Before You Do That Stencil – Studio Makeover Part 2

room ready to paint

The room is mostly cleared out, and I’m ready to paint! Unfortunately, there’s one painful step before that can happen. The star stencils have raised edges that have to be sanded down before I paint.

if you’re thinking about stenciling a room, think about how much work you’re willing to put into it when you want to change the room. All stencils leave raised edges of paint around the designs. It will show through any paint you put over it. Make sure it’s a stencil that you can live with for a long time!

If I wanted to get rid of the stenciling completely, I would need to remove the wallpaper, patch the plaster, skim coat, and then repaint. I’ve done that in several other rooms of the house, and it takes weeks of work. I’m trying to keep this a quick-and-dirty makeover, so I opted to just paint the wallpaper. I’m not worried about having perfect walls in my studio. In fact, I prefer the imperfect walls, because I can hang, tack, tape, and glue things to the wall without worrying about damaging the surface.

sanding away stenciled designs with a mouse sander

I tried hand sanding the first star and immediately went to get my mouse sander. I have a Craftsman sander that uses the 19.2 volt batteries. It makes quick work of each star, though I went through 3 or 4 batteries. I wouldn’t try sanding something like this by hand. You’d be ready to jump out the window after the first 20!

walls with sanded stencil design

I spread the sanding out over two days just to keep the vibrations of the sander from killing my hands and wrists. Each time a battery died, I took a break and did something else. When the sanding was finally finished, I painted the ceiling with two coats of Glidden ceiling paint. It’s the kind that goes on pink and dries white. It’s okay, but after painting the walls, I’ve completely switched my paint preferences (more on that in the next post!).

Before painting the walls, I did two other things. I put up new roller blinds, as you can see in the first picture. I wanted to keep the budget for this room to a bare minimum, so I used $9 Magic Fit blinds from Walmart.

magic fit blind install

I could not believe how easy these were to install. The blind is perforated to you can tear it in half inch intervals. The spring mechanism is adjustable, so after tearing the blind to size, you simply push the spring mechanism to the right size. It really does take about five minutes to adjust them.

Ultimately, though, I’m not very happy with them. The perforations tear really easily, so if you have cats, they will put tears in them really quickly. The blinds also curve in at the sides, so they don’t really give complete privacy. The tension rollers are really fussy, so getting the blind to roll straight is aggravating. I had planned to laminate them with a cute fabric when it got warm enough to use spray mount outside, but now I think I’m going to replace them down the road.

vintage light fixture with round bulbs

The last thing I did was to replace the surface mount light fixture with this nifty vintage chandelier. This is one of a pair that I’ve had for a long time. We tried to use them in Lynne’s living and dining rooms, but the fixtures just got lost in those big rooms with 10′ ceilings. The scale is just right up here (the ceiling is about 8’6″). To modernize the chandeliers, I took off the orange glass shades and used round decorator bulbs. I’ll use the second chandelier in the guest room with the same bulbs.

In my next post I’ll move on to painting!

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