Before & After: Simple freehand wall stencil design adds character to this entryway

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Good first impressions are important. Just like you want to make a good impression when you meet someone for the first time, you want to make a good impression when you greet people in your home! Your entryway is the first thing guests see when they walk into your home, and it can set the stage for the rest of your home’s vibe.

Our entrance was very clean, but very boring. We had given the walls and trim a new coat of paint when we first moved in, but they had been largely untouched since then. We did a ton of work on the rest of the lower level of the house, but you couldn’t tell when you first walked through the door so I decided it was time for a change and that a little accent wall would be the perfect way to add interest to this place.

(Image credit: Dori Turner)

The front entrance wall:

Stencil of an entrance wall with a herringbone pattern

(Image credit: Dori Turner)

The first step was to add a plank and a batten. Love the result, but the rest of the wall still seemed a bit simple. I went back and forth between adding wallpaper or making a stencil.

Stencil of an entrance wall with a herringbone pattern

(Image credit: Dori Turner)

In the end, I decided to make my own DIY stencil wall imitating a design that I had seen available online. The lines in the pattern weren’t perfectly straight and it almost looked like a broken herringbone pattern because the lines didn’t connect – but sometimes there’s beauty in imperfection, don’t you think? Plus, it gave me more confidence that I could replicate the pattern using my own materials that I already had on hand! It was a really unique way to personalize our entry – without spending tons of money.

Here are the supplies I used for this DIY project:

  • Electrical tape ¾ “
  • Rule
  • Pencil
  • Detail artist brush
  • White interior paint (satin finish)
  • Gray interior paint (satin finish)

1. Refresh the walls

I started by painting the walls with two coats of fresh paint. The rest of our entryway is a bluish gray, but I chose to go white on this wall to create more of a focal point. I chose gray paint for the lines. You can certainly choose the entryway or hallway paint colors that best suit your home!

2. Mark the wall for the stencil

After the paint was completely dry (you don’t want the wall to be even a little sticky or the duct tape will remove the finish) I found the center of the wall and used a pencil and ruler, marking all of them. the 5 inches vertically down the wall. The marks helped me align the electrical tape in a straight line. You want to start in the center of the wall so that the pattern is equal at both ends. The center of my wall was in an awkward spot because of the closet door, but we made it work.

Stencil of an entrance wall with a herringbone pattern

(Image credit: Dori Turner)

3. Finish coating the entire wall

Once you’ve drawn your first vertical line with the tape, decide how far apart you want the next line to be. The closer the next piece of tape, the shorter the gray lines will be. The further away, the longer the gray lines will be. It is entirely up to you and the look you are going for! I chose to place my next piece of ribbon 2 inches from the center piece.

You will repeat this process on both sides of the center piece of duct tape until you have covered the entire wall. It could be a tedious process if you are looking to make a large wall, but for my small entrance wall it was perfect!

4. Start painting the diagonal lines

Once your ribbon is in place, you are ready to begin drawing the diagonal lines. Starting again at the center of the wall and starting at the top, grab your artist’s brush and your contrasting paint and start using your freehand tilts. For this part, I chose not to measure. I just looked at the distance between the diagonal lines and backed up every now and then to make sure the distance was relatively the same.

Stencil of an entrance wall with a herringbone pattern

(Image credit: Dori Turner)

5. Go to the next section and finish

Once you have completed your first section of diagonal lines, you are ready to begin the next section. This time you will make your lines in the opposite direction of the first section, roughly matching the starting point of each line with those of the previous section. Repeat this process in each section until the wall is complete.

Stencil of an entrance wall with a herringbone pattern

(Image credit: Dori Turner)

Carefully peel off each piece of electrical tape, then step back and enjoy your beautiful DIY stencil wall!

The results:

Stencil of an entrance wall with a herringbone pattern

(Image credit: Dori Turner)

This project was easy and inexpensive since I already had most of the supplies on hand! It only took an afternoon of my time to complete it and I am delighted with the result! We added a table that my husband built specifically for this space, and after adding a bit of decor, our lobby is now a welcome center for our guests! It makes a great first impression and ties everything together for a cohesive look throughout our home.

Stencil of an entrance wall with a herringbone pattern

(Image credit: Dori Turner)


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