Decorating, painting projects Stenciled Curtains September 10, 2013

I’ve been on the hunt for yellow, cheap, and patterned curtains for G’s room.  After an exhaustive search I’ve decided that combination does not exist.  As luck would have it, though, I was plagued by pregnancy insomnia the other night and realized the stencil I have from DIYStencil on Etsy might be able to solve my problem.  Its intended use was for the new nursery walls (and will still probably go in there, but we’re holding off on painting that room until we know whether to do pink or blue).   I wasn’t entirely sure curtains were paintable, but a Google search led me to believe it might be, and I’m never afraid to try new things.  This, luckily, went pretty much according to plan, turning out better than I had hoped for.


1. Latex Paint (Martha Stewart, Yellow Magnolia, flat)
3. Roller and Tray (a foam roller is probably better, but I used a 1/4″ nap)
4. Fabric Medium (you can find it at Michaels by the Fabric Paint)
5. Blue Tape
6. Curtains (Ikea Lenda)
This may be the only time my husband has ever held an iron, so I had to grab a picture.  It’s important to iron the curtains before you lay them out, so the fabric will be straight for the stencil.
The first step is to mix textile medium with the paint.  I’m still not entirely sure what the textile medium does.  Some people said it thinned the paint, some said it kept the paint from soaking through the fabric.  In any case, it was recommended for this project from every resource I came across.  The bottle said to mix paint to medium 2:1.  I eye-balled it, which seemed to work.  The paint did bleed through the curtains, as I expected, so I laid them out on a plastic sheet first.  Generally I prefer canvas tarps to plastic sheeting because after paint dries on plastic it starts to chip off and makes a mess, but plastic was a must for this project.
These are my finest painting clothes.  J came home early, I wasn’t planning on being photographed today.  Oh well, this is what I look like 95% of the time, anyway.
I used the blue tape to stick the edges of the stencil to my curtains, I was worried that I would smear the paint as I moved the stencil down, but it dried pretty quickly and I was gentle when moving, so it wasn’t an issue.  Izzy actually walked across the curtain right after it was painted and she didn’t have any on her paws, so maybe the textile medium helps the paint to dry on fabric.
It all went really quickly using the roller.  I found that the results were better when I used a lighter pressure, even if the paint didn’t go on as thick, it wasn’t noticeable once the curtain was hanging.  I didn’t get the stenciling perfectly straight, Grant woke up from his nap about 45 minutes into the first curtain so I had one eye on a curious toddler and one on the paint roller.  It didn’t bother me, especially on curtains, which are bunched up, so there’s a lot more leeway than when painting a wall.  If you’re a perfectionist though, I would recommend doing this without a fifteen month old within arms reach.
My wonderful husband hung the curtain rod for me.  I like to hang my curtains closer to the ceiling, rather than right above the window.  It gives the illusion of greater ceiling height.  We also only used one panel on either side of the two windows, to make the space feel more open.
The room is still a work in progress, but we love our new curtains.  They definitely add the bright pop of color we were looking for.  I ordered curtain rings online to match the rod and cut off the white tabs that the curtains hung from.
I need to paint over the stencil test spot on the wall and replace the broken blind, and tomorrow I’ll be switching out all the outlets with the tamper resistant kind.  We’re getting close though, I can’t wait to move the little guy in here and nag my husband to get moving on the hardwood floors in the other bedroom.  The moment these floors are done I think we’re going on a very long vacation.