Sometimes good things come to those when they least expect it. I had been wanting to make a wall art decoration piece for ages but had never found anything that was right. Until the day I parked somewhere to wait for my dad and lo and behold...this!
I'm going to share how I made shutter art with a stencil the wrong way so that you can do it the right way!
Disclosure: I was compensated for doing this post with product. However, all the opinions stated here are my own. I only use products I love and would recommend to my viewers.
But first the back story. One day I drove my dad to the hospital to visit someone and I had to park the car a few blocks away because this is New York.
Imagine my luck when while sitting there a man walked up to the curb and put this beauty outside. I couldn't believe my eyes. I waited patiently till he was a few blocks away because you never know, he might of changed his mind and come back for it, and then I jumped out of the car and grabbed this shutter. I had to literally jam it into the back of the car because it was pretty big. But you know where there's a will there will be a way.
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What I Used:
The How to:
The project started out simple enough. After thoroughly wiping down the shutter, I painted it with the chalky finish paint. This is a favorite and is my go to chalky type paint.
Two coats did the trick and all it took was about half an hour. The paint dries really fast but those slats took a while to paint.
The inspiration for this project came about because of this vintage TV cabinet in my living room. You can see that it has this beautiful detailing on it. I would be placing the shutter on a wall opposite this wall and I wanted to carry over that theme of the swirls.
I had originally ordered a Fleur di Lis but then decided against it and instead found this stencil at Michael's that more closely resembled the look I was going for. Here is a similar one.
Now I had done stenciling before so I felt confident that I would be able to knock this one out in a matter of minutes. After all it was simpler than the Fleur De Lis I had nixed. Haha!
A lesson I have yet to learn is that one should never be overconfident in their skills. EVER! Case in point, this project which defeated me because I was too smug for my own good!
I had intended to use my pounce sponger. It had worked before for this project so I was sure it would work now. Besides everyone raved about it. How it was the best for stenciling. So it would be a breeze with this project. Or so I thought!
I set up my things, including a plastic dish with a paper towel to dab off the excess paint.
The paint I used was a soft metallic in silver. I wanted the shutter to stand out and the stencil design to be secondary that is why I chose this color. You'll see why later on.
I started out by taping the stencil along one end of the shutter and then pressed it down to paint. I used masking tape to keep it in place.
But, as you may have guessed things did not work out as I had planned! Again!!
I had absolutely neglected to take into account the slats of the shutter. How was this even possible.
They were right there, staring at me! Laughing at me even!
The stencil did not lay flat on the surface and the paint went on super thick even though I had dabbed most of it off.
I tried again, this time using much thinner brushes that would let me control the paint, or at least that's what I thought!
Here is the next attempt. It looks better right?
Yes, except for the fact that it does not get all of the design on the slat. Another fail!
I realized that I had to insert the stencil inside the slat in order to get the design to lay flat on each slat.
At this point I could feel the steam coming out of my ears in frustration!
What was meant to be a 10 minute project was obviously going to take me much, much longer.
In order to make sure the stencil stayed put, I pressed on it with my fingers or even used an extra brush to hold it in place.
Finally after much frustration I had done the center. You can see here how subtle the paint is.
But it looked unfinished.
Yes, because it had not taken me long enough to stencil the individual slats down the center of the shutter (insert sarcasm here), I went back and cut off pieces of swirl patterns and stenciled them all along the two sides of the original design.
To give the overall look more balance and less sparsity. And of course to add another half an hour to my ten minute project!
I finished it off with a top coat of creme wax. And to hang it up I used a bunch of command strips.
Finally, on what was to be a ten minute stenciling project, I was done!
Was it worth it? I could have gone out and just bought some type of artwork, hung it on the wall and called it a day!
I needed to make my life difficult by doing all these DIY projects.
There is no joy in shopping when you can waste hours of your life DIYing! Am I right?
Have you ever seen that meme on Facebook about how we spend $90 making a project that we could have bought for $10. Well, that was me but replace the money for time.
Plus, I needed something horizontal to go behind the sofa.
Below you can see how I used them with my Easter decor. I got the inspiration from Lisa of The Purple Hydragnea. It's such an easy way to add any decor to them.
Now to explain my reasoning for this particular look. I wanted something that had presence but not too much. After all we still have that accent wall on the opposite side of the room. Too much on this wall would have been overpowering.
I needed to fill this wall but in a subtle kind of way. Are you following me?
In fact, if you look at this shutter from one end facing the windows, the design shimmers and almost disappears because of the metallic finish. Like I said, real subtle.
I think of the slats as doing the real work, and the swirls are a bonus.
All kidding aside, I really love my shutter art decor. It is a focal point, but not in an in-your-face kind of way.
And what have I learned from this episode of how to make things harder than they need to be?
Pouncers are to be feared? Absolutely not. They have their place but not on shutters!
Ultimately, I have learned that I don't always learn from my previous mistakes and I need to make them more than once in order to feel the red on my cheeks.
Or is three times the (un)lucky number? In that case I have one more mistake to make!
Here is an update on how I used it after Easter. You can really add anything to it depending on the season!
In the end I got exactly what I wanted/deserved and then some!
This tutorial on how to make shutter art the wrong way took a long time (much longer than it should have) but I'm happy with my art. In fact I couldn't find another like this anywhere and believe me I scoured Pinterest for inspiration!
How many times do you need to make a mistake before you learn a lesson?
More wall projects:
<< Looking up in Manhattan HOME
Linking up to these Link Parties
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I'm Mary and I recently moved to New York from beautiful Greece. I like to re-purpose and up-cycle anything that is old or looks like junk. Join me as we use our creativity to spark some life into old things. And do it frugally! You will also see lots of photography of my Greece and New York.
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