Stencil Wall Detail

The sensible person might have ripped this whole bathroom out and started over but, because I love history and a cottage feel, I decided to keep it and just worked with what was already there. As Steve says in the episode, I had “champagne dreams and a soap and water budget” for these bathrooms. And, as always, a small budget meant I had to get creative. There is nothing quite like a monochromatic pattern to bring new life to an outdated design. I grabbed a stencil from one of our local craft stores, a flat brush, and a bucket of paint and got to work.

The sky is really the limit with this technique. I say you should use it on your walls, your floor, even your ceiling! It even made for a one-of-a-kind patio for another project I did.

Here’s the process:


  • Stencil Pattern
  • Stipple Paintbrush
  • Paint of choice
  • Painter’s tape
  • Wet rag for cleaning up mistakes
  • Cover any areas you don’t want to get coffee on with drop cloths or plastic sheeting and painters tape
  1. Apply the stencil to the wall starting at one end, use painter’s tape to hold it in place.
  2. Use a stipple brush to dot the paint into the stencil patterns, it’s OK if small bits of unpainted wall peek through. Avoid too much paint on the brush to keep drips and splatters at bay.
  3. Carefully remove the stencil, use a moist rag to wipe the paint of the back side and repeat Steps 1 and 2