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Embossed Allover Designs

April 26, 2011 29 Comments by Regina

When we were at the Design Bloggers Conference, designer extraordinaire Tobi Fairley took the stage.  She was giving great advice all over the place and then she said “Your blog should showcase your work about 70% of the time”.  You can imagine how I started cringing and sliding down my seat because that’s not this blog at all.  I’m lucky if I get to 15%, methinks.  I find comfort in that Fauxology was never meant to be a journal of my work — it’s more like the journal of my obsession with love of decorative painting.  I believe I will always continue down that road.

embossed stencil

Today, however, you get part of the 15%.  This project is one area of a beautiful home we spent a few months in.  Both the husband and wife were very involved in the design and wanted something out of the ordinary for the foyer-to-living-room entrance.  They loved the embossed stenciling we were doing in another area and wanted to incorporate it using an allover design.

We scoured stencil catalogs and Dover publications and our clients ended up finding designs they liked in a book. Since we had no time to order a custom Modello or stencil, we cut our own, created a grid and got to work mapping it out.

Here’s where I tell you that using single stencils to create an allover pattern is NOT something to recommend.  First, my brother came up with the idea to transfer the grid pattern to craft paper and make holes for where center elements would need to be…

craft grid

Then, we put pushpins in the centers of the design and drew out the pattern loosely on the wall to make the stencil placement easier…or so we thought.

mapping the allover stencil grid

Monica Arrache, patient team member

The drawn pattern didn’t make everything as easy as we’d hoped since we had to adjust time and time again when embossing.

allover stencil pattern

See the final embossed design as compared to the drawn pattern and level lines? It WAS good to have them, though, as a placement guide.

Of course, the stencil glue would lift some parts of the wall and the Venetian Plaster did seep under the stencil.  We would immediately clean up the seepage because you never want it to dry that way.

embossing with a stencil

Here’s the basic design layout coming around…

embossed stencil

Then we filled in the centers and the wall edges.  (I’d like to take a moment to say how much I now truly appreciate large production allover stencils with registrations marks that stencil companies offer.)

After the pattern was down and dry, we went to town with tiny artist brushes cleaning up all the background color.  Then we started overglazing.

glazing over embossing

Using an idea we spied on The Gilded Barn blog and with some tips from the writer, Tamra Cook, we outlined the edges of the finish with a chocolate Venetian Plaster, added metallic highlights over the top and tapped in decorative nail heads.  You can see it better in the second pic below.

embossed stenciling


embossed stenciling

Voila! You can also spy one of our antique mirrors over the fireplace.

I don’t even want to tell you how long it took — but our clients were SO happy and it really is a sight to see in person.  Our clients tell us that when guests walk in the first thing they do is walk right up to it, run their hands over it and ask about it in detail.  It was definitely enjoyable to have it all come together.  :)   Tomorrow we go back to the 85% — I’ll see you then!

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  1. Lisa McMillen
    1332 days ago

    Regina, keep doing your blog your way! I love it! It’s my favorite to read every day! Yes, I want to see your work but if it ain’t broke….

  2. Theresa Cheek
    1332 days ago

    WOWZA! I am so stealing some of your techniques!!!! This is so lovely Regina. I love the finished edges with the nailheads. You created a stunning entry.

  3. Barb
    1332 days ago

    This is fantastic!

  4. Christine
    1332 days ago

    Regina, that is fantastic! I think your work is wonderful. Here’s to the 15% absolutely my favourite part of an artist’s blog. It’s so inspiring to see technique.

  5. sean hennessey
    1332 days ago


  6. anna sadler
    1332 days ago


    makes you appreciate not only the production stencils but those amazing MODELLOS too, right? ! :-)

    your clients are blessed to have such a beautiful addition to their home! love love love it!

  7. Katie
    1332 days ago

    Beautiful work, Regina! I think the stencil pattern you created is gorgeous (and I love the color scheme). I’ve had to make my own stencils for projects, so I know how tedious and complicated it can be sometimes…definitely makes me appreciate Melanie’s (Modello and RDS) stencils! I have a small doorway/arch leading from my living room into the family room that something like this would be perfect for! Thanks for the inspiration!

  8. Jane
    1332 days ago

    Dontcha just love a good challenge? I can see the amount of work that this entailed but a result like that was totally worth it….simply stunning!

  9. Tamra/The Gilded Barn
    1332 days ago

    Regina this is stunning! Love the pattern and color. Your work is such an inspiration.

  10. Dana Tucker
    1332 days ago

    Absolutely gorgeous! I think I elbowed you in the ribs when Tobi Farley said to include your work in your blog. I love seeing what you are working on. Hat’s off to Melanie Royals and her fabulous products. I actually cut out a stencil this weekend with an exacto knife and it was a hot mess.

  11. julie
    1332 days ago

    Pure dedication! It is so lovely! Thanks for sharing your 15%!

  12. Jennifer Carrasco
    1332 days ago

    Regina, you are so on top of the latest….and what a designer! I love the border as well. It really finishes the work. Your site is just fine….I read it often and admire your fine eye, your writing and the subjects you discuss…and your generosity in sharing it all.

  13. Pat Green
    1332 days ago

    Absolutely fabulous. Great colour too, although just having removed a gold and orange damask style wallpaper circa 1960′s not something I want at this moment. I enjoy your blog just as it is.

  14. Carol
    1332 days ago

    This came out so lovely, Regina. It really makes this transition space something quite special now! Good thing it was just this small area, huh?! A lot of work! :-)

  15. Ann @ Plumsiena
    1332 days ago

    So you think “Sure, we can do that! It’s a relatively small area. No problem.” Haa! Breaking it down as you did and cleaning up as you go are two great hints for us all.

    Love the colors… and your client for having faith and allowing your skills to really shine.

  16. gwen ware
    1332 days ago

    Beautiful….just beautiful!

  17. Celia Block
    1332 days ago

    That is wonderful, Regina! It took a lot of skill and patience. The result was worth it!


  18. Melanie Royals
    1332 days ago

    Personally, I would LOVE to see more of your decorative painting projects, EVEN if you cut your own stencil (which is gorgeous BTW!) :)

    You are so generous with your selfless posts, and we all appreciate how much you add to our paint-filled lives, but HELL YEAH-you’re a talented artist and you should proclaim it proudly and without apology!!

  19. Emma Entwistle
    1332 days ago

    Absolutely stunning! Thanks for sharing!

  20. Susan Siefer
    1331 days ago

    So beautiful. Love the transition with the nailheads too. Love your informative blog but is so cool to see your work as well. Keep up the inspiration! Thanks.

  21. Ellen sweet Moss
    1330 days ago

    I too would love to see more of your projects. You are such an amazing artist, writer and person. I appreciate this blog so much. Thanks for all the time you put it. It certainly enriches my life.

  22. Monica Arrache
    1330 days ago

    Great Pictures!!!! Yeah, that was very trying to say the least, but the final product was worth it….I like the “patient team member”, hahahaha, that so true….Looks so beautiful with the added leather and studs. Love it….

  23. Monica Arrache
    1330 days ago

    Btw Regina, you and Jason did such a great job coming up with the design, you always do….your so talented!!!! I always enjoyed whatever you guys would come up with….genius!

  24. Jason
    1330 days ago

    Phenomenal Post Regina, I love the step by step photos and most of all… the end result! LOL Wish we could all get to the end result as easy! That was a really creatively fulfilling home and that arch is still one of my favorites that we’ve done. :)

  25. Regina
    1327 days ago

    I’ve read through the comment list and am completely speechless at the amount of feedback, good wishes and views on the blog and of course, the project. It’s funny because I love reading other blogs and seeing the work of each individual blogger. There’s so much beauty in this world to share and I appreciate every drop of it. Thank you for making my week!

  26. Chris Haught
    1281 days ago

    Incredibly beautiful work. Love how you documented the process!
    Congratulations on winning the Blogging Shootout by!

    I’d like to feature you on our blog, please contact us!

3 Trackbacks

  1. [...] Class Winner: Fauxology, Embossed all over Designs Prize: Erecta-Rack Drying System Runner Up: Southern Utah Painters, The Perfect Storm Prize: Armed [...]

  2. [...] Blog and enjoyed the beautiful pictures Regina posted on her Facebook Page. After seeing her entry, Embossed Allover Designs, it was clear why she was chosen as the winner (and the proud owner of a new Erecta Rack!). Her [...]

  3. [...] Feature Class Winner: Fauxology, Embossed all over Designs Prize: Erecta-Rack Drying System Runner Up: Southern Utah Painters, The Perfect Storm Prize: Armed [...]

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