Stencils For a New Decorating Era

When the press release arrived from Beauti-Tone announcing their new line of wall stencils, I admit my first thought was, ‘Stencils? You’ve got to be kidding . . . so ’80s!’ But rather than being used as borders the way they were two decades ago, today’s stencils are being sold as super-inexpensive alternatives to wallpaper.

“They’re fantastic for an accent wall or a nook,” says Beauti-Tone Creative Director Bev Bell, “and without the expense or challenge of hanging paper. There are no seams to match up and no stripping to do when you’re ready for a new look.”

Some of Beauti-Tone’s stencils, like the circus pattern, above, are based on European wallpapers but at a teensy fraction of the cost. The stencils range in price from $5 or $6 to about $20 for a larger repeat. The patterns are laser cut out of flexible, washable Mylar so they’re durable and reusable.

“And they’re not just for walls,” says Bell. “You can use them to give a custom look to furniture, floors, ceilings, decks.”

Bell stresses the appeal of stencils for do-it-yourselfers who can take pride in their own handiwork: “But it has to be easy,” she adds, “and stenciling really is.”

She also underscores the benefits of being able to customize your colour treatments as opposed to wall decals that come as they are: “You can soften the look with a colour wash or a light brushing with steel wool. Or you can play with textures using drywall compound or clear silicone or high-sheen glazes. The options are just about endless.”

“The secret to great stenciling is to use a spray adhesive rather than tape, which gives you a nice crisp edge. And you have to use a dry brush or a foam roller, which is what we really recommend. Once you’ve loaded your roller, roll it out a bit on paper towel or newsprint to remove excess paint, then apply it to your wall. Using a roller makes the process really fast.”

Beauti-Tone stencils are available at Home Hardware stores across Canada.

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Thursday, October 1, 2009 by Chris
This post was written by - who has written 865 posts on styleNorth.

8 Comments For This Post

  1. David Says:

    These are great, and finally! not a duck or heart in sight. I’ve totally got an idea for those dog silouettes.

  2. Kwil Says:

    Oh, the dog stencils! Don’t know where I would use them (probably best for the office or den), but I love them.

  3. kootenay girl Says:

    Is that a hound’s tooth check? Love it and being an old school stenciler am happy to see a ‘revival’ of the art. Good old Home Hardware!

  4. Katrina Says:

    Wonderful. Thanks for the tip. Oh, do I remember stenciling :) I was thinking about stencils when I was in Michael’s the other day … “when are they going to come out with some updated ones” I guess all I have to do is ask.

    I’d like to try to make my own, but I vaguely remember hand cut stencils not working nearly as well.

  5. Sarah Says:

    I love the ways stencils are now being used. They add a bit of the unexpected and are definitely cheaper than wallpaper. I could totally see using the dog stencil in a child’s room. How cute would that be? Great post Chris!

  6. Lorena Says:

    There’s a great independent book store called “Type” on Spadina just north of St. Clair that used stencils for one of their walls. Origally, it was a white plaster wall that was terribly uneven and bumy. The stencils make it look amazing–and the bumps actually add character. It reminds me of one of the Farrow and Ball papers but obviously done for a fraction of the price.

  7. olya Says:

    Those are very cool. Now, what could I do in our bathroom? Small spaces demand drama!

  8. Jenn Says:

    I’m in love with the white stencil on greige background! Now I just have to think where that could work in my home… The circus stencil is pretty fantastic as well.

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