Floors, Furniture and Fabric Stencil Magic
Although you might never decorate a valuable or antique piece of furniture, you can use stenciling on everyday pieces and bargain furniture finds. It will enable you to create a convincing rural, peasant-like effect. For this, choose mellow, dirty colors and distress both the back-ground and the design.
Alternatively, stencil trails of flowers over smartly painted built-in wardrobes, for a fresh feminine look, or add perfectly stenciled motifs to richly colored furniture or even modern kitchen units. Using the same or related stencil designs on the furniture as for the walls of the room will integrate the furniture in a coordinated scheme. Painting and decorating a single item of furniture independently gives it an impression of rarity and value.
Stenciled floors have a naive and exuberant charm. Use a bold, all over pattern if there is little decoration elsewhere in the room, or stencil a wide border around a carpet square, leaving a central area of stripped boards.
Another approach is to paint a rug design on the floor in the center of the room – some tile patterns available in stencil form are suitable for this. Or stencil a rug in front of the hearth, or as a runner along a much trodden path. Protect the design with two or three coats of clear varnish.
Finding Stencils for Floors
Most ready-made stencils are too small to decorate a floor because their neat designs are barely visible from a distance. It is best to search out big, bold patterns that will show up. Alternatively, enlarge smaller ones using a photocopier and re-cut them.
Plain furnishing fabrics acquire an exclusive hand-printed look after stenciling. Borders, panel designs, and sprig motifs are all suitable for decorating fabric. But once again, choose designs in proportion to the items you plan to make from the material. Remember, too, to test out the designs on a scrap of spare material before you start. Bear in mind that the colors may change slightly depending on the type of fabric used.
The texture of the surface you’re stenciling will affect the design in different ways. Smooth surfaces accept designs well, showing all the detail. But coarse textures, like wicker and hessian, give a less distinct image. See our page “Stenciling-Getting Started”
Reference: The Country Look—Decor & Crafts, Main picture by Janek Szymanowski