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The Art of Stenciling
Victoria Larsen : Rubber Stamps in Wet Plaster

Rubber Stamps in Wet Plaster Creates Dynamite Wall Designs

By Victoria Larsen

A super twist on Raised Plaster Stenciling that's easy to do and leaves a great "impression"; Rubber stamps pressed into the wet plaster.

Where Raised Plaster Stenciling creates a design that stands out from the wall, using rubber stamps pressed into wet plaster creates indentations that give a really different look that creates awesome shadows.

There are literally millions of rubber stamp designs in your local craft store, rubber stamp specialty shops, or on the Internet that you can choose to create your own designer walls.

Choose a large design so that it shows up well on your wall. Consider plant elements such as ferns, leaves, flower heads and so on. Or get crazy and combine a number of designs.

If you have high gloss or semi-gloss wall paint currently on your wall, prime with water-based primer first. All other paint types need no pre-preparation.

Using a wide, flat blade plastic scraper (found in the paint section of your local home or hardware store), smooth an even coat of joint compound (about 1/8" thick over a 3x3 foot section. Thicker joint compound may result in a blurred impression) onto the wall.

Once the area has been covered, randomly stamp your design, pressing it into the joint compound. You have about 30 minutes before the joint compound begins to dry so take your time and have a blast.

Turning the stamp in different directions creates a beautiful "wallpaper" effect.

Since the joint compound dries so slow, if you don't like the placement of what you stamped, simply smooth it over and do it again. It's very forgiving.

Complete the wall in 3 x 3' sections for a full wall effect.

If you only want a border of your chosen design, simply run a line of masking tape at the top and bottom of your chosen border depth and apply joint compound to only that area. Stamp your border as you choose.

Allow the joint compound to dry completely and to cure for 48 hours before finishing with wall color. A very light coat of water-based primer will seal the raw joint compound and prepare it for further color. Be careful not to allow the primer or paint to pool inside the design or you will risk losing some of its detail.

To color the design, either paint over it with standard wall paint or simply add wall paint in your favorite color to translucent wall glaze until the desired level of color is achieved. Working in 3' x 3' sections, wipe the glaze mixture over the wall, paying close attention to the design, then immediately wipe or blot it off (depending on the look you like) with a dry rag or sponge.

Enjoy your "designer" walls and revel in the fact that you have something totally unique and hand done by you! •

© Victoria Larsen 2007. All rights reserved.

Victoria Larsen is a professional wall stencil designer and interior specialist. More »