Our latest DIY project – stencilled flooring

Our latest DIY project – stencilled flooring

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Our “wow” floor
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Before & After

Incase you don’t already know I adore interiors. On my Instagram you’ll find hundreds of fellow enthusiasts who, like me, post all day long on chic chandeliers, flowers in pretty vases and their latest creative project whatever it may be. Among them is flowerpotcottage.

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A few weeks back Tracy posted a really clever and creative picture of their newly painted wooden floor. It definitely had the wow factor. I took a screenshot and showed it to hubby and we decided to give it a go ourselves, only on a much larger scale. Gulp!
Our kitchen is my least favourite room of the house, yet I always believe it’s the heart of every home. Infact, the average Brit will spend three years of their life in the kitchen. Our kitchen has original terracotta tiles that I initially liked, but soon grew out of (they’re just so dark!). The wall tiles we inherited were not to my taste at all, better suited to a swimming pool me thinks. And as for the cupboard doors… the modern gloss just so, isn’t, me.
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The swimming pool tiles got a make over
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Much nicer on the eye…
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The drab kitchen & utility room floor

So when this post popped up on my feed it inspired me to do the same. I set off doing lots of research and found all the tools we needed to create our own stunning floor on a budget. I have to say, the finished effect has surpassed my expectations, I’m thrilled with it. It has injected a new lease of life into our kitchen and I feel so uplifted when I walk in there now.

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Inspiration from @flowerpotcottage

So if you fancy doing something similar with a corner of your home, or perhaps even an entire room, go for it! It takes time, but achieves such a fabulous look without breaking the bank.

Here’s how we did it…

First things first – clean the floor. Not just a wipe over but a proper scrub! I scrubbed the floor with Cif three times over because there were decades of dirt on it. If you do this, make sure you rinse it well. I rinsed it 3-4 times after scrubbing because any product left will encourage the paint to peel off – we don’t want that!

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Super clean tiles
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The cleaning took forever with such a big surface area

Next was the base. Here we used Ronseal One Coat All Surface. I read about using a Primer before applying paint but we bought this multi-purpose paint that went straight onto tiles so we dodged this stage. With the tiles so dark we did three layers, all over. 

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Starting with the base
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Already the utility room felt so much brighter
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We even contemplated leaving it white – impossible with kids around

The next stage was the fun bit yet it took forever! Our tiles measured 15cm by 15cm. We decided to purchase a stencil that measured 30cm x 30cm, to incorporate a larger pattern throughout. I thought this would make the kitchen look less ‘busy’, the bigger the easier on the eye. Yet you don’t want it too big that it’s lost in the room. 

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Our first few tiles with an Annie Sloan brush
I loved the stencil we bought from Dizzy Duck Designs. The quality was good and it was the perfect size. And after all that use it’s still in excellent shape so we’ve stored it away should any mishaps occur, what with a young family and all.
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We did it section by section which made it easier to manage

We took our time to stencil the tiles. We used Annie Sloan chalk paint in Paris Grey. Lots of people working on similar projects used the Annie Sloan brush. However, when we tried this it didn’t produce an even affect, there were brush marks on the pattern and you didn’t get a neat finish around the stencil edge. Instead, we used a foam roller which gave a neat, dramatic finish and was much easier to use for all that stencilling.

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The finished effect looking into the dining room
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The decorators varnish we used

Once the stencils were done, which took the best part of three weekends (I know!), we then finished the tiles off with a couple of layers of varnish. This goes on clear and is super durable. Then you can stand back and admire. Voila! I’m sure you’ll agree it’s a huge improvement.

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The entrance to the kitchen from the hallway and music room
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I can so easily lose myself in the beautiful pattern

Incase you’re wondering, and many people have asked this, how the hell did we do this with a toddler around? The answer is, we didn’t! We did it once he was in bed which is why the project took so long. However, I’m sure you’ll agree, it was worth the wait.

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12 thoughts on “Our latest DIY project – stencilled flooring

    1. Thanks Victoria. I would totally recommend it. It takes time, a lot of time, but it is so affordable and the finished effect really has the WOW factor! The paint is baring up, with plenty of varnish on the top coat. We have found a chip here or there, which is inevitable with a toddler running around. Overall though, it’s a hit!

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  1. Looks great. I am about to embark on a similar project myself. Only question is – how much time did you spend deciding where to start with the first stencil? How did you work out where to start and is there a good place to start? Should I first find the centre of the room and work from a line draw across the room etc. etc. any quick tips on how to work out where to place the first stencil would be greatly appreciated. Looks like you started from the edges so you didn’t end up with a part of a stencil around the border of the room? Thanks.

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    1. Hello Mary,

      That’s a great question! We started by doing sporadic tiles here and there (in a tactical way). It’s impossible to paint the stencil on the tiles in a row because you have to allow for one to dry before starting on the neighbouring tile. So what we did is, while it’s drying paint another area of the room. You basically work on multiple areas, so while one dries, you do another area, and vice versa. The good thing about Annie Sloan paint is it dries really quickly. So you’re right, you really have to think ahead about how you place the stencil etc. We did the edges last. And although some of the tiles are halved round the edge, you don’t really realise. The finished effect is so striking, that the finer detail is lost, so don’t worry too much. And if you make mistakes, again Annie Sloan paint is forgiving. You can wipe it off or paint over it, no problem. Good luck! Send me a before and after, I’d love to see how it goes!

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  2. Thanks for tips and yes i will send pictures. One other question, because I am a novice stenciller and this will be my first time!, when you are forced to do a part of a tile for edges or tricky areas, how easy is it to do i.e. while the stencil itself is flexible, how easy is it to bend the stencil out of the way and only roller part of it – if you see what I mean? I am doing a bathroom so will need to go around both loo and sink base – would it be better to cut up the stencil or is that a waste and not the right way to do it?

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    1. The stencil was super flexible and bendy. One of us would put it flat on the floor while the other held it up out of the way. We went around our downstairs toilet too, so it can be done. I’d leave that bit until last, when you have more confidence but don’t cut it. I wouldn’t cut the stencil as you want to keep it for any touch ups. One last thing, we wiped the stencil after every use to keep things clean and avoid smudges. It all sounds complicated but you’ll find your way of doing it, and it’ll look great. Our stencil was 30cm x 30cm. Good luck!

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  3. Sorry to bother you but one last question …. the size of the stencil you purchased – was it the tile on an A3 size sheet? I like the fact that your finished tile looks quite large so can you advise which size you purchased please?

    thanks.

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  4. Hi there, Apologies for the delay in replying. The size of the stencil we purchased was 30cm x 30cm. Our tiles were 15cm x 15cm, so within each stenciled is a square made up of four of the original tiles. Hope that makes sense. Georgia 🙂

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  5. This looks amazing! Planning to do something similar in our conservatory which has old terracotta tiles in – just can’t justify replacing it! Thanks for all the tips! Charlotte xx

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