The Solution: Feature Wall Design Project
When Tim and I first moved into our current home, some of the blank walls overwhelmed us. Not afraid to take on DIY projects, we needed a solution for our new home. So, we came up with the idea of doing a custom weekend wall design project. This was the first single story home we have owned, featuring an open floor plan. Our home, like many of the floorplans in Florida, has 10-foot ceilings. They really open up space and give our home an open look and make the rooms look larger. But, they can also add to the amount of space you need to fill to make your home look homey and finished.
The first custom wall project we completed was in our kitchen nook. We loved this project so much that we ended up doing a total of 4! Initially, we put up some artwork which went with our color scheme and it looked ok. However, we wanted to add a custom design element because the floor plan we have is exactly the same as so many others in our neighborhood.
Finding the Feature Wall Design
We thought about adding a large rectangle with printed wallpaper as the background then framing it with molding. Easy enough, right? The problem was after looking at numerous wallpaper books and online websites we could not find a print we liked in the right color. I wanted an updated design in aqua which is our home’s accent color. So, I came up with the solution to stencil the area. This way we could pick the design we wanted and then get paint mixed to the exact color we needed. Problem solved! Additionally, if we ever grow tired of the design or if new owners want something different, it can just be painted over. We were thrilled with the results.
Feature Wall Design Project Instructions
Step 1: Measure and Mark
Measure and mark the space you desire in pencil for your custom wall design project. You can then use the measurements to determine how much paint you will need. I used blue painters tape to section off the area.
Step 2: Apply Base Coat
Apply 2 coats of paint for the background in your base color (I used white). I wanted a little sheen to it so we used satin latex paint. You could use flat or gloss latex, depending on the look you want.
Step 3: Position the Stencil
Position your stencil in the upper left corner and tape into position with blue painters tape. You could also use repositionable spray adhesive to help the stencil adhere to the wall to minimize bleeding. When you are placing the stencil on the wall, make sure you check that it is level. I used a small level we had and lined it up on the bottom and readjusted the stencil if it wasn’t even.
Step 4: Paint Stencil
Pour a small amount of the other paint color you have chosen on a disposable plate or paint tray (our color was aqua). Using a small foam brush or even sponge makeup applicator, dab a small amount of paint onto the brush or applicator. It is important to not overload the brush or sponge as the paint might bleed under the stencil. Lightly dab the paint onto the open parts of the stencil, don’t rub back and forth. You will need to do a couple more light coats to ensure coverage. Try a blow dryer on the low setting to help the paint dry faster in between coats. You will need to move the stencil from left to right while overlapping with the portion you just completed. Continue doing this until the area is finished.
Step 5: Touch Up
You may need to touch up the design as sometimes slight bleeding can occur. I used a small artists brush and went back and touched up those areas. Make sure you look at it from a few feet away when checking for areas that need touch ups. Most likely no one will go up and inspect it!
Step 6: Cut & Paint Molding
Cut your molding to size. My parents have an automatic miter saw so we had them cut the pieces to our measurements. You will then need to prime and paint the molding. We used semi-gloss white latex paint for this.
Step 7: Hang Molding
Line up the molding frame and check with a level. Using finishing nails, install the molding and set the nails with a nail set tool. You will want to fill the holes with caulk. With white trim, it wasn’t necessary for us to paint over the caulk but this may be necessary depending on your trim color. You might also want to run a bead of caulk along the seam between the molding and the wall if you have any noticeable gaps.