Well, here it is....176 hours of painting and stencilling later, the new bathroom scheme. To see the original scheme in full detail, have a look at our post from July 28th, but here is the "before" shot:
and here are the "after" shots:
The two photos above are shot from the doorway going into the room. The photo below is shot from the back of the room looking towards the door:
As I mentioned in my previous post, the "look" of this scheme is inspired by textiles and colours from the 1920's and 1930's with a slight oriental touch. Oriental style was strong during that time so it is not out of keeping with the era (although I was not too worried about historical accuracy). The room has a curved ceiling with beams. I split the three main walls into two halves. The bottom, straight bit of wall was painted in matt black and stencilled with our JA45 Mokko pattern using gloss acrylic varnish:
The curved bit of wall and ceiling was painted bright orange. Two wisteria motifs from our Japan range, JA133 and JA134, both cut at 150% and 200%, I stencilled in jade green, black, white, yellow, teal and magenta:
The wisteria randomly covers the sides of the ceiling with a few motifs going onto the ceiling itself. The floor was painted burgundy and stencilled with an Art Deco repeat, DE314, in black.
It was given a coat of high gloss oil based varnish to protect it and to provide full-on shine.
The floor lamp has a teal velvet covered shade (I got it from Ikea) and I stencilled it in black with our MD50 Coral stencil (which Helen thinks looks like eyelashes):
Although the room looks completely different from the previous scheme, I really didn't add much more too it than before. The wardrobe trunk and dressing table, although not in previous photos, has been in the room for a while. The trunk is a nice screen for the toilet. Other pieces of furniture, like this shelving unit, have been repainted and stencilled to match the new scheme. I used an Art Deco flower, DE336, on the top of the unit:
The mannequin hands, which I picked up at my favourite local shop, RE (who also have a website), were moved into this room as a nod to the surrealist artists of the era.
This cocktail cabinet is a new (old) addition to the room. I bought it from a charity shop for the bargain price of 8.50 GBP (about 17.00 USD). The doors painted with a simple tree in black and gold, suited the scheme. It is perfect for hiding away all my bottles of potions and lotions. This photo shows the cabinet open:
It still has the original lemon squeezer and cocktail sticks attached to the inside lid. You never know when you might need those in a bathroom.
As before, due to the size of the space, I was fortunate enough to treat this bathroom like any other room and was able to fit a lot of furniture and accessories in it. I dyed the original slipcover on the chaise longue, which was black and white ticking, totally black. I have rehung the "indulge" sign over the door again, as, afterall, bathrooms should be places of sanctuary to indulge and hang out in at the end of a long day. I also hung 4 black lace 90" drop panels on a hoop over the bathtub which can be pulled all the way around if wanted. They are polyester so I do not have to worry about water damaging them.
I tried two new techniques in this room that I personally have not tried before. To read more about what I learnt from decorating this room, read on.... R.
The first technique I tried in this room that I had never attempted before was stencilling with acrylic varnish. It is such a simple idea for a subtle effect: stencilling with a gloss varnish on a matt background. It is something that I have wanted to do for a long time, but only got around to trying in this room. I really was not sure that it would work well or if it would be difficult to execute. Thankfully, it worked extremely well and was easy to do. Here are some tips:
1) You must have a really matt finish wall - as chalky matt as possible. This effect relies on the pattern showing up due to the contrast between the finishes of the wall and the stencilling. You really need to then use a finish that is the total opposite of the wall so gloss is better than an eggshell finish which is only slightly shiny.
2) The usual rules for stencilling with water based paint apply here. Take the varnish onto the tips of the bristles of your stencil brush only so you only have a tiny amount on your brush, then swirl your brush quite vigorously onto kitchen roll (paper towel) to remove all the excess varnish. When you apply the varnish through your stencil, the varnish should go on in a light layer and quite dry. You can either stipple (stab) your brush or swirl in small circles. But if you are swirling, try not to swirl too much. You only need to coat the area once or twice. If you over swirl, the varnish can foam a bit and this provides a white edge to the shape of your stencilling which will not go away when the varnish dries. The varnish does not take long at all to dry....you really should not have to wait to move your stencil to the next repeat.
3) Make sure the light is good in the room so you can see what you are doing. Because this is very much a tone on tone effect, you need to see what you have stencilled so you don't overdo it. I found the same thing applied when I was working with iridescent paints. Because I was working on a black wall, I could see the effect quite easily as you can see in the photos - the stencilling shows up quite well, but if I were doing this on a paler surface, it might not be so easy to see so good light will really help. The reason I chose gloss is because I wanted the light and other colours in the room to be reflected in the shiny pattern in certain cases so that the look of the pattern changes through the day.
4) The varnish will build up on your stencil and with a lot of use will shrink the shapes, so you might need to stop and clean your stencil. The varnish is particularly hard to remove from your stencil so you may need to use a solvent to clean it off. Because this is a repeat pattern that covered quite a large area, I ended up using two stencils.
The other technique I tried for the first time was stencilling with a roller. I have always used stencil brushes in the past because I like the control I have with them. But when it came time to stencil the floor, I decided it was time to try stencilling with a roller because in certain cases, it can really cut down on the amount of time a job will take. I was using quite a dense repeat pattern on the floor and doing it in one colour so this was the perfect opportunity to try this technique out. To give you an idea of the time difference, I stencilled one repeat with a brush (the repeat size is 16" x 24" on this stencil, DE314, which is two shell shapes) and the next with a roller, timing both. The brush took just over 5 minutes and the roller took 1 minute 30 seconds. When you imagine the number of repeats I would have to do to cover this floor (over 100?) you can see what difference that would make overall. But there are rules to stencilling successfully with a roller:
1) You need to use a foam/sponge roller of a size no bigger than 4" wide. Use a spray repositioning adhesive to hold your stencil in place. Have a stack of old paper to hand. Use a roller tray for your paint.
2) Decant a small amount of paint into the well of your roller tray. Roll into the paint and then roller the excess paint off on the ridged section of the roller tray so that the paint covers your roller completely and evenly. Then run your roller over the scrap paper a few times to remove more excess. What you want at this stage is no wet looking paint on the roller - it should look well absorbed into the foam. Scrap newspaper is fine to use when stencilling with black paint only. The newsprint comes off and would transfer to your stencilling if using paler colours.
3) Lightly, with almost no pressure at all, roll over your stencil. I start going in one direction (rather than backward and forward). Your touch needs to be really delicate. As with stencilling with a brush, the first "stripe" of paint needs to go on in a light, misty impression. Do this until the whole stencil is covered and then go back and do it again to build up the layers of paint to get the desired density of colour. It is important not to apply too much pressure or the paint absorbed in the sponge roller will come shooting out and bleed under your stencil. This needs a much lighter touch than if you were basecoating a wall with a roller.
4) It is worth practicing this on some paper first. Once you get the knack, it is quick and easy, but it is so important that you get the feel for how light a touch you need to use. As you exhaust the paint on the roller, you can apply a bit more pressure, but be careful not to apply too much. Because the paint should be going on in light, misty layers, it will dry quite quickly so you should not need to wait for the paint to dry before you move onto your next repeat. But if your stencil is smaller and you feel the paint is still a bit tacky before you move it, then you can blast your stencilling with a hairdryer for a few seconds to dry it out.
5) Before you replace your stencil for your next repeat, it is worth checking the backside (underside) of the stencil quickly to make sure there has not been any paint bleeds. If there has, there may be a bit of liquid paint on the stencil which will mark your surface when you move the stencil. You can just quickly wipe this off. I had this happen to me a couple of times. Maybe it was because I applied a bit too much pressure a couple of times and because I was working on a floor with floorboards and gaps of varying sizes between them.
If you have a really large stencil with large shapes, then you might still be able to use rollers if you want more than one colour, but my feeling is that if you are working on a smaller stencil, with multiple colours, brushes are going to be the better tool. However, if you are covering your design in one colour first, there is no reason why you couldn't use a roller for that colour and then brushes to add other colours on top. I certainly felt the benefits of using a roller on this floor so can recommend it.
One final note worth mentioning: because this is a floor, it needs to be varnished to protect it. I used oil based varnish because it is the most hard wearing finish. However, oil based varnish can take 24 hours to dry (and longer) so you need to take that into account when finishing your floor. I ended up having to split the floor into 3 sections to allow the varnish on one section of floor dry whilst still having access to the room from other areas. Also, I found that oil based varnish is quite sticky and does take a considerable amount of time to dry completely. After 24 hours or so, I could walk on it with socks, but I left it a few days before I put any furniture back on it and even so, I went to move something several days after that and it was a bit stuck to the floor. I reckon I am going to have to take care with this floor for a few more weeks until the varnish sets solid completely, but once it does, it will have a very hardwearing finish.