How To Use Stencils To Create A Focal Wall

When you start to feel the itch to redecorate your entire house, nothing is easier than throwing up a few strategically placed stencils and painting a gorgeous new focal wall! In this easy how-to guide, we’ll show you how to create the perfect accent or focal wall in any room of the house!

 Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. Stencil
  2. Stencil brush/roller
  3. Paint tray
  4. Painter’s tape
  5. Pencil
  6. Wall colour paint
  7. Accent colour paint
  8. Paper towels
  9. Spirit level


Choose a wall to stencil, and then select your preferred stencil design, wall colour and accent colour. You can get some beautiful stencils from hobby and craft shops, or if you’re feeling adventurous, you can create your own unique design on the computer. Just print out your design, cut out the pieces, and you’re done!

Make sure your chosen wall is clean and dry. If you haven’t painted your wall yet, go ahead and do this first, and wait for it to dry completely. 

PRO TIP: Wondering what paint would work best for this technique? – Using our Allcote, Velvet Sheen or even our Super Acrylic PVA will help you achieve the incredible, lasting results you need.

Step 1: Determine your starting point

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Once you’ve decided on a stencil, it’s time to figure out how you want it to look on your wall. Once you’ve figured out where you want the pattern to start, tape your stencil to the wall using the painter’s tape. To make sure it’s straight, use your spirit level. 

Find a spot at the top of your stencil (preferably not in the pattern itself) to use as a gauge to make sure your stencils are placed in the correct spots across the wall. Once the first stencil is placed where you want it, mark off where it is, and use your gauge to measure out where you need to move the stencil along the wall to create your desired pattern. Mark these spots off with a pencil to make the whole process easier for you.

BONUS TIP: if you’re creating your own design, print out multiple stencils to make the process of painting easier. If you’re purchasing a stencil, it’s worth a try to ask if the shop has more than one of the stencils.

Step 2: Paint your design

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Now you’re ready for the best part! Once your stencil is properly secured, begin by dipping tips of the paintbrush’s bristles in paint (removing any excess paint by dapping brush on a paper towel) and paint your pattern using a stippling method (dabbing the brush onto the open spaces of your stencil). If your pattern is large, you can use a roller instead. 

PRO TIP: Using a roller will make this process go a lot faster, but if it’s precision you’re after, we’d recommend sticking with the brush method. Hold the stencil down while you’re stippling to ensure sharp lines. 

Step 3: Move the stencil

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Move your stencil by lining up your gauge points that you’ve already marked out to continue your design. Tape the stencil in place and repeat the painting process. Remember to use your spirit level to make sure everything is even and straight. 

Step 4: Extend your design to the edges of your wall

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If your stencils don’t fit across the whole wall perfectly, that’s not a problem! Once you’ve finished painting the rest of the wall, simply measure out how much of the stencil you’ll need to reach the edge of your wall while still maintaining the symmetry of your pattern. Just cut off the excess and fit your stencil into the gaps to finish off your pattern. 

Here are just a few examples of what you could create in your home using stencils & Universal Paint products:

And there you have it! Giving your home a makeover couldn’t be easier! 

If stencils aren’t your thing, here are some other easy, low-cost options to create a focal wall: 

Add texture to your wall with a sponge or roller.

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This one is super simple! If you have any leftover paint lying around the house, you can add some depth and texture to a wall by reapplying the paint (in the same colour as your wall, or in a different colour if you’re feeling adventurous) using a textured object, like a roller or a sponge. 

Add patterns and texture using a feather duster, fabric or even an embossed roller.

For those of you who are extra creative, you could use a grouting tool to create patterns by scraping it along a freshly painted wall – just don’t press too hard!

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