How to Stencil: Stenciling a Textured Fabric Wall Finish

Learn how to stencil and paint wall finishes with Royal Design Studio stencil tutorials

Today’s How to Stencil post features what may be one of my favorite stencil finishes of all time-a stenciled texture finish that replicates the look of faded damask fabric. And if YOU have some time, you too can recreate it from the detailed steps I outline below. I am always super inspired by beautiful fabrics and textiles, and many of the looks I love make their way into the patterned finishes I create. For this stenciled wall treatment, I pulled out all the stops. Well, actually, I pulled out all the screens. I am going to show you how to stencil with 3 different types of screen textures to add more depth and visual interest to your stenciling. It’s a simple little trick that adds so much, so feel free to add one, two, or all three textures to your next stencil project!

Stencil and Paint Supplies for Royal Design Studio wall stencil projects

 

There are many different types of “open weave” materials that you can use to stencil through, such as lace, netting, needlepoint screens to name a few. For this project I found three different types of screen fabric that each produce a distinctly different look. The first screen I used for the base texture is actually a wide metallic ribbon that I found in the ribbon aisle at Michaels. It comes 10-12″ wide in a roll that is easy to cut into useable lengths. Second, I used a metal vent screen that is sold at Home Depot. I believe it is used to keep unwanted critters from crawling through your roof vents. The holes are slightly larger than regular window screen, which is what I was after. Lastly, I used the white fishnet tulle fabric from the fabric store. It is relatively inexpensive and creates a lovely soft look.

Other supplies for this stencil project:

I found that Chalk Paint® decorative paint worked super well for this technique. The paint is very heavy bodied, covers well, and dries very quickly. You can try regular latex paint, but be sure to get a good quality Paint/Primer combination, which tend to be a little thicker in consistency and also cover better.

Stencil Supplies from Royal Design Studio - Learn how to paint a decorative accent wall

Creating the Base Texture

Base coat your wall or surface with 2 coats of Antoinette Chalk Paint® and allow to dry.

The first step for creating this layered, textural finish is create the underlying texture by painting a darker color over a similar lighter color. For this treatment use Scandinavian Pink Chalk Paint® over the Antoinette color. Be forewarned: at this stage it will NOT look pretty. Don’t panic, this finish develops into something beautiful with the additional layers.

The first step is to load the 3/8″ roller VERY well, and as evenly possible with paint. Then, work the paint well into the roller while removing excess paint by rolling with a hard pressure onto absorbent paper. When you get to the wall, start lightly at first. Lift the screen to check the look and adjust as needed. You will find that you will get some areas that fill in more solidly with paint. These will even out with the layers to come. After you complete one repeat, use the now “dry” roller with a very light press to fill in a little more color overall.

Paint Rollers and Stencil Supplies from Royal Design Studio - Paint a Pink Textured Wall Finish

More Texture… Moving on

As you move across the wall or surface, overlap the metallic ribbon a few inches over the previously painted area. The Chalk Paint will dry very quickly and there should be no need to wait for a previous area to dry. Try to keep the paint application consistent by offloading the paint roller well each time you reload it with paint. You will find that the metallic ribbon will start to fill in a bit over a large area, so simply cut off a new piece of ribbon to use as needed.

How to paint a textured wall finish with stencil supplies from Royal Design Studio

Dry Brushing Details

This is where the finish all starts to “come together”. Randomly dry brushing thinned layers of paint here and there. This will add more visual texture and also help to tone down and soften the first layer. Your best tool for dry brushing will be a used 4″ chip brush. If you don’t have a nicely used chip brush you can break in a new one by washing it in hot water and then pouncing the wet bristles down on a hard surface to make them splay out a bit.

Mix both Antoinette and French Linen Chalk Paint® approximately 1:1 with water in separate containers, and adjust this formula as desired. You will dry brush first with the Antoinette. Load just the tips of the bristles and offload the excess paint onto cardboard, butcher’s paper,  or absorbent contractor’s paper by drawing the brush straight across it.

On the wall, use a very light but even pressure and pull the brush straight down while holding it at a low angle. It may take some practice to get a feel for it, but truthfully dry brushing is a very random finish. Each time you load /offload the brush you will get a slightly different amount of paint. Just be patient, go slow, and always start with a light pressure. Use the Antoinette color to soften and break up areas that may have gotten too solidly filled in with the Scandinavian Pink.

Then, repeat the process with the French Linen color. Be careful not to add TOO MUCH of these dry brush colors, as you simply want to soften down your finish here and there.

Fabric Texture Wall Finish for Painting Walls - Royal Design Studio wall stencils

Starting to Stencil

Stencil the Corsini Damask (0r stencil pattern of your choice) first overall with French Linen. Because the background is a highly distressed finish, you will want your stenciling to match. Do not try to fill in the stencil perfectly and uniformly. Rather, vary the pressure on your 3″ stencil brush so that some areas are darker and some areas leave some of the background texture showing through.

As always with stenciling, load just the tips of the brush into the paint and offload excess onto paper towels before applying the paint to your surface.

Decorative Painting Tutorial creating a Fabric Texture Wall Finish using Wall Stencils from Royal Design Studio

Screen Printing Subtle Details

At this stage you can use the metal screen to add additional “fabric” texture here and there between your stenciled damask elements. Simply tape the screen in place to hang vertically and use a stencil brush with a circular motion to add texture here and there with the French Linen color.

Wall Stencils for Painting - How To Paint Accent Walls with Royal Design Studio

Take it Easy with Distressed Stenciling

Once the French Linen layers are complete, replace a clean stencil over one of the damask repeats and shift it up and over slightly (on the diagonal) to expose about 1/8″. This technique is called a “shadow shift” or “drop shadow”. See this How to Stencil a Drop Shadow post for more details.

Stencil the design again using Old White Chalk Paint®. As before you will be doing a distressed stenciling technique to match the background finish. Vary your pressure on the stencil brush, and even drag it vertically within the design here and there for more variety.

Finishing Touches… it’s ALL in the Details

You can see from the example above that the stenciling is not solid at all. In fact, you will want some of your background finish/texture to ghost through here and there, so start LIGHT and build up the color slowly. Lift your stencil periodically to see the final effect.

While the stencil is still in place add additional texture to this final layer (if desired) by stenciling through a piece of tulle fishnet fabric with Pure White Chalk Paint® here and there on the damask pattern.

Learn how to stencil with Royal Design Studio wall stencils - How to paint a fabric texture wall finish

This detail shot of the final finish shows how all the texture layers come together. The drop shadow behind the pattern really makes the design POP and keeps it from getting lost in the heavily textured background.

Paint accent walls using wall stencils from Royal Design Studio - How to paint a pink fabric texture wall finish

 


16 Comments

gabrielle
gabrielle

March 13, 2016

Each one of these soft stenciling techniques is teasing me to try them; seeing all of them together working so lovely together is just fantastic! Must Find More Time to Stencil!!

Marisol
Marisol

January 04, 2016

I absolutely agree with VIRGINIA: What a nice person you most be to share your knowledge with us and to do so in such a detailed tutorial!! Kudos to you!!! Wish you great success and happiness !!
Oh! and this is a beautiful – awesome wall!!!!!!!!

Royal Design Studio
Royal Design Studio

November 23, 2015

Hi Selma! There are many different types of “open weave” materials that you can use to stencil through, such as lace, netting, needlepoint screens to name a few. For this project I found three different types of screen fabric that each produce a distinctly different look. The first screen I used for the base texture is actually a wide metallic ribbon that I found in the ribbon aisle at Michaels. It comes 10-12″ wide in a roll that is easy to cut into useable lengths. Second, I used a metal vent screen that is sold at Home Depot. I believe it is used to keep unwanted critters from crawling through your roof vents. The holes are slightly larger than regular window screen, which is what I was after. Lastly, I used the white fishnet tulle fabric from the fabric store. It is relatively inexpensive and creates a lovely soft look.

Selma
Selma

November 21, 2015

What is the fabric you are using to put down the initial layer? It looks like a metallic scarf of some kind. Is it a metal screen?

Melanie Royals
Melanie Royals

August 18, 2015

Hi Michele, so glad you love this stencil look! Yes, you are right, the Old White color might be too much contrast with the dark green. I like the idea of a warmer color. Just remember that your shadow color will need to be darker than the main stencil color but still also show up against the dark green. I ALWAYS recommend doing samples to try out different options. You could practice with sample pots of the Chalk Paint and also get small samples of flat sheen latex paint colors mixed at the paint store. Hope that helps!

Michele
Michele

August 17, 2015

Hi, I’m new at stenciling and love the look of this. I have an accent wall in my kitchen that is 9ft high and 3ft wide. I wanted to paint it a dark moss green with the stenciling over that. Do you think I can use the similar colors to what you used (linen And maybe a brownish gold instead of the whites)? My kitchen counters are dark brown and the granite and floor are beige and white. Thank you for the advice!

Royal Design Studio
Royal Design Studio

June 23, 2015

Max, we’ll be honest….this stencil treatment does take quite a bit of time because there are many layers and details to it. Also working in a small bathroom space can be challenging as you have to work around the fixtures and cabinets. You might consider just apply the stenciling to an accent wall and keeping the rest of the walls plain or with just the base colors of paint. Hope that helps!

Royal Design Studio
Royal Design Studio

June 23, 2015

Hello Ravi! Your textured walls will give the overall look even more texture. Sometimes this can work to your advantage, but in this case the fine detail you get from stenciling through the screen might be lost. It really depends on HOW rough the wall texture is.

Ravi
Ravi

June 13, 2015

if the base of wall is rough not smooth, can I do as above paint and design.

Max Tuff
Max Tuff

June 13, 2015

Stunning result! My husband wants to try this in our powder room. How long did this wall take to complete?

Helen
Helen

June 06, 2015

I am so impressed. I’ve never seen anything so accomplished and I am now a stencilling fan. Converted!

The Vintage Mahal
The Vintage Mahal

June 03, 2015

Clever, clever girl – Thank You for sharing!:-)

Virginia
Virginia

April 25, 2015

You deserve to have a great birthday party or something this year, I mean, giving this technique out to the public like this, is absolutely the best ID of you, what a great person. Thank You very much. I loved the tutoríal, everything, I mean the results are gorgeous. You did great.

Pam Beatty
Pam Beatty

April 19, 2015

Absolutely beautiful! Thank you for sharing your expertise.

Christi Conard
Christi Conard

April 18, 2015

That is spectacular! Makes me want to go do some painting! Thanks for the detailed info.

Gwen
Gwen

April 17, 2015

Completely inspirational!!!! This technique makes the wall appear to be the finest of guafauge velvets, which go for thousands of dollars a yard. My husband will just have to accept the guest room for a month while I create something similar in my master bedroom!

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