’m watching.
Jen A says
YAY YOU! Gorgeous!
Go Haus Go says
I had a feeling the lower part of the wall underneath the chair rail would need to go darker. Emily from SFAS just had to do that to the room/episode that just aired. The red orb wallpaper was matched with a bright red lower half, after discovering keeping the lower part white didn’t feel grounded enough. Here’s the link: http://www.stylebyemilyhenderson.com/blog/eclectic-artsy-odyssey-a-breakdown-with-another-mini-breakdo.html
Even so, it looks great. The stencil is the perfect parts drama and subtleness.
Love that post! Thanks so much for the link!
Paige @ Final Clothes-Out says
LOOOOOOOVE it. So much.
I’m so glad you didn’t go the wallpaper route. My parents bought a house that was covered in hideous floral wallpaper, and I can tell you from personal experience, it’s WAY hard to remove.
I’ve been reading for years and I think this is my favorite thing you’ve ever done ever. It looks awesome!
As far as celebrity crushes go, my husband is pretty obsessed with Mila Kunis (whose real name is actually Ludmila..who knew.) I’ve got a bunch. Recently wrote about them here:
No way- who knew that was her real name?! Off to check out your crushes.
So my husband told me her real name was Ludmila and I just assumed he was right since he is an expert on all things Mila Kunis, but I just looked it up to be sure and her full name is Milena, not Ludmila.
Sorry for leading you astray! I really need to learn how to take the things my husband tells me with a grain of salt. I’m waaay too gullible.
Haha, still so interesting! I love to hear all the before-they-were-famous names!
I love the barely-there yellow. Very nice.
My current crush is Hugh Jackman! He is kick-ass as Wolverine, gorgeous Aussie hunk in Australia AND he sings and dances. You gotta love a guy who can do “Music Man” at the drop of a hat http://www.thedailybeast.com/videos/2011/09/24/hugh-jackman-x-man-or-music-man.html!
Andrea Ross says
Impressive! and looks great :-)!
Love it! The pop of grellow in the feather just makes me happy when I look at it, too. I’m considering a stencil project one day, but your hand-claw details have me looking for small areas to stencil!
As for celebrity man crushes: I totally dig Stephen Colbert. How can anyone not have a crush on such a hilarious man? I’m not sure I’d want to see him leather bodysuits and sneakers though. :)
ashley ramsey says
The dark weave basket looks like some I have from Target and I would love to have one that size for my baby’s toys. Where did you get it?
Bingo! It’s from Target – we got it a few months ago but I think it’s one of those things they have around in their standard stock.
[email protected] says
Beautiful! I don’t think I’ve ever done a project that has taken that many hours. I don’t know how you do it. :)
Can you do a blog post on sticktoitivness? I think I have DIY ADD. I just can’t finish anything.
I have recently discovered Bruno Mars and I love him. Check out this little jam.
Check out this post. Hope it’ll help! Oh yes, and I call Bruno Mars “the Elvis of our day.” Haha.
Looks soo great! Kudos for hanging in there! The claw hand is the worst but it looks totally worth it! Oh and Jimmy Fallon…I concur!
Leslie N says
Awesome job guys! I love it! It looks so great
Is Done-zo in reference to Laguna Beach?????
Love love love the stencil. If we ever get the area above our fireplace fixed (had a leak that caused a huge issue with the painted over wall paper over plaster) we plan on stenciling above the fireplace and our entry way. I can’t wait!
Hmmm, maybe an accidental one? I did watch Laguna Beach ages ago…
looks great!! claw hand was totally worth it!
I’m totally a Matt Damon/Ryan Reynolds kind of girl
side note: I tweeted you guys last week of a chair I found at urban. After I sent it, I realized it sounded like spam, so here’s “look what I found – take 2” – your curtains in chair form!!
Haha- isn’t that so funny? Love it!
Finally, another Matt Damon girl! I can’t believe how many comments I read where he was passed over, I mean how can you not love Jason Bourne? Plus, Matt seams to really care for his family and seems like he’s really down to earth. I saw him talking about walking one of his girls to school the other day. Love!
Awesome. Please tell me you are painting those chairs yellow. Pleeeeeeeeaaaaaaaseeeeeeee? You know that is on Sue the Napkin, so it’s OK!
Haha- that’s definitely one of the possibilities we’re weighing!
Will add to the thunderous virtual applause – what a great result! Looks so elegant and understated. Jumping on plane now to visit, will bring a plate of fairy bread to celebrate.
Celebrity crush? Daniel Craig (though he’s looking very craggy at the moment) – but I am coveting that Domino book and would struggle not to sneak it into my handbag if I really did visit.
I love it! I might try this look in our entry way since it’s narrow and we can’t hang picture. BTW I love the dark chairs. I think they look great.
Ohmanohmanohman, I want to do this so badly but it looks so hard! You’re supposed to make this stuff look super easy Sherry! JK, thanks for keeping it real. Oh, and I could totes get real with Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy). He would win my house cup.
“He would win my house cup.”. Ten thousand points to whatever house you’re in because that is AWESOME.
candace @ thecandace.com says
Such an amazing and beautiful job, Sherry! I hope your claw hands are finally relaxing and enjoying this gorgeous new look! :)
And, I think Bradely Cooper is so sizzley.
Small typo alert: you forgot to close the parentheses in this sentence: (even though the only “finished” thing in here is really the light, the desk, and the stencil:
(You also may want to consider making “things” and the corresponding verb plural . . . )
Fixed! Thanks Bethie!
Okay, I was so-so on grey/yellow before, but now? Yeah, I’m kind of in lurve with these walls, and that color combination! Gorgeous, gorgeous.
Happy belated birthday, Burger!
I’m pretty sure if Jimmy Fallon and Tina Fey (major girl crush!) and I hung out, we’d be total BFFs. We’d just sit around and revel in our hilarity all day, and it would be rad. (Or I’d sit and twitch and giggle nervously and they’d be all, “What’s with *this* weirdo?” Yeah, that’s probably more like it.)
Also: Nathan Fillion. That is all.
Laurel M. says
Ooh! I love it. It does remind me of old-fashioned wallpaper, which is pretty, but a PAIN to remove. And probably to put up as well. So, are you going to paint your chairs grellow? Because I think you should. And my opinion matters SO much. :) Good job, ya’ll.
Haha- it’s definitely one color we have on the table (along with plum, teal, yellow, etc).
I think the best way to capture it would be at night, with the overhead light off and the “side table” lights on. They should illuminate the walls, where the overhead is capturing all your cameras attention and stealing the focus.
Thanks so much for the tip! We’ll have to try that!
Love it! I may be ready to try this in my hall/stairway.
P.S. Spent the weekend in Richmond for a wedding. What a cool city! :)
So glad you enjoyed our little town on the river!
Congrats! I’ve been excited to follow the process as I’ve been eyeing some of the all over stencils.
p.s. I just read Jonathan Adler’s books (their on the sidebar of your blog…as viewed by me). Totally in love. I’m working on getting up to the 5% happy. The casa got a little too neutral.
p.p.s. I vote teal for your office chairs.
p.p.p.s I love Don Draper (but not John Hamm…shows I’m a little twisted, right?).
LOVE this stencil! It’s one of my favorite ones from that company–along with the colors! So nice seeing it in action, rather than just on the site!! :)
Josh Spurgeon says
It looks really neat. :) My wife has always had a crush on Johnny Depp! I’ve come to accept it and accept my crush on Zoey Deschanel. :)
Lauren Johnson says
Gorgeous!!! I’m inspired!
Love, love, love!
I adore Joseph Finnes and Orlando Bloom… hubbie is a Emma Stone fan!
Oh, would doing the chair rail mess with the crown molding? Either way, I am in love with the stenciling! Good luck on the rest of the treatments!
We’d do the area under the chair rail (the wall part) so I don’t think it would mess with the crown. Hope it helps!
I love the pattern of the stencil. You did a great job! I have an art blog and I’m always photographing my paintings, but they are sooo much better in person. So I know what you mean about not being able to see the full effect!
Billie McIntosh says
Beautiful stencil! What a ton of work. Kudos!
Looks amazing! I am in the midst of painting my livingroom in the Plumage color and wondering if my fire engine red desk I just painted is to much with it lol
BTW Eric gets hotter and hotter with each season, Rawr!!
I’m totally impressed! Your hard work definitely paid off. It looks amazing. Really adds a lot to the room.
Mmmmmm…. Ryan Reynoldssssssssss…
Hubby crushes madly on Shakira. Remember that old Pepsi commercial where the gas station guy is dancing with the Shakira cardboard cut out and it turns into the real thing? We were watching tv together once and when that commercial played, he went all glassy eyed and suddenly sighed, “mmm! Shakira.”
Obviously I have not let him live that down.
Oh yeah, and I love the stencil! So stodgy and cool.
Bwahahahah, hilarious Shakira reaction.
Ashley @ The Hillside Home says
Looks so great!!! Way to hang in there Sherry. I think after the first day of claw-hands I would have broken down and asked my husband if he thought a 1/3 finished room might catch on as the new trend.
Celeb crush. RYAN GOSLING. I mean, come on. Notebook. Crazy Stupid Love. Out of this world, ladies.
So BEAUTIFUL!!! I seriously love it. I want to do this on an accent wall in our guest bedroom. You’ve inspired me. But I have to say, the time it takes as well as the damage that is does to your fingers is less than inspring ;) ;)
Beautiful . . . absolutely beautiful.
Nice! This makes me want to do something similar when we redo our mudroom and laundry room/bathroom combo. Yes, I would only attempt this in the smallest rooms of our house!
debbie c says
Looks awesome!! Curious what kind of window treatments you were thinking about? With the desk under the window you would have to do something “short”. Any ideas yet??
Roman shades of some sort I think- just have to find the perfect fabric!
WOW!! It looks AMAZING!!
Briel K. says
Celebrity crushes include Leo, Ryan Gosling & Joseph Gordon-Levitt. If I had to choose one though I’d definitely go with Ryan. Yum! ;)
I. LOVE. IT!
I think the subtleness of it is perfect; the pattern looks like it would have been too busy otherwise. Kudos to Sherry for doing it all!
so pretty and subtle. i like it. I love stencils… never tried them yet but i have big plans. stencils are much less intimidating when the option of wall paper is there (for me). I don’t think you could do stencils on textured walls though. what do you think?
I think if they just had a tiny bit of texture you’d be ok, but very rough texture probably wouldn’t give you crisp lines.
This is unrelated, but I just saw this ceramic pig speaker in West Elm’s new collection and thought of you, Sherry!
Had to share :)
Ahhhh, I love him! Especially how the thing plugs into his butt. Haha. So cute.