Our home is open once a month for tours of it's stencilled rooms. I am late in getting the dates published this year but check in next week and they will be posted along with more information about the tours. Throughout the coming year I will feature many of the stencilled rooms on this blog and wherever possible a project will accompany it. The tour starts with the Arts & Crafts style dining room.
The stencils used in the dining room are mostly found in our Arts & Crafts Collection. Water-based household paints were used to paint and to stencil both the floors and walls. The repeating pattern on the walls was stencilled using a foam paint roller.
The rollers were also used on the floor. The smaller pink flowers were applied by brush because precision was needed. The first rule of decorating floors is to try and get someone else to do it, it saves wear on the knees that way. My husband Chips did most of the stencilling and gilding on the floor. If you click on any of the images they will come up larger to show detail. Tile designs were used on the centre section of the floor and an enlarged border surrounds them. Chips found a quotation from the 1600's about sinless people eating and drinking well, then shuffling off to paradise. It is reproduced in copper leafed lettering and lies within the border.
On completion, the floor was protected by five coats of water based varnish. Apply that with a foam roller too and start in the far corner then varnish your way out of the room. It is usually dry enough to do a further coat in 45 minutes or so but follow the instruction on your chosen product.
Copper transfer leaf was used to make the panel shapes on the lower wall. A lily design was stencilled onto them with acrylic paint. If the paint will not key to the leaf then add a little soap based detergent to the paint. A tiny amount!!
More copper transfer leaf was used in the stencilling of both the floors and walls. Each sheet of leaf is attached to backing paper making it easy to handle. To stencil with the leaf one needs to apply a glue first. Gilding glues are known as 'size' and the product used here is called 'Instant Size'. It is stencilled in the usual dry brush manner as if it were paint. For simple stencilling instuctions, click here. Use tape to hold the stencil in place. The size should be applied lightly and will only take moments to dry. It is coloured so you can easily see the print. Remove your stencil then put the leaf onto the tacky size and press firmly, keep pressing until the backing sheet falls away from the leaf. Take a clean soft stencil brush and rub away the excess leaf vigorously until a crisp imprint of copper foil remains.
The feature wall with the hearth uses a totally different stencil, but employs the same colour as the other walls. The same pattern appears on the velvet table runner. I stencilled the runner first in Silver acrylic paint then blended other colours from the room over it. There will be a project on stencilling velvet posted on our project section soon. Please keep checking in. We have many rooms and many projects to share with you. Many previously decorated rooms and some of the current ones appear in our book The Stencilled Home and in our video of the same name. Many of the products mentioned can easily be viewed in our accessories section. The photographs around the room are all portraits of the leading luminaries of the arts & crafts movement. They are a scary looking bunch and look more like cattle thieves than artists! H.