Stencil me pretty

I know you are probably expecting a huge blog post about our recent stay-cation and our projects we tackled.  

I hate to disappoint everyone, but to be honest, our stay-cation was only the beginning (aka, we completed nothing and started a lot).  I think I am going to have to post about it in phases, which is how it is being completed, so it only makes sense.  I have roughly a million photos of the project, and over half those are still on my camera.  If I had a free night, I would download them all and begin to blog about them, but alas, I have no free nights in the foreseeable future.  All my nights involve working on our project.  Until then, you can read about what I did 2 weekends ago.

In case you didn't already know this about me,  I love me a stencil.

It's true.  I'm a closet stencil lover.  I have been coveting a stenciled wall.  I first fell in love with a stencil wall when I saw one on Young House Love and then on Jones Design Company.

From Young House Love

From Jones Design Company
I would love to do something like these stencils in our 3rd bedroom, which is currently sitting at the lowest of the low on the priority list.  

Right now, I use the 3rd bedroom as my ironing and sewing room.  Also, it is the room where extra chairs live.  Why I don't put extra chairs in the basement, I don't know.  I put them in this room.  Right now, I have 3 chairs in this bedroom, a sewing chair, a rocking chair and a plush reading chair.  Apparently, they are for all my sitting needs.  Too bad I don't have a bean bag chair in there... that would be cool....not.

When I sit in all my chairs and look at the god awful beige-yellow paint and the hideous carpet, I dream of a beautiful space where I will sew, craft and wrap presents... just like Martha Stewart. In this beautiful/make-believe/never-going-to-happen space I have a large stenciled wall.

Sigh.  Just thinking about it makes me tired. Both thinking about stenciling the wall, and crafting.  In general, I am tired.

Before I got all crazy and tackled a whole wall with stencils, I thought it best to try it out on a smaller canvas. I'm getting wiser in my old age, or perhaps it is my fatigue kicking in. Either way, what I am telling you, is that I was smart to start small.

I had purchased some tea tables, chairs and aluminum buckets at a garage sale (shocker) and wanted to repaint them and use them at a baby shower I was having 2 weekends ago.  I figured they were a perfect test site for my stenciling.  I decided to print out the stencil from Jones Design company and give it a go.

I started with light pink buckets, brown chairs (with mushrooms painted on them) and green wood tea tables- quite a color combo.  Together, they looked a bit like throw up.

To create a common color palette, I decided they could all be painted white (it didn't hurt that I already had a good deal of white paint on hand).  I figured I could always add color back in, but white would create an even playing field for all my garage sale finds.

Mushroom decor is not my style
My first project was painting the chairs white.  I originally tried to use spray paint, but I found that I would need 4-5 cans of paint to cover them, so I instead got my small paint brush out and painted them by hand.  Talk about fun.

Progress shot (pretend you don't see the tea tables)
Something I hadn't thought through all the way, was the straw seat.  I didn't want to get paint on the seat, so I covered the first one with newspaper and painters tape.  After I had spent the better part of an hour covering the seat in newspaper, I realized that if I was just more careful I could skip the whole newspaper thing and just go for the painting.  Plus, I figured that I had only spent $3 on them, so if I messed them up, it wouldn't be a huge loss.
Let me tell you, skipping the paper and the tape was the way to go.  It saved time and my sanity.  I can honestly tell you that the chairs were not perfect, but I DON'T CARE.  Yep, I said it.  People had no problem sitting in the not-perfect chairs and I saved my sanity.  In my book that is a win-win.

Final product
I wanted to stencil these chairs, but wasn't sure how to do it exactly, and I started to think that less is more, then I remembered I was tired, and I still had lots more projects to do, so they stayed white.  Somewhere down the line, I think that I will probably improve upon my blank canvases, but for now they were just perfect, and they are a lot less mushroom-y.

While the chairs were drying, I painted the tea table tops white as well.  I used a mini roller to get an even texture.  The old owners left us a mini rollers, which came in handy.  I had to also sand the tables down a bit to get rid of old rough painting.

I'm a shadow person
Once they had dried over night I started the stenciling process.  I printed out the Jones Company stencil template and copied it onto the table over and over again leaving a small gap between the stencils.

Then, I took my very small paint brush and painted a thin line on the inside of each stencil.  I realized that it takes a VERY steady hand to do stencils. I do not recommend trying to stencil with low blood sugar. Been there, done that and had a very shaky hand.  I went inside, had a bowl full of goldfish and a cup of water and then I felt much better.

One coat was not covering well enough
I needed a double coat of teal to have it cover fully
Lastly, I went through  and painted a thin line of gold inside of each teal stencil.

So pretty
I had to use all my will power not to then paint the middle of each stencil with chalkboard paint.  I have a whole can burning a hole in my pocket basement....

Less is more. That, and I realized that I could use chalkboard paint elsewhere... like on the buckets.

For the buckets, I spray painted them both with white rust-oleum paint to give them a fresh base.

Are you wondering why I didn't keep the original color???

2 buckets for $2 seemed like a great deal
 Then I stenciled around the pattern and painted chalk board paint inside the stencil.
One coat was clearly not enough
 4 coats of chalkboard paint later, I had it completely filled in.

Ignore the pink bottom.  I ran out of spray paint.
Then I outlined the stencil with teal paint (2 coats) and then gold craft paint (2 coats), and used some regular chalk to write in what I was going to hold in the bucket.  I though they would be cute as drink holders with ice in them for the party.

Trial run
So now I have a cute set of outdoor party furniture and buckets, that cost me $7 total (I already owned all the paint).

That is what I call a low-budget/big-bang make over. Booyah!