French Style Wall Painted Decor
Love the French style of room decor? I do. Powder blue walls trimmed with pink roses and blue green leaves, gilded furniture are classic looks and never go out of style. Do something special in adding dimension to your walls with simply a stencil of your choice, a bucket of fixall or whipped stucco and a pastel paint pallet and voila’ you have a classic French look for your walls and something different that will have your family and friends saying, “Oh la la!” This is a simple ‘how to’ project of adding a two dimensional border on your walls.
Wall decors that border on art can be made by even the non-artist. Simple to do, and with only a few inexpensive supplies you can get started to customizing your walls.
The supplies needed for this project is a drop cloth of any sort, a container of whipped stucco, or regular pre-mixed fixall, the cost and amount depends on the area you are going to customize. A spatula to apply the stucco with, preferably one with a hard edge to be able take off the excess stucco from the stencil.
You can pick out from a myriad of patterns and styles for your stencil. A good sturdy, plastic washable stencil is the most sensible and easiest to work with. Make sure the cut out pattern is the size of the decoration you want to end up with as your wall border. I stick with simple, clean lines and stencil patterns that allow some room between the cut-outs. If the pattern is too fine in detail you could get an overlapping of the stucco and not a clear imprint of your pattern.
A yard stick or tape measurement, or some device to section off the size you want for your border and in keeping a straight link along the walls. If you are going to add hard-wood trim on the top and bottom of your pattern to give it a more formal look, do it first. It helps in keeping the stencil pattern straight and you know exactly the boundaries you are going to work in. What looks very decorative and is cost effective is to add door trim for above the border, and an inexpensive 1″ hard-wood trim for the bottom. This gives the wall decor a look of being almost carved into the wood itself. But actually all you have done is make a mold of the stencil pattern with the stucco.
Place your stencil along the wall and tape to secure. Scoop up a spatula full of stucco and smear it onto the stencil. Taking the hard edge of the spatula then scrape off the excess stucco and to leave a fine level imprint on the wall. Gently lift the stencil off and you will see your pattern. You will be excited to see the first one come out so neatly, and it is a unique look. Continue until you have reached the end of your wall and go on to another section if you like.
Let the stucco dry completley, and go on to adding the color. You can paint over the whole border and give it a monochromatic look, blending in with the surrounding wall with only the texture to show. Or you can color in the border itself individual parts of the stencil pattern. I have roses on my border with leaves surrounding each rose. I used a cream coat paint that you can apply with your fingers and can purchase at any art and craft store. I used a light pink for the roses and two different greens for the leaves adding contrast with one being a darker blue green. I didn’t color in solid with the paint but left some of the white of the stucco show through, which gives it an aged appearance. You don’t need to seal it with anything. It will stand the test of time, and is quite durable.
If you have it in a high traffic area as a kitchen, bathroom, or children’s room, you would want to use some kind of sealer in order to make sponge cleaning easier. A clear acrylic sealer or spray would be enough for that purpose.
You don’t have to do all the walls in one room, just having even one wall done in this manner gives it a decidedly decorator look. Depending on your furniture arrangements, you could have the border on all walls, or just under a large mirror and shelf. You can add the decor anywhere you want. Experiment, and have fun. It’s only stucco which is easily scraped off the wall once dried if you decide you want to change the look at a later time.
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