This is such a good effect it deserves to be seen again (even though I featured it with a different stencil not too long ago). We generally use black because it photographs better but it can be done with any colour including white. The premise is simple. Paint your walls in a matte finish paint (emulsion or latex). Stencil in acrylic (water based) gloss varnish. The effect is subtle but so effective. The gloss finish deepens the background tone. This effect is created because it uses the two extreme ends of the finish spectrum. You need the contrast to make it work. A nice bonus is that light bounces off it so it changes throughout the day. It is slightly reflective so depending on how the light is hitting it, it may pick up subtle colour reflections of items in the room. You can use this with any stencil pattern. Here we have used SIB20-SR Damask, a small damask repeat pattern from our Stencil It range. With this traditional pattern, it somehow manages to look like the tonal or flocked damask of old and an updated version of it at the same time. Because it will keep the pattern quiet, it will always be a background pattern to the rest of the room. Again, if you want pattern, but you also want it to be subtle, this is a great way to achieve it.