Monday, September 19, 2011

Stencilling it up!

The other day I read an interview with Jane Fonda in the Globe & Mail. One quote that really stood out for me was her response when asked what's next for her. She replied, "If I died tomorrow, that would be fine.  My house is in order. I have to start a new bucket list."


Whether she meant it literally or not, it's not something you hear very often.  I hope I can say the same at 73.  In the meantime, I really can't let myself get hit by a bus because there's just way to much to get done around our house.

I have a long never-ending list of things to do: get the hood fan fixed (it's been broken for four months now), touch up the paint on some of our chairs, hang some art on our blank walls, fix our espresso machine, buy a TV console, a Barcelona chair and a bed frame for the guest bedroom, finish the get the picture.  And Murphy's Law is sure to kick in - as soon as we fix the hood fan, something else will inevitably break down.

However, it's kind of nice to have these little projects just for that sense of accomplishment when you've scratched something off your list.   This past Sunday, I was able to do just that when I finished stencilling the vertical window that runs along our front door.

That's right, no more looky loos will see me in my pj's when they come to the door selling newspaper subscriptions on Saturday morning.  If Josh isn't home to answer the door, I can pretend I'm not home. ;)

Here's our before shot:

And after:

My stencil arrived from Royal Design Studio on Friday.  The stencil company is based in the U.S., so I had to pay $20 in shipping (the stencil itself was $20), but when I picked it up at the post office I wasn't charged duty - yay!

 I had already purchased the paint at Canadian Tire. I used Rust-oleum's Frosted Glass finish (it's a spray paint).

I had to trim a few millimetres off both sides with an x-acto knife so that it would fit within the window frame. 

As with painting a wall, the most time-consuming part of this project was the prep work.  First, I used window cleaner and allowed it plenty of time to dry.  Then I grabbed my newspaper and painter's tape and covered the area around the stencil. 

I gave each section three coats of paint.  The first two coats I sprayed in vertical strokes, the third spray I did horizontally.  There is no method to my madness...I just thought the different directions would help evenly coat the window.  I waited a few minutes between coats, and waited 15 minutes before removing the stencil to go on to the next section.  At that point it was good and dry. The label on the paint said it actually dries completely in 5-10 minutes, but I like to err on the side of caution.

I slowly made my way down the window, and as you can see, it was dark by the time I got to the bottom. 

Here it is this morning in the sunlight...

I'm really happy with the finished product, but here are some lessons I learned that I'd take into account if I were to do this again...

1.  The instructions that came with the stencil said it would be beneficial to use a repositionable spray
adhesive.  Not knowing where on earth to buy this, and just itchin' to get it done, I couldn't be bothered.  I told myself this project was getting done this weekend, and I wasn't going to let anything hold me back.  Using an adhesive to hold the stencil down would have given me much cleaner, crisper edges.  You can't tell from the photo, but some errant spray did get underneath the stencil so some of the edges are a bit fuzzy up close.

2.  The spray bottle says to use it in a well-ventilated area.  Few of the windows on our main level actually open.  And as you can see from the photos, I brilliantly taped myself in so I was unable to open the front door.  The whole room had a fine whitish mist hanging in the air after each coat. Josh thinks he got high.  

3.  The spray goes EVERYWHERE.  You have to hold the bottle at least 12" away from the window, and I watched the spray wander madly off in all directions.  I should have used a lot more newspaper on the floor around the window.  You can't actually see it, but I could feel a film on my bare to-do list today involves scrubbing the floors.

A huge thanks to Landon, Alex, Sylvia, Ashley and Bev for helping me pick the pattern - gotta love Facebook surveys!  The Hollywood Squares pattern definitely matches the clean lines of our house better than the Moorish ones would.  I haven't given up my obsession with all things Moorish, but perhaps some non-permanent accessorizing would be a better method than paint.


sylvia said...

jules!! it looks absolutely amazing!!!!!!!! i'm going to have to try it out myself.. where did you get the stencil from again?

sylvia said...

nvm! i just saw the link!! lol.. but seriously.. it looks AMAZING!!

Jules said...

Thanks so much Syl! I just noticed that the stencil company threw in a complimentary stencil of a flower...looks like a hibiscus or Hawaiian flower - I thought that was a nice touch!

Melanie said...

Jules, I LOVE this project you did with our Hollywood Squares stencil! I admire your patience to do all that masking off. It turned out super!! Thanks so much :)

M's Dwellings said...

I love it, it looks fantastic!!!!!!! You did a great job!

And I love the front entryway. The stencil you chose suits it perfectly!

Jules said...

Thanks ladies! I'm wondering what to stencil next, now that I have this flower stencil in my hot little hand!

Maryam in Marrakech said...

Super lovely! I love Royal Design Studio!

Jules said...

Thanks Maryam! BTW, I love your makes me want to book a one way ticket to Morocco!!