Buh-bye Stripes!

About a month or so ago I was hard at work striping the foyer. While it was good in theory, when it came right down to it I just couldn’t finish it. The color was all wrong for the rest of the house and it didn’t have the vibe I was going for. I got no further than this:

foyer-almost-done I know I said I was going to finish it but I COULD NOT bring myself to do it. I knew something was wrong so I put a halt to the project and lived with it like this for about a month (yes, with the blue tape, too!). For whatever reason the stripes were a hit on Halloween as all the little trick-or-treaters and their mommies gazed into the foyer in amazement and said “I love your walls!” The realtor in the model home told me that no one else in the neighborhood decorates with vibrant color, let alone graphic stripes, so I guess it was somewhat of a spectacle for them.

Well if that was a spectacle, get a load of this!
foyer-from-hall Bet ya didn’t see that coming! I’ve seen tons of chic rooms dressed with Thibaut Tanzania wallpaper, but at $115+ per single roll, those spots are just a little too rich for my blood. I decided to tackle it DIY style, similar to what Kristin did with her curtains, but with a lot more crying and fist pounding. Here’s how it went down…

I knew I wanted to do spots of some sort but most pre-made stencils had more rounded, dalmatian spots. I really like the random and somewhat jagged look of the Tanzania spots, so I drew out some spots in Adobe Illustrator and made my own template using Danika’s repeating pattern tutorial.

I went to my local sign shop and they recommended a thin vinyl product that already had a low-tack adhesive backing. Awesome, I thought. Now I won’t need to buy spray adhesive. The stencil was cut on their big fancy vinyl cutter.

cutting-stencil And I came home with a shiny new stencil!

finished-stencil The first application to the wall was a breeze. I carefully lifted the stencil, placed it on the wall and smoothed that sucker out. The vinyl was thin so I figured rolling on paint with a foam roller would be best. This was too easy, I thought to myself. It was all going so well…


Until I lifted the stencil from this second application and it stuck to itself. AAARRRGGGHH! You know what happens when low-tack meets low-tack? It becomes high-freakin-tack! As I tried to pry the stencil from itself it started to tear. (Cue the crying and fist pounding)

I have no photos of this part as I was too consumed with trying to get it back to a usable state. I had to walk away for a while and let my very patient husband work on it. When he was tired of trying to save it I went back to it and managed to get it all flattened out again after about an hour. It was torn to bits in some areas so I Scotch taped that shit back together. I mean, what the heck, it’s spots, right?

I got back to work and managed to get two more sections painted when disaster struck again. There was a lot of static and a breeze caught it and…I was DONE. There was no way the stencil would be salvageable. I spent the rest of the evening trying to figure out how to get this wall done. It was Sunday, so having another stencil cut that night was not an option. It was also not an option that I was going to spend good money to have another one cut only to have it stick to itself again.

Later that night I had the bright idea to have another stencil cut the next morning, but this time spray some talcum powder on the back to reduce the tackiness. And wouldn’t you know, it worked like a charm. Whew!

foyer-from-front-door I FINALLY got to hang my Chinese Chippendale pagoda mirror that I scored on craigslist months ago. We hung it on the wall and I sighed a huge sigh of relief. And the Chippendale console table is one that was left over from our estate sale this summer. It got a little makeover with my friend Molly’s spray gun in Sherwin Williams Eros Pink. The little rug is a handmade Persian Kerman that I picked up at a yard sale and for now it will stay in the entry, but will eventually be replaced with a long runner. I’m still working on that. For the most part (at least for right now), this foyer is finished.



As I type the words “this foyer is finished” I can’t help but ask, should I stencil all the walls in the foyer? Would it be way too much? Or maybe just paint the other walls in the darker gray color of the spots? I’m on the fence about it. I think I’ll live with this for a while and take my time contemplating my next move. That seems to work best for me. :)

  • Margaret Merrill Angell

    You have patience and stamina that I could not possibly muster even with a Valium drip.

    • GinaJulian

      Haha! I wish that was true! Did I mention the crying and fist pounding? I was seriously ticked. Oh well, it was still worth it!

      • Margaret Merrill Angell

        Well… you’ve met me… so you know I would have needed a straight jacket. I’ll weigh in on your question though. Paint the other walls the same gray as the spots. If the opposing wall has spots too, I think the reflection of them in the mirror might ruin the look you’re going for.

  • Molly Shane King

    Love this blog Gina, atta girl!

    • GinaJulian

      Aw, thanks Molly! I’ve moved onto the office. Thinking of some black and white stripes but not sure. You know I gotta have stripes somewhere! :)


    I definitely want a stencil tutorial….I’m thinking the powder room but that may be too difficult with all the work-arounds. Anyway, the foyer is amazing. I wish the Greyhound had made the post :) He is the icing on the cake!

    • GinaJulian

      “Barclay” the greyhound will definitely be making an appearance in the near future! I’ve decided the other walls in the foyer need attention and I have a new light fixture to install as well, so Barclay will be in brand new photos as soon as I can get my act together.

  • http://www.therelishedroost.blogspot.com/ Karolyn Stephenson

    Looks fabulous!!

  • Ashley Frary

    I’m new to your blog! LOVE this foyer so stink in’ much! Have you given a step by step tutorial on this stencil? I would love to create one… or purchase the pattern from you?

    • GinaJulian

      Hi Ashley! Thanks so much for visiting my blog! I don’t really have a step-by-step tutorial, other than stick the stencil to the wall, roll on the paint, move the stencil to another section of the wall and repeat. If you’d like the pattern feel free to get in touch via email: gina@thejulianhome.com. I can give more detailed instructions with the pattern file.

      • Danielle

        Hi! I am so happy I stumbled upon your blog. I wanted to buy that wallpaper but just couldn’t stomach the price – I saw you photos online and thought it was the real wallpaper – It looks awesome! Would you share or can I purchase your pattern?

  • Anna Chou

    This is beautiful! What color paint did you use for the wall and then for the stencil pattern?

    • GinaJulian

      Hi Anna! The base paint color is called Paternoster (what a horrible name, right?) and it is made by Farrell & Calhoun. It was the paint the builder used throughout the house. The color I used on the spots was SW Folkstone. So glad you like it!