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:
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!
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.
And I came home with a shiny new 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!
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.