DIY Painting & Finishing

Personalize Your Home with 10 Foolproof Stencil Projects

Looking for a finishing touch for your painted wall? Just add a stencil. This trendy technique offers an easy, inexpensive way to turn any surface into a statement—be it walls, doors, panels, or ceilings. And the project's flexibility doesn't end there. Your surface can be smooth or rough; your medium can be acrylic or latex; and, depending on the size of your project, you can get the job done with either a roller or a brush. Beyond that, it's really about to choosing a design you love. But don't worry: Even if you tend to be a fickle decision maker, changing it up is as easy as a fresh coat of paint. Let these 10 ideas kick-start your next stenciled stroke of genius.

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Make an Entrance

An intricately stenciled pattern will make a bold and beautiful first impression when placed in the entryway. This Moroccan-inspired stencil Shelly of Mod Home Ec Studio used straddles both traditional and contemporary styles, and the pattern will play off the natural curves of of your lamps, mirrors and other accent pieces.

Let it Take Shape

Geometric stenciling is a sure way to add interest to a small space that you can completely DIY, right down to the stencil. Simply print your pattern of choice, then trace onto a blank plastic stencil sheet and cut, just as the ladies of A Beautiful Mess did for the bathroom. Pro tip: Make a few half- or quarter-sized versions of your stencil to help you navigate tight corners.

Reach New Heights

Your walls may have some competition. Move a stencil like this from Cutting Edge Stencils to the ceiling to show off a special lighting fixture or design detail on your ceiling. Stencils featuring branches, leaves, and other natural elements can be used to create eye-catching faux frescoes, murals, and borders—quickly and easily.

Say It Like It Is

Large accent stenciling can replace wall hangings, bringing color and interest to an otherwise ho-hum wall. Oversized stencils like this from Cutting Edge Stencils use larger foam rollers rather than small brushes, meaning shorter work time and almost instant gratification.

Tile in Style

Forget the tile cutting and messy grout work to add patterned tile to your otherwise plain backsplash—this stenciled tile looks just like the real thing. Made of single-layer mylar, stencils from Royal Design Studio can be used to paint on individual block designs or even a border.

Create and Customize

If you’re dreaming of a home with inlaid panels or more intricate crown molding, stencils can transform your current wall details into a work of art. These from Cutting Edge Stencils create the illusion of hand-painted panels and flourishes for a regal appearance.

Bring in a Breath of Fresh Air

Add a nuance of nature to your indoor space with an all-over wall stencil that pays homage to the outdoors. This striking birch tree pattern from Olive Leaf Stencils will transform any ordinary room into an enchanted forest.

Love Your Laundry Room

Sorting your lights and darks can get a whole lot better with a laundry room refresh, as we see in Kelly from View Along the Way‘s home. She repeated a full-wall peacock pattern by temporarily hanging her stencil with a light coating of spray-on adhesive during painting—just enough so she could lift and relay for the rest of the wall.

Accent an Alcove

Reminiscent of damask roses, this stencil that Angie from Angie’s Roost chose for an accent wall provides designer-wallpaper style at a fraction of the price. The paint’s rich shade of copper lends itself to the upscale direction of the alcove refresh.

Lift Your Spirit

Stenciled artwork will come to life when you replace the paint with a plaster. You can pre-tint the mixture with any water-based paint to match your decor, then paint it over a plaster stencil like this one from Victoria Larsen Stencils. Once dry, a darker, translucent wall glaze will help the raised detailing stand out even more.