Use Raised Plaster Stencils To Beautify An Old Plaster Wall Or Ceiling

Use Raised Plaster Stencils To Beautify An Old Plaster Wall Or Ceiling

Raised Plaster Stencils: Adding Unique Beauty To Old Plaster

Raised plaster stencils are an idea whose time has come!

You have just repaired and renovated that old plaster wall or ceiling. Now, as a fresh surface, it awaits your creative touch.

New texture? Textured wallpaper? How about raised plaster stencils. which you can do with NO experience and low cost?

You have already gained valuable experience that you can now apply here. You will be using the same all-purpose joint compound that you used in the plaster repair process. And the same tools.

This stunningly beautiful decorating technique is simple to use, and lends itself to a variety of coloring schemes.

All you have to do is to understand what it is and how it is done, using thick mylar stencil forms.

What it is.

Raised plaster stencils are designs you apply to a plaster surface. They have just enough relief that they «stand out», yet depending on how you choose to color them. the effect may actually be somewhat subtle.

They come in a wide variety of designs: abstract and «natural,» meaning representational — like animals & plants, and architectural — like columns, stone, bricks and so on.

How to do it.

You can apply these lovely stencil designs over plaster or drywall that has not yet been painted, or do them on a painted wall as a complementary color. That color can be mixed into the drywall compound before you apply it to the stencil form, or you can paint the finished plaster stencil after it has dried.

Some stenciling artists will add things to the joint compound to make it harder when dry. For example, using white glue in a ratio of one part glue to two parts compound. You have to experiment so the mixture isn’t too runny.

If you decide to use texture compound you mix yourself, that works too. Just mix it pretty stiff, and let it sit a day or so, then restir to eliminate lumps. I mention this because you should add the white glue (or you can use plaster bonder) to the WATER before you stir in the powder.

This insures that the strengthening agent is well distributed throughout the mix. This is harder to do when you are adding the glue or bonder into pre-mixed compound.

The basic technique is pretty simple. First, you determine where on a wall or ceiling you think the design you have chosen will look best. Then, tape the mylar stencil to the surface and spread joint compound over it, taking care to fill the individual «cut-outs» well. Smooth them out, and wait a few minutes for the mud to stiffen a little.

Now, gently lift the stencil from the surface, loosening the tape at the same time. Start at one side or end and lift toward the other side in one smooth motion.

Use Raised Plaster Stencils To Beautify An Old Plaster Wall Or Ceiling

If you mess up, no big deal. Just scrape off the drywall compound and do it again. If it takes a try or two, chalk it up to the learning process. It will certainly be worth it in order to create such simple beauty.

Raised plaster stencil designs can be used in a variety of ways: placed here and there as accents, or as borders around windows or doors or along the top of a wall just as you might use a wallpaper border. They can be done as a medalion around the ceiling light fixture. Really, you are only limited by your imagination and creativity.

For those of you who are good at colors and detail, you can carefully brush on color accents over your raised designs, using glaze or other color effects to make them stand out more.

Or, it may be that subtlety is what you are after. In that case, just paint over the designs as you paint the wall. They will blend in more, but still add a carefully understudied look.

What kind of surface do you put the raised stencil designs on?

Probably over a smooth wall or ceiling, or if these are textured, over a lightly textured surface. You have to experiment to see what looks best. Would a busy or pronounced texture accept a raised design? You might have to try it to know for sure.

Using raised plaster stencils can provide you with a lot of fun as you dress up that plain dining room. or bedroom. or den. Spread your wings, see what you can do. You may be amazed at what you can achieve!

For a great source of plaster stencils you can buy, check out Virginia Larsen’s website.

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