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.
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.