This week, as part of Week Four of the One Room Challenge, I stencilled the laminate floor in our laundry room. I am so pleased with the the results, but it certainly took a bit of effort.
If you look back at where we started, the floor in our laundry room was an orange-toned laminate. There was nothing really wrong with it, but it didn’t tie into anything else in the house.
I have been watching videos of people that have stencilled their floors for quite some time. As much as I looked however, in all the videos, people stenciled on top of actual tile. This means that they had grid lines to ensure everything was straight. It also, means that they could paint their tiles in a checkerboard fashion and not run the risk of smudging a freshly painted tile, when painting the one next to it.
I started the project with a light sanding of the laminate. I am not sure if this made a difference or not. The next step was to clean the floor with TSP. When that dried I applied a really good primer, then two coats of a flat white base coat. Then I was ready to begin the stencil application.
There was much discussion between @GerainttheWelsh about the best strategy to ensure the stencil was straight. What we ended up doing was cutting the stencil so that it would not touch the tile beside it when painting tiles side by side, one after the other. We drew some pencils lines to ensure the first row was straight, and I was ready to start.
I really could not believe how beautiful the pattern was when I stencilled my first tile. The white on the grey was so dramatic and I was excited to see how it would look in the end.
Once I had finished stencilling the floor, I let it dry over night. At dawn on Easter morning, I crawled around on the floor, with a tiny artist’s paint brush in hand, touching up all the little mistakes. I could have kept at this forever but I made myself stop and be happy with the fact that it would not be factory perfect. I turned off the light and promised myself not to return for two days to let the paint fully cure.
The final step is to apply three coats of a mat poly urethane and to let it dry overnight with each coat.
There were a couple of things that I learned along the way for anyone giving this a try:
- Do not use too much paint. That is the first thing they tell you in the videos, but it is somehow inevitable that too much paint ends up on the roller. When this happens, paint bleeds underneath and causes blurry edges. When you go to use the stencil the next time, the paint that is underneath, makes marks on the next stencil pattern.
- Check the underside of your stencil each time to make sure there is no paint that has bled through. I used a damp cloth and drop cloth where I could put the stencil down and clean it.
- Keep an eye on the top of the stencil for dried paint that can chip off. After stencilling for a while, the paint on the top of the stencil dries and it can chip off on to your roller and get applied to the floor. I had to stop and do a big full stencil wash mid-way though, to clean up the stencil. I wish I had done it sooner, as the excess paint made a couple of tiles look pretty messy.
The entire project took about a week which was a fairly significant investment in time. My back was sore and I had strange bruises from crawling around and sitting on a hard floor for long periods of time. But, I cannot tell you how pleased I am with the finished product. For little cost, we have a modern, stencilled tile floor that really brightens up the room and adds some interest. I would highly recommend stencilling your floor as an alternative to actually laying tile.
Thanks for following along with my progress in the One Room Challenge. Don’t forget to see the featured designers & other guest participants as they share their projects. And here is the link to my original design plan.