Friday, April 20, 2012

96 Playroom Painting Project - We Stenciled Again!

The last time I popped in with a playroom update, I shared that I decided to update the color.  Again.  And part of the reason was to get rid of the too blue feeling and another reason because of a little project I had up our sleeves.  So the color went from Behr's Prelude to Behr's Reflecting Pool:


For about two plus years now I have wanted to do a birch tree wall treatment in our playroom.  Two years!  And now that everyone and their mom has done it, I thought I would be the last to hop on the birch tree train.  What took me so long?  It was a matter of figuring out how to make it work.  Was I going to free hand it?  Use a projector?  Use a stencil?  What colors would I use?  What wall would I put it on?  Oh my goodness do I even have the time for such a project?

Why birch trees?  Well, I think they bring an earthy feeling to the space.  Bring some outdoors in.  They feel masculine to me as well, perfect for three little {but growing} boys.  I have seen them done in enough spaces that I knew I would love them in our own home.

So, after thinking about the options; wallpaper being too expensive, free handing it being too time consuming {not to mention I am a smidge of a perfectionist and I know I couldn't free hand anything I would love}, which left me to settle on a stencil.  I selected this one from Cutting Edge Stencils:


The wall that we selected wasn't all that large, so my hopes were that I could whip out this project in an afternoon, with the help of the hubs of course.  We had already stenciled a wall in the dressing room, so we figured we already knew what we were in for, and past the initial stenciling learning curve.  In fact, we followed the exact same process this time around.

We started out with the blank wall, and taped off the edges:


I decided to use two paint trays this time around.  Since stencils shouldn't be used with too much paint {to avoid the paint from seeping behind the stencil}, the second tray was basically the last place the roller would touch before heading to the wall, just to be sure all excess paint was removed.


And I can't stress enough the importance of spray adhesive.  It makes for a sticky mess, but it really helps keeping the stencil flush against the wall while rolling, giving much crisper lines.


We started by using a level and spray adhesive combined with painters tape, and just picked a random spot center of the wall to begin.


We initially started rolling with a small foam roller, per the instructions.  However, I quickly learned that this wasn't going to work for this specific project.  I was using a dark teally blue {Behr's Seven Seas - the same color on the back of the recently painted entertainment center} and because it was so dark, it would either require good coverage the first time around or two coats.  Two coats and a stencil weren't going to work for me, so we switched to a flat wall surface roller instead, and it worked much better.


Even though we went against the rules to use a large flat wall roller, because we were good about making sure it wasn't too covered in paint, we still managed nice crisp lines.


The real beauty about this project, especially for picky perfectionist types, is that with nature and birch trees, no perfection is required!  A little blotch here or a mistake there, eh, who would ever notice?


Because the stencil goes over itself in spots, we just used a hair dryer to try and cure the paint a bit before moving on to the next section....


Almost done!


We decided to be crazy pants people and use a giant stencil around a door.  This caused the stencil to fall on my head a few times.  I had blue paint in my hair for days.  And I am not going to lie, that part was not fun, at all.  In fact, by the time we were done, the hubs said that next time I should just do the wallpaper...






But in the end, I love how it turned out, making for a nice and fun before:


And after:


The boys think it is SUPER cool and they keep chatting about how they can't wait to show their friends which makes this a successful project in this mommy's book!  It's my goal to give them a space they love to play and hang out in!

So one more project off the ol' list!  Here is what is left:
  • Paint entertainment center
  • Updated light fixture
  • Window treatment
  • Seating
  • Additional toy storage
  • A fun wall treatment
  • Photographs/Artwork 
  • Book storage
Anyone else working on a fun wall treatment or tackled a wall stencil recently?

96 comments:

  1. Wow - that is impressive! I love that you chose such a bold color! You've got me thinking about where I could do something like that in my own home...hmmmmm.

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  2. Wow! Looks amazing... You must be one patient person to do all that work, Jen! :)

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  3. Ooooh I love it - great blue colour! We used the same stencil in our master bedroom on a feature wall behind our bed! Love it!
    Jo-Anna

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  4. Love it.. love that stencil :)

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  5. it's beautiful!! i love this so much. but i was wondering, did you go back and wipe off the spray adhesive after the paint dried?

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    1. Thank you! We just sprayed the back of the stencil with the spray adhesive and stuck the stencil onto the wall. By the time we peeled the stencil off the wall, the spray had basically cured and there was nothing to wipe off on either the stencil or the wall. And the best part is it doesn't take paint off the wall either. Not sure how it works so magically, but it does! :)

      xoxo,
      Jen

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    2. Did you use a level at all for the stencil? I just bought this and am planning to do our 18' x 11' dining room wall. In between the trees will be a medium grey and the marks on the white trunks will be charcoal. The other three walls will be a medium brown. It will look AWESOME.

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    3. Hi Leslie Ann!

      We used a level for the first stencil to get us started, and because there are guides for lining it up after, we didn't use one beyond that. However, you can get mini clip on levels which are super nice for stenciling projects.

      xo!
      Jen

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  6. Yep, spray adhesive is the way to go. I have never stenciled a whole wall like that, but have stenciled a few borders over the years. Your wall turned out really cool!!! I love it.

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  7. WOW!! I love it- especially the color you chose!

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  8. This looks amazing! It really adds a WOW factor and makes me really excited to try a stencil in our home. Thanks for the great inspiration!

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  9. Looks great! I wasn't sold at first on the dark blue, but now that it's done it looks better than the typical beige in my opinion!

    I'm currently stencilling our future nursery (well just one wall of the room, we aren't THAT crazy). Our house is only a year old so we didn't want to paint the whole room again, so we thought stencilling one wall would be a good compromise. Well I'm wishing I had chosen to paint the one wall instead! It'll be worth it in the end but it's a lot of work.

    I'm actually not using the spray adhesive and I'm not having any issues at all. It may be slowing me down a bit, but I didn't want to use the spray while I was pregnant (and I didn't think my hubby would be up for running out to the garage and spraying the stencil!)

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  10. Looks fabulous and you make it look so easy! Every time I watch the TV show Once Upon a Time I want to put trees on my walls. Thanks for showing me how!

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  11. Oh my gosh! I love it so much!! :)

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  12. That is so incredible. I love it!!

    This would look so great in my son's room, but I'm too scared to attempt it!!

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    1. Awww, don't be scared, it really wasn't all that bad! Just around the door was a bit challenging.

      I say go for it! :)

      xoxo,
      Jen

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  13. This looks amazing! I have seen those stencils all over bloggyland and Pinterest, but I don't think I have seen a real-world tutorial that made them look as amazing as this one... thanks so much for sharing! Now off to search out my favorite stencil designs... :)

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  14. love it - Love It - L-O-V-E it!!!!!!!

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  15. Ah-ma-zing! Definitely worth the troubles!

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  16. I really like how that turned out, I have been thinking that I would like to do a wall stencil for my kids rooms. Do you have a suggestion where I could find kids stencils? My daughters room is princess theme and my son is Thomas the Engine.

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    1. Maybe check your local home improvement store or amazon?

      xoxo,
      Jen

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  17. Jen, I have never commented on any of your beautiful work, even though a zillion wonderful things come to my mind each day I read your blog. I guess I always just pictured myself sending a long and detailed email to you letting you know how amazing you are, how inspirational you are, and how your beautiful work and willingness to share your talent has affected my home. (Right now I am conquering many areas of my home that need attention, and calling it my 11 week plan, which signifies the deadline of my in-laws returning to this country and staying with us for a year.) But hopefully an email will come later so I can share how you've helped. It's high time I said thank you in a comment, and complimented you the way you deserve it! This project is gorgeous. No surprise of course, but nevertheless, I had a huge grin on my face while I read today!

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    1. This comment made my eyes swell up. So happy to took a moment to write, you made my day! <3

      xoxo,
      Jen

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  18. Wow that looks great. It looks like wallpaper.

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  19. Love the contrast! I can't wait to see how you decorate around that beautiful wall!

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  20. This is gorgeous! I don't think I'd have the patience though, sadly.

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  21. Amazing job!! It looks fabulous!

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  22. i love this so much! one day I will have a home as perfectly amazing and lovely as yours.

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  23. I love the stencil! You did an amazing job! I just finished doing one of my bathrooms with a stencil from Cutting Edge and I am now in love with their products. I think if I do it again I would definitely try the spray adhesive as I had a lot more bleed through. The link below is the stencil project I just finished:

    http://bkdarr.blogspot.com/2012/04/updated-bathroom-paint.html

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  24. love that you see the sun mirror past the trees when the door is open. i was dubious about the birch pattern, and the birch pattern in BOLD BLUE to boot! big smile across my face when I saw the outcome at the end. outstanding.

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    1. Thanks! I know it's not for everyone, but the kids LOVE love it and that is what matters to me. It adds fun drama to the space and we are pretty excited about how it turned out as well.

      xoxo!
      Jen

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  25. Love it! You inspire me to be bold. I always play it safe because I'm worried I won't like the end result. We have a lot of yellows in our living room right now and I love it because it's bright and cheerful. My husband and I want to paint one of the walls but I am having a hard time deciding! Have any suggestions?

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  26. Looks amazing! Such a labor of love...I know projects like that take A TON of patience. Nice work.

    Elisabeth@Simply Parkers

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  27. I loved this project! It looks so good!

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  28. It looks fantastic! I love it!

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  29. That looks super-fantastic. I'm SO impressed! Love it.
    ~FringeGirl

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  30. Umm...wow! That's all I can say. I would be so scared to try a stencil. You guys did a great job. It makes such an impact! Btw, we have the same blow dryer, which made me smile. :)

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  31. That looks AMAZING! Color me impressed! All your projects are great, but this one is really special. Way to go Jen!

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  32. That looks AMAZING! Color me impressed! All your projects are great, but this one is really special. Way to go Jen!

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  33. Great tutorial and I second the WOW! The wall is awesome!

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  34. Oh my goodness, this post just blew my mind! The stenciling looks beautiful and perfect. I don't know how you have time to do all of these amazing projects with such perfection and then blog about it too! You continue to rock :)

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    1. Thanks Tamar! I have a lot of help from my hubs and we make date days/nights out of it. Call us DIY nerds if you will.

      xoxo!
      Jen

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  35. That is seriously so cool and the color you chose rocks!

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  36. Fun! I'm scared of stenciling but I have a little stencil project I plan to do this weekend. Hopefully it comes out as lovely as yours. :)

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  37. Oooh, I love it! That's the stencil I want! 1) I love it in general, and 2) If anything will show the fewest mistakes, it's something natural like the trees. Super geometric stuff would make me nervous to try! Although, your dressing room wall turned out awesome, too! Great job on both!

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  38. I have the wallpaper, but yours looks even better with the bold color. Amazing!

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  39. Jen, you cease to amaze me! You really do. I love the stencil.

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  40. You are fearless and courageous! I'm impressed!

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  41. oh my goodness I am in LOVE with this wall treatment. bold! it's projects like these that make me so excited to get out of apartment living!

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  42. That looks awesome!! Question for you, did you spray the whole stencil with the adhesive, or just the edges? Did it make the wall sticky? Love the idea, I'm planning on stenciling a wall in my (soon to be) house and wanted to copy it! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Hello!

      We actually did spray the entire stencil. And surprisingly the wall never got sticky. It's a magical stencil trick I guess, but it worked great!

      xoxo!
      Jen

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  43. That looks so good!! Great job!

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  44. Wonderful project. I never would have thought of it. You're so clever.

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  45. Hi Jen! I love the stencil!!!! I do have a question: why do you start in the middle of the wall instead of corner or beginning of the wall? does it make it easier?
    Thanks for all the inspiration!

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    1. Not sure - we did that the first time too, it's recommended in the directions and I found it's great for working back and forth, staying level and eliminating the amount of times we had to put the plastic stencil onto freshly painted areas.

      xoxo!
      Jen

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  46. This is amazing!! What patience and concentration you have!!! Well done!

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  47. It looks amazing! I love it!

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  48. Too busy! Does not even resemble a birch tree(s) Sorry! Not a fan.

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    1. That is the beauty of design. We all have the right to love different ideas. xoxo!

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  49. I wanted you to know I nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award! Check it out on my blog! goldylocksandthebarrows.blogspot.com

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  50. That looks crazy. Crazy awesome. :) It's so cool for a playroom. Stencils just bring in a whole different set of options!

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  51. Wow!! I am in total awe of how much patience you have!!

    -Ash

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  52. This looks REALLY good! Perfect for a boys (or girls) play room! That's the beauty of a playroom, busy patterns and bold colors are great, who wants a bone colored play room!!!? I'm painting my bathroom this week (the previous owners painted this tiny space DARK brown all 4 walls and the ceiling...they weren't very bright), but I think I'll stencil the wall behind our bed next! Do you think this pattern would look good with a dark grey in place of the dark blue?

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    1. Er, I guess that first pic is dark grey...maybe Taupe? I don't like it as much...back to the drawing board!

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  53. I LOVE the Stenciled wall...looks awesome and fun!

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  54. absolutely love the rich color...

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  55. I love the end result. I've wanted to stencil my walls for years. But fear that I would mess up has kept me from really trying. Thank you for posting the link for the stencils. Still trying to work up the courage to take on this project, however seeing your outcome gives me more courage to give it a try.

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  56. How are you and your home so beautiful and clean with three little boys running around?!?! We're getting married soon, and you're quite the inspiration for homemaking!

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  57. where did you get this stencil? and what kind of adhesive did you use? this turned out beautifully. i love it!

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    1. Thank you!

      Here is the link to the stencil: http://www.cuttingedgestencils.com/allover-stencil-birch-forest.html?category_id=12

      We used 3M spray adhesive but any from the craft store would work.

      xoxo!
      Jen

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  58. This looks amazing! Looks like it was worth the challenge and effort!

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  59. I'm not much of a DIY person but this is awesome and so inspirational, thank you!

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  60. Hi Jen!

    I was planning on using this same stencil on a wall of built-ins in my den. However, the wall is wood-paneling. I've already painted the paneling white, do you think if I used the spray adhesive on the wood it would pull anything off? Just looking for any suggestions! Thanks for the inspiration - LOVE your blog!!!

    Emily

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    1. I would think it would be OK, but I can't be for certain. Maybe you could test it in a small spot first?

      xoxo,
      Jen

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  61. Thank you for the excellent instructions! My husband is getting ready to try this on our (outdoor) porch floor and in our sunroom...it will be almost identical to yours--birch trees & that lovely blue/green. I appreciate your lessons learned! And the adhesive--I never would have thought of it. Best...

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  62. Oh yeah, Jen, one more question...have you ever tried 2 layers? We have a light brown/khaki wall, I was thinking the next layer w/ a darker brown, and another (offset) with silver or an off-white? Can't quite picture it in my head, though, especially as this stencil isn't of the trees, but the space around them!

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    1. Hmmm, sounds like it could be really lovely, but I hadn't thought to try it, and not sure how it would work out. I would love to see it if you give it a whirl! :)

      xoxo,
      Jen

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  63. I have a huge two story wall in my living room that measures about 20' wide x 30' tall. It is stark white and I have been trying to decide for 2 years what to do with it. We do have a large entertainment center on the wall, so we don't want to hang any art above. I love the stencil idea, but was wondering if you think trying to stencil a wall this size would kill me!? I am crafty and a good painter, but have only ever done a stencil as a border back in the day when they were more popular. Any advice for a project this big?

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    1. Honestly, it would be a HUGE project with that large of a space, and those heights. I know you mentioned you don't want to do art, but what if you found oversized canvases and painted the stencil on those vs. the wall. It would be much easier and still give a fabulous effect. Just a thought. :)

      xo!
      Jen

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    2. Thank you for your comments. I think I will attempt to stencil a smaller wall. You have inspired me!

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  64. Would this stencil work on a textured wall? I'd love to do this in my daughters playroom but am afraid that our "orange peel" textured walls would not create crisp lines.

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  65. I loved the location and accent color that you used for this! I also really appreciated all of the tips that you gave. I just finally finished up our trees in our upstairs hallway and am in love. I linked everyone back to your site to find great tips for stenciling...I found them so valuable! Thanks again for posting such beautiful, fun things!

    http://www.aninvitinghome.com/2013/01/my-take-on-being-green-birch-tree.html

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  66. I just ran across your blog thanks to pinterest and I think it is fabulous! Quick question: I would love to do this stencil painting in our son's room, but the walls are really textured. Do you think the stencil will work, or should I try the wallpaper route instead?

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  67. We just tried this very stencil on a textured wall & failed miserably. I'm so sad =( We are currently painting over it b/c it looks that bad. We used the spray adhesive & still failed. The paint bled behind the stencil. Maybe it's the roller? Do you mind sharing which one you used? I feel bad b/c my hubby has put four days work into it all for nothing. Sigh... Do you want to come paint our wall? Lol... My son's owl theme room would look awesome!

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    1. Oh Anna, I am SO sorry to hear that. I can totally understand the frustration, I have been there before with wall treatments on texture and it is always such a bear. :(

      I just used a standard smooth wall roller. You are technically supposed to use a foam brush, but since we were doing such a dark color, we need better coverage and only wanted to do one coat. So, we carefully used a standard smooth roller and it worked pretty well, we just had to be careful to use really thin layers of paint.

      I agree it would look awesome in an owl themed room. Could you rent a projector and hand paint a few larger birch trees instead?

      xo!
      Jen

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    2. Hi Anna! This room is gorgeous! How long did it take to stencil the wall and how wide is the wall?

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