How To Stencil a Frieze

Stenciling is an easy and historically appropriate way to add interest to your walls.

Step 1

To place a frieze, position the stencil at the top of the wall, using a level to ensure it’s straight. Secure it in place with painter’s tape. Mark the bottom of the stencil with tape across the room. If needed, cover the ceiling or any woodwork with the tape as well. Pour a small amount of paint onto a paper plate, then gently dip your brush and blot it on a paper towel—keep it almost dry to avoid bleeding paint beneath the stencil.

Place the stencil.

Step 2

Dab the brush at a 90-degree angle on the stencil openings. Repeat the process to ensure good coverage, building the paint up in thin layers. Once a section is done, carefully remove the stencil by pulling up and away from your work, and reposition it by using the tape marks in the next area.

Paint the stencil.


Tags: Old-House Journal walls OHJ February 2015 stenciling Jon Lavalley Lynn Elliott

By Lynn Elliot

Freelance writer and OHJ Contributing Editor Lynn Elliott has written many articles on restoring old houses.

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