Stenciling Makes a Comeback Stenciling Makes a Comeback

Add personality to your walls with an ancient art form that has been modernized for the 2000s consumer - stenciling!

"Wait a minute," you say, "I'm not an artist." Well, you don't have to be. You simply choose a stencil pattern, take up a brush and some paint to create beautiful designs along ceilings, around windows and doors, on furniture, wastebaskets, fabrics, rugs and lampshades - virtually any surface that you can imagine.

Stenciling dates back thousands of years to cave dwellers and Egyptians who used stencils as a form of decoration. The art form also was popular in Colonial times, when American settlers embellished their otherwise plain walls with simple decorative paint forms.

Today, stenciling has become much more sophisticated, often involving intricate designs and any number of colors. And it can be extremely economical. It's possible to add stencils to a room for less than $50.

Stencil manufacturers offer a wide variety of design motifs, including florals, fruits, vegetables, geometrics, juvenile themes and architectural elements. Ivy is a particularly popular stencil look. "People like anything that trails, such as vines and ribbons," stated Leah Caswell, owner of Liberty Design Co.

These types of stencils can enhance many decorating styles, such as traditional, country, transitional and contemporary.

Lauren Powell, public relations director for Plaid Enterprises, reported that people are coming up with some innovative uses for stencils. "Full walls, pictorials and murals are coming on strong in home decor," she said.

Adele Bishop, founder of Adele Bishop Inc., added that stencils are an excellent way to enhance the unique features of a room. She suggested, "You can use them around nooks and crannies, in attic rooms or around arched windows."

And don't just think that stencils are for traditionally painted surfaces. You can use them to add a special decorative touch to painted, wallpapered or faux-finished walls.

For more information on stenciling, see your local independent paint and wallcovering retailer.

Stencils come in a variety of motifs, including this apple design from Liberty Designs.

Courtesy of the Paint and Decorating Retailers Association -

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