Wednesday, February 20, 2013

How to Stencil your Ceiling–the EASY way!

PBJstories How to Stencil a ceiling
One of my favorite additions to the nursery was deciding to paint the ceiling.  It truly brought drama to the room in a unique way, that was fairly easy to do!  Yes, I said it, it was easy to do. 
Honestly, if I was 8 months pregnant and could do it in a weekend, I believe ANYONE can do this!

I turned to my favorite company for stencils – Cutting Edge Stencils and asked them if they had any Chevron stencils.  They had exciting news that they were just launching their newest stencil which was two sizes of the chevron.  You can order your own CES Chevron stencil if you’re loving this pattern was much as me!

So now you’re wondering how I managed to tackle this insane project aren’t you. 
My first pointers:
Be sure you have one to two full days of uninterrupted time to dedicate to the project.
Take your time, and be ready to be patient.

Chevron stencil from Cutting Edge Stencil
Painters Tape
4” Dense Roller Brush
Paint of choice (I used Modern Master’s Metallic Paint in Warm Silver)
Music (for your entertainment)
Water (to keep hydrated)
Spray adhesive (optional – I didn’t use this)

I started in the corner and lined up the stencil.  My ceiling is a textured surface, knock down, so it did make the project a little more challenging, but again… do able.
I used little bits of tape on the back side of the stencil to help hold it up, and then used tape on the edges of the stencil as you can see the below image.
You can use spray adhesive and just spray the back side of the stencil, let it sit for a minute and then adhere to the ceiling too.  I didn’t because spray adhesive can be pretty strong smelling and needs good ventilation.  Because I was 8 months pregnant I just used tape, and had VERY minimal bleeds.

This was my first time using metallic paint and I LOVED it!  Modern  Masters Metallic paint was really easy to roll on and left minimal stroke marks.  The quart size was about $25, and after I finished the whole project I only used about half of the jar.

Just as with any time you stencil, you want minimal paint on your roller brush.  The more you soak up in the brush the more risk you have of bleeding with the stencil.  It’s better to go with less, and to do multiple light coats if you need. This will keep your lines sharp and crisp.

My next biggest and most useful tip I can suggest is this:
After I finished rolling each stencil I took down the stencil and put it face down and wiped down the edges of the stencil that had any paint build up.  This helps keep the stencil clean and your lines crisp. 
Then I flipped the stencil over and let the front side dry for about a minute.  Take your time and this is where patience will pay off.  This is when I took advantage of rest time and laid on the ground each time for a few seconds.  This let me relax my shoulders and neck. Honestly, I think taking this time is what saved me from getting so sore!

After about a minute it was time to put the stencil back up and move into the next area!
I moved along the back wall of the room, moved the stencil over each time, taking my time to line each line up with each other.

There were a few spots (along all the edges of the walls mostly) that I was unable to complete with the stencil.  This is where a little more patience comes in.  I just used painters tape and lined up the remainders of the stripes to the edge of the wall. 
In addition, the little tears of tape is where I’d mark where I needed to go back and do any necessary touch ups.  I left these pieces of tape as I did each section so I knew exactly where to go back and do touch ups when I was finished.
The next hardest “trick” I had to realize was when I started the next rows of stencils I had to continue to line it up with the previous paint lines, and not the edge of the wall.  You’d think contractors and builders would make walls that were straight… apparently not.
Along both walls I had to follow the stencil and not the edge of the wall otherwise the stencil wouldn’t line up. 
PBJstories stenciling tips
Slowly but surely I made way through the entire room.  Once I reached the end, the stencil wouldn’t fit up to the last wall so I had to hand stencil the last row of chevron. 
I just measured the width of the painted rows and the width between the painted rows and at each peek, made these marks and used painters tape to connect all the dots.
DSC_7520bIn this last picture you can see where two stencils lined up with the metallic paint and roller brush marks.  I just went back with the brush and painted in the opposite direction with the paint to cover these lines and blend spots together. 

This project took me about two days to do, I painted most of it the first day, and left touch ups and final paint spots to the second day.

I couldn’t stop coming into her room to look at the ceiling for weeks after I finished this project!  It made SUCH an impact in the room and is so unique I LOVE it.  Plus in a nursery, what a GREAT design and pattern for a baby to be able to look at, considering they spend all their time on their backs anyways… they may as well have a gorgeous ceiling to look at.

I cannot urge you enough to take the leap and do amazing projects like this!  I always think of big projects like this as the process may be a lot of work – but it’s a weekend’s worth of work for years and years of big payoff!  In our case, about 10 months of pay off as we’ll be moving by the end of the year probably BUT – until then I get to enjoy the work.

And seriously I WAS 8 MONTHS PREGNANT AND DID THIS – you can too! Open-mouthed smile

Please feel free to ask any questions if you’re thinking about tackling your own stenciling project!

You can see the wide selection of stencils from Cutting Edge Stencils here.
They also share amazing inspirational projects on their Facebook page all the time so be sure to like them!
While you’re on Facebook you should be sure to like my page too if you don’t already!



  1. You did such an amazing job! & I must say you are a genius for the tape part! Great job girly!!!
    xx Liz Marie

  2. You did such a great job pamela! It was fun to see it all come together!

  3. This is seriously so awesome! So amazing and beautiful :)

  4. I love how your ceiling came out!! I completely agree about walls not being straight. We have a new home and whenever we try to hang artwork, curtains, etc. we always run into trouble. :) Good tip on taking breaks to rest your neck. I think I'd be scheduling a chiropractor visit right after!

  5. Gorgeous!! You did a GREAT job!!!

  6. Great job Pamela! You must have wanted to die being 8 months prego doing this!!!!!

  7. May I ask where you bought the ceiling light from? I love it!!

  8. Looks great! I have to ask though... Do you get dizzy looking at it? Also, does it make the ceiling seem higher or lower?

  9. What color are your walls and ceiling? Thanks!

    1. They are Cedar Key by Sherwin Williams in Eggshell finish!



Love hearing back from my readers, you make my day! Thanks, Pamela of PBJstories

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