From the moment I opened the door to this little bathroom in the empty, dirty, cold convent — I could see the black and white powder room of my dreams. I wasn’t sure exactly how to get it to the point of painting and stenciling, but that’s what carpenters, plumbers and electricians are for.
So after a few simple things…(clearing the sewer pipe to the street, laying a new sub floor, pad and vinyl, installing a new toilet, sink, outlet and wall sconce) I gave it 2 coats of paint in flat “gargoyle gray” and then the REAL work began. I won a stencil from a blogger showing just how easy and simple it was to use. I chose the” wonderment trellis”. Even the name sounds dreamy, don’t you think? I waited in anticipation for the UPS man to deliver my fun “day” project. I lovingly opened the package, laid it flat and read the directions. I planned the stencil day on a boring Tuesday– when the only other thing on the agenda was watching over my three girls and cooking, picking up, etc.
The key, they said was using just a little paint and having the right roller or brush, a level and spray adhesive. No kidding when they said use just a little paint. I am the queen of,” if a little’s good – a whole lot more is better” the result was well, a do over.
I started in the middle like they said, even though I didn’t think it was a good idea. I realize later that it helps it to flow to the next wall and give the effect of continuity – like wall paper. The problem is that it’s difficult to line it up, bend the stencil, etc.
This is the part where I should tell you — I quit when things get hard. I can’t really help it. I’m one of the those people that the advertisers have in mind when filming info-mercials. Easy as 1.2.3. I’m ordering!! It amazes me how truly surprised and upset I am when it’s not as good as it looks on tv. Maybe I’m a optimistic, delusional quitter? Anyway, I decided that I wasn’t going to give up on this one. I might not get it done in a day, but I wasn’t going to just chuck it and say shoulda, coulda woulda. I took a week or three off and moved on to other projects that produced acceptable results faster. But when I came back it was with determination, desire and the knowledge I lacked on my first attempt. Oh did I forget to mention that because I waited a month to get back at it, cleaning the stencil took 4 hours? That’s all!
I finally got one entire wall done and almost perfect. I needed to stop for the afternoon and help with life happening around me. I had cleaned up the supplies and left a still damp paint brush up on a high counter. After throwing away the drop cloth I turned and in horror I see a little graffiti artist believing her self to be a Picasso ruin my only finished wall. I had to count to 100 and recite the Lord’s prayer before I sent her from the scene. I scolded myself for ever believing that I could stencil this coffin sized room. I’m no HGTV star ! But by the Grace of God, 9 hours, a total of 6 starts and stops, 2 months, 16 Tylenol…. the 5×3 powder room is finished. Whaddya think? It really is pretty and almost exactly what I had in mind the day when I saw and smelled the old, gross, 1958 Andies Candy colored bathroom back in February, 2013. In order to give the whole “this ain’t your mama’s stencil” a chance at being this generations easy answer to wallpaper, I gave it another go. This time on a wall with no trim, borders, angles or hard corners to jam myself and the stencil into. I had planned to do a Moroccan trellis in my bedroom but I need some time away. I learned a lot about my self through this process. I’m seeing a therapist today at 12:30pm (that’s no joke).