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Welcome to our collection of articles written and submitted by individuals and companies. These articles cannot be copied without the permission of the writer.
Submitted by Victoria Larsen
Do you dream of breathtaking walls? Ooohs and Aaahs out of friends, visitors and family? Would you love to re-do that ugly old dresser in your bedroom and make it look as though it’s an expensive antique? Well now you can! Welcome to the wonderful world of “Plaster Stenciling”! It’s as easy as a bucket of common joint compound and a thick stencil!
You’ve seen stencils (if not used them!). Well, imagine now, creating raised plaster designs on virtually anything with simple joint compound, a flat edged palette knife and a thick stencil. I’m not kidding; if you can frost a cake, you can do it!
To get a noticeable raise on the item you want to make look “fab”, you need a good, thick stencil. Common craft store stencils typically aren’t thick enough. They tend to range between 4 mil and 7 mil thick (for the designer variety). You need something that is around 14 mil. (Trust me, I’ve tested for over 6 months to find just the right thickness!) Search the internet for plaster stencils. There are a number of sites that cater specifically to stencils thick enough for plastering (but do check the thickness to be certain!).
I’ve found that I can use simple joint compound (found in your local home or hardware store for super cheap!) can be used for nearly any project. It comes pre-mixed and acts just like cake frosting (even looks like it a little!). Talk about fun!
Here’s how you do it:
- Tape the stencil to the wall or project with ordinary masking or cellophane tape.
- Using a flat edged palette knife (also found in the paint area of the store), spread a thin layer of joint compound over the stencil openings.
- If you want a smooth design, scrape off the excess.
- If you want a rough textured design with a bit more raise, don’t scrape off the excess (just don’t apply it way too thick!).
- Now, gently un-tape one edge of the stencil.
- Peel carefully back, toward the taped side then remove the stencil.
- Allow the design to dry and cure for 24 hours.
What you will see it the most incredible thing on your wall! Now repeat the design in to a border, free form design, chair rail design or moldings (yes, designs are created to go right over the top of your existing moldings for very ornate moldings for pennies!).
At the turn of the century, our beloved “White house” was stenciled with plaster. The ornate ceilings and walls were ordered by Mrs. Rosevelt and were the hit of the decade.
Now, for the very first time since then, plaster stenciling is getting a much deserved revival!
I’m a Victorian decorating enthusiast by nature. Once I discovered the idea of raised plaster stenciling, I instantly became hooked beyond belief! I took a trip to San Francisco to witness for myself the “painted ladies” homes of that enchanting city. There, on the building fronts were ornate fixtures, designs that resembled plaster stenciling and I was inspired to say the least.
At home, I then re-searched the internet on plaster stenciling and found numerous historical websites on the matter. Now I was completely addicted! I found sites that offered this type of decorating for thousands of dollars and I knew with a little know how, I could do it myself for nearly pennies!
My entire home is now plaster stenciled. But I also combined that with cast plaster ornaments from plaster molds and now my home looks like I’ve hired a pro at thousands of dollars to create plaster works of art.
Raised designs on walls or furniture can either be left the pure white color of the dried joint compound, painted with the color of your wall to cast stunning shadows of beauty for all to behold, or tinted with simple stencil creams or acrylics and a flat end stencil brush.
Pure pigments can also be added right to the joint compound for pre-colored designs! This can range anywhere from pure pigment paints to fabric dyes or even cake decorating colors! Just remember that your design will dry slightly lighter.
For more information on this exciting and “renewed” method of decorating, simply search “plaster stenciling” on the internet. A whole new world will be introduced to you.
For answers to your plaster stenciling questions, simply email me at email@example.com
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