A Touch of Lace

Add layers of charm and age-old appeal to plain walls with painted and stenciled wainscoting.

What You Need:

+ enlarge image Paint on a stenciled wainscot.
  • Painter's tape
  • 2 colors of premixed glaze, or glaze base and acrylic paints
  • Foam paint roller
  • Lint-free rag, chamois cloth, plastic wrap, or purchased texturing mitt
  • Precut stencil
  • Spray stencil adhesive (optional)
  • Long level or yardstick
  • Stiff-bristled stencil brush
  • Paper plates or kraft paper
  • Kitchen sponge
  • High-quality soft sea sponge
+ enlarge image Photo 1

1. Mark the top of the wainscoting, or the area to be painted, with painter's tape.

2. Paint base color on wall. Mix glaze base and an acrylic paint to desired wall color, or use one of the premixed glazes. Roll glaze onto wall below tape, using foam roller and irregular strokes (Photo 1).

+ enlarge image Photo 2

3. Add "texture" to wet paint. Mottle and soften glaze with damp wadded rag or chamois, plastic wrap, damp sea sponge, or texturing mitt (Photo 2). Each gives a different look. Let glaze dry.

+ enlarge image Photo 3

4. Paint on stencil design. Mark stencil position on wall. Fasten stencil to wall with stencil adhesive or tape. Dip brush into second color of paint/glaze mix or glaze; blot on paper plate or kraft paper. Brush should be very dry. Apply paint with a circular motion (Photo 3).

+ enlarge image Photo 4

5. Immediately "age" the paint. Do so by gently dabbing across it with slightly damp kitchen sponge (Photo 4). This removes part of paint and adds more depth and another texture. Finish should look uneven. Keep stencil in place.

+ enlarge image Photo 5

6. Apply a bit of glaze. Dip a slightly damp sea sponge in glaze. Tap sponge on paper plate or kraft paper to remove most of glaze, then bounce it over stencil to stipple and further age design (Photo 5).

+ enlarge image Photo 6

7. Carefully peel away stencil (Photo 6), and move it to next section of wall, making sure it aligns with positioning marks and prior design.

8. Repeat Steps 4 through 7 as needed along wall.

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