Featuring

Tips for Modern Stenciled Walls

Friday, February 4th, 2011

Thank so very much to everyone for your kind words on my closet makeover from yesterday !  Also for anyone who didn’t catch my segment on The Nate Berkus Show, you can watch it here

If you read a lot of home décor blogs like I do, one thing is clear.  Pattern on walls and ceilings is all the rage right now, and rightfully so!  Wallpaper is big baby big, but wallpaper is also costly and time consuming to install.  (Been there, done that with my grasscloth.)

In the last year, there’s been a resurgence of stenciled walls and ceilings,  especially because of the fresher more modern patterns available.  (One of my sponsors Cutting Edge Stencils has some fabulous choices!)  Stenciling is the inexpensive and stylish alternative to wallpaper.  With time, patience, and good techniques, a stenciled wall makes a stunning backdrop.   

Sooooo . . . I invited a few of the fabulous bloggers behind some of amazing projects I’ve seen to share a few of their tips on successful stenciling.   

swirl snip

Michelle from Three Men and a Lady created this amazing statement on her bathroom ceiling with a stencil:

michelle stencil ceiling

 

Stenciling tips from Three Men and a Lady:

1. Use a laser leveler to ensure the placement the first time is straight and even.  You will base every other placement off your first measurement.

2. Don’t use re-positionable spray adhesive on the back of your stencil unless it is an EXTREMELY light coat and low tack treatment.  I used spray adhesive on my first placement.  Although it worked great, when I went to pull the stencil off, not only did it pull the paint off the wall with it but it also left glue tack on the wall so I had to repair, clean and re-paint the wall then start over.

3. Use a low tack tape (I like Frog tape) sparingly on the edges of the stencil to adhere to the wall.  I recommend using a sea sponge instead of a paint roller so not to bleed under the edges of the stencil.  Dab lightly in the paint then dab all over the stencil.  Once semi-dry you can go back and do another coat dabbing lightly. The key is light coats to avoid bleeding.

swirl snip

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Snap! Even More Photography Tips

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

Hello hello, hope you all are staying warm amidst the storms!  I hinted in last week’s article about better brighter blog photos that I would be bringing in some friends to back me up in my explanation that you can achieve better interior shots by pulling more light into your lens with the manual functions on your camera.  Well, well, that day has come! 

I gave all four blogger photographers a mini assignment.  Shoot for me the same image 1) with a flash, 2) on Auto with no flash, and then 3) in a Manual Mode, adjusting your aperture or f/stop, shutter speed and/or ISO setting.  (My brief definitions here.) 

Please welcome four of my favorite bloggers, who just so happen to have excellent photography skills, and are here to offer some fabulous tips for you!  Settle in with a hot cup of coffee or tea on this blustery day, and hear what they have to say. 

Mrs. Limestone of A Brooklyn Limestone in Progress:

“If there is one thing I repeat a lot on my blog it’s this: cameras don’t take good photos, people do.  It is essential you get to know your camera and some of what it can do to make great photographs.   It might seem daunting at first but it’s worth the effort.  Let’s use an example of this trio of vintage cameras.  Apropos, no?
 
The first shot is with the camera set on Auto with the flash turned on. I shudder just thinking about it because if there is ever a way to ruin a photo, it’s with on camera flash.  Take my word for it – never ever  use it and you’re photos will be so much better without doing a thing.

brooklyn limestone 1

See, not so good. So let’s try it again, this time with the flash off.

brooklyn limestone 2

 

So much better, but not quite right. I will be the first to tell you that the AUTO function (always with flash off) is pretty darn handy.  It makes for lovely photos 7 times out of 10.  That’s because nearly all cameras are quite smart in that they figure out how to get a good photo without any effort on the photographers part.  Particularly wonderful when you are trying to capture an image quickly and don’t have time to fiddle.  But sometimes there are outside influences that fool your camera and that’s when using the manual controls come in.
 

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