There is an artist in each one of us that yearns to indulge in creative pursuits. Wall stencilling is one activity that encourages even amateur artists to sketch designs on the canvas of home walls.
It is true that ideas of themed wallpapers or memorable picture frames invariably dominate our minds when doing up our homes but the one trend that has recently become a viable option in home decor is wall stencilling.
Interior designer Husnain Heptulla and Delhi-based creative director, Vandana Khosla, guide us on the nuances of this form of decoration and give us necessary tips to try stencilling on our own.
What is wall stencilling: It simply means replicating an image on a wall surface either by using a permanent marker free-hand or else a stencil that serves a template for outlining. Paint colours are later filled into the spaces for a complete picture.
Popular designs and patterns: Depending on the texture of the wall whether in tiles, bricks or regular, selecting a suitable stencil design assumes the initial step toward wall stencilling. For a relaxing and calming effect in the room, Husnain recommends nature-inspired themes or arboreal designs to create a landscape-like feel in the house. Floral, damask (woven fabric), nursery, classical and border can be your first time wall art pick. A stencil can also be self-designed complimenting one’s taste and preference but that needs skill and right technique only experts are confident with. So you can add depth to your paint by stencilling a design in a contrasting colour over the basecoat. Other techniques such as ragging, sponging, or feathering can be done using another colour over the basecoat.
For living area and bedrooms: Every room has a distinct characteristic of its own. Styling a living room for instance cannot be similar in approach to designing a more intimate space like a bedroom. Abstract designs that follow a grid-repetition pattern in pastel colours add a spiritual feel to the living room setup. With bedrooms, a little whimsical and cheerful attitude is accepted feels Husnain. “Using scenes from a memorable trip abroad, snowflakes and picket-fence themes give a more personal flavour to the room shared by a married couple,” he informs. Coming to the kids’ room, the surroundings should not be overpowering that put them ill-at- ease. The motive is not to turn a child’s room into another study but to do it up in a manner that soothes the mind of the child and not burden it. Replicating a scene from the child’s favourite book or animated illustrations are some of the quirky templates parents can experiment with.
What’s stencilling in the kitchen? Cooking is an art and kitchen is the space of culinary execution; so why not outline its walls in stencilled strokes? Vandana Khosla suggests, “Use stencils on cabinets or floors in a unique way and surprise your guests with your expertise in this art. If you have a cabin in the hardwoods, use stencils of black bear, moose or deer, going one per cabinet centre. To add contrast to wood walls opt for white cabinets and stencil black-and-white checkerboards along the edges.”
Colours and background: The surface or the base is the backbone of good stencilling. The background colour is a decisive precursor to a wall stencil. The contrast could be subtle, like in the living room or the library, or it could be pronounced in a bedroom or entertainment area. Mauve, peach, grey, sandy brown and chocolate brown work well as subtle hues; while shades of blue, red and green act as contrasting agents. The colours should be used in a healthy proportion or else they might end up having a jarring display.
Why stencilling? A stencilled room has a charm of its own. It can highlight existing features such as arches and fireplaces, and make featureless interiors more interesting. More than being a current home decor trend, wall stencil is more original, innovative and cost-friendly than designer wallpapers that have limiting customising options. Interior designers believe stencilling is far more fun and leads the league than wallpapers, textured surfaces and feature-wall type of paint jobs. With the correct atmospherics and lighting a stencilled wall adds novelty and lasts long too.
Try wall-stencilling at home: Here are some easy steps for beginners that Vandana Khosla simplifies:
-First decide the walls you want to stencil. Then select stencil type the desired position.
-Choose the colours. If the background wall colour is to be changed, keep the new colour in mind while preparing the stencil colour scheme.
-Paint the base wall colour (if it is to be changed), or touch up any dirty areas if the colour is to be retained. The wall must be clean before you move on to the next step.
-Use a laser level to identify the correct spots where the stencil will be taped. Mark the areas clearly with a pencil. If the stencil is only to be used sporadically, or in one area, you may still want to use the laser level to determine a straight line for taping the stencil into place.
-Tape the stencil into place and follow the below instructions:
1. Using a stencil brush and paint, begin stencilling in one colour at a time. Follow the directions provided for the type of stencil paint you’ve purchased.
2. Continue stencilling until all the colours have been completed. Let the paint dry thoroughly before you remove the stencil from the wall. If necessary, move the stencil onto the next area of the wall. Continue until the entire wall is complete.