Interior Decorating Information

Beyond Paint: Decorating Walls With Stencils

Painting walls in various colors is a quick and easy way to decorate any room in your home. But when you're looking for something a bit more artistic and unique, you might try your hand at stenciling.

Stencils come in a variety of forms: Simple geometric shapes to elaborate scenery. Really good stencils can actually reproduce famous paintings and designs too.

A simple room decoration stencil pattern to start with is borders. Stenciling borders can be done in addition to existing wallpaper, or as a replacement. Stenciled borders can be repeated geometric designs, or more detailed repeating patterns such as vines, flowers or leaves. Borders can also be placed at the top of a wall, the bottom, or in dead center for variating effects and design influences.

Stencils allow you to create friezes as well. This is done simply by starting with a strong contrasting color at the top, and carried downward through gradually fading tints until they are lost in the general color of the wall

There once was a pink and silver room belonging to a young girl, where the salmon-pink walls were deepened in color at the top into almost a tint of vermilion which had in it a trace of green. It was, in fact, an addition of spring green dropped into the vermilion and carelessly stirred, so that it should be mixed but not incorporated. Over this shaded and mixed color for the space of three feet was stencilled a fountain-like pattern in cream-white, the arches of the pattern rilled in with almost a lace-work of design. The whole upper part had an effect like carved alabaster and was indescribably light and graceful.

This is an example of very delicate and truly artistic treatment of stencil-work, and one can easily see how it can be used either in simple or elaborate fashion with great effect.

Irregularly placed floating forms of Persian or Arabic design are often admirably stencilled in color upon a painted wall; but in this case the colors should be varied and not too strong. A group of forms floating away from a window-frame or cornice can be done in two shades of the wall color, one of which is positively darker and one lighter than the ground. If to these two shades some delicately contrasting color is occasionally added the effect is not only pleasing, but belongs to a thoroughly good style.

One seldom tires of a good stencilled wall; probably because it is intrinsic, and not applied in the sense of paper or textiles. It carries an air of permanency which discourages change or experiment, but it may take a bit of practice to do well.

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