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The Art of Stenciling
Victoria Larsen : Stenciling with Plaster

Stenciling with Plaster

Raised Designs on your walls is as easy as a stencil and a bucket of Joint Compound!

By Victoria Larsen

Raised Stencils with PlasterThough stenciling itself is a very easy craft to perform, stenciling with plaster for raised designs on your walls is by far the easiest thing I've ever done.

I've always been completely fascinated with the very ornate walls of Victorian homes and mansions. When I discovered that they had used "stencils" to create plaster designs in our famous "White House" back in 1905, I was suddenly overtaken with the need to "re-develop" that art to its fullest. 

I've seen a hint of plaster stenciling here and there on the Internet and television shows but no one had a line of stencils designed specifically for plaster. My product goal became clear.

Now with over 60 highly ornate plaster designs and many more in the works, I've found a huge reward for my efforts in the number of letters and photos I've received from people who have used my designs to decorate their homes in ways they never thought possible. I regularly feature those happy customers and their creative use of the plaster stencils on my Website. I love "showing them off".

My own home is now extensively "plastered" with rooms featured on my Website as well. Take the tour. You'll get so many wonderful and creative ideas from the project pages.

Even the "beginner" exclaims with delight how "easy it was" and how the whole neighborhood is amazed with the magical feat it must have taken to perform such art on the wall. (It does look like you either spent a fortune or worked your tail end off to accomplish it!).

If you can frost a cake, you can plaster stencil anything. Here's how easy it is:

  1. Tape the stencil to the wall (or other project piece).

  2. Spread a thin layer of "Joint Compound" (found pre-mixed in your local home store) with a flat edged trowel or 2" wide pallet knife.

  3. Scrape off the excess, pull the stencil from the wall and there to behold is an ornate design in raised plaster. How easy is that!

  4. Now let it dry (about 30-45 minutes in most areas). Either leave it pure white, paint it your wall color, or add color to the design with a stencil brush and paint.

There is absolutely no end to the things you can decorate with plaster stenciling. Walls, cupboards, doors and drawers. Wooden boxes, chests and footlockers. Vases, lamps, jewel boxes. Crates, Welcome signs, canvases meant for painting. Flower boxes, flower pots, photo frames. Stairway posts, stairway fascia boards, front porch posts. Memory/Scrapbook covers, memory pages, greeting cards.

Designs range from highly detailed moldings and borders for walls, life-sized plaster columns and trees to corner and border designs for ceilings.

Now combine them with ornate "cast plaster" ornaments (where you pour mixed plaster in to a mold) and you have true "Plaster Art" that literally costs thousands of dollars to have done to your walls by a professional, but you did it simply and easily and with very little cost.

Need ideas? See over 80 plaster and paint stenciled rooms on my website. Visit the step-by-step instructional pages showing clear photos of just how easy plaster stenciling is! •

© Victoria Larsen 2007. All rights reserved.

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