Decor, DIY

Stenciling and kids bath makeover

Fun modern kids bathroom

My goal for the bathroom was to give it a fun, youthful feel without making it feel completely like a kiddy bathroom. I wanted something that they can grow into by changing accessories and that still works for a guest bathroom.

Stenciled kids bathroom - white walls painted with Benjamin Moore Hale Navy

Kids bathroom before and after with stenciling, cabinet painting and valance

The previous homeowner did a fine job, I just wanted something a little more bright and modern for kids. Here’s what I did to make over the boys’ bathroom:

  1. I painted the beige walls white.
  2. I painted the dark brown cabinet white. Here’s how.
  3. I recovered the beige valance with the existing white shower liner and added upholstered buttons. Total cost: $5, for the button kit.
  4. I stenciled a navy blue design on the walls in Benjamin Moore Hale Navy. See how, below.

Kids bathroom toys

Goldzilla goldfish shower curtain

The child inside of me fell in love with the Goldzilla shower curtain, and I became a little obsessed with it. I think I like it more than the boys.

Navy blue and white stenciled kids bathroom with green towels

Kids bathroom accessories

That bright plastic spout spits the water out farther so little hands can reach.
And now, onto how I stenciled the wall:

How to stencil a wall step by step instructions

Tools you need to stencil a wall

 Tools needed

  • Stencil
  • Paint
  • Sponge brush
  • Adhesive spray


It took me about 8 hours total.

You can now find this stencil here!

How to stencil a solid color on the wall

1. Spray adhesive spray on the back of the stencil. I tried to put the stencil up with a couple different kinds of tape and it did not work well. It is definitely worth it to buy the adhesive spray. It keeps the entire stencil stuck to the wall so the paint won’t seep beyond the cutout. This was paramount to me, as I chose to do dark navy blue on a white wall! I didn’t realize what a daring choice that was until I started.

I did a light spray on the stencil after each placement on the wall. This gave the paint on the stencil time to dry and assured it would stay in place for the next round. I did this by holding it up by one corner and giving it a thin mist outside. This was after trying it once inside on paper and making sticky mess on the floor.

How to stencil a wall - align stencil with the top of the wall
After a rough start, I figured out it was best to align the stencil where the top of the wall meets the ceiling to avoid as much stencil-bending as possible.

2. Choose a starting point. I suggest starting at the top of the wall in the corner and working your way over and down. Use a level to make sure it’s straight.

Before I started, I read it was a good idea to start in the middle of the wall and work outward to help keep the design straight and centered. It’s a good theory, but I didn’t think it through all the way and ended up having to bend the stencil in half at the ceiling all the way across the wall. And that tested my patience. On the next wall I started with the stencil at the top, instead, which made my life a heck of a lot easier. You will, however, still have to bend the stencil around doorways and corners. 

3. Before you take your first stencil off the wall, mark the small registration holes in the corners with a pencil so you can line the stencil up for the next round. My stencil lined up two or three little squares from the last stencil with the new stencil, so I skipped this step after the first round.

4. Blot paint onto the stencil. I wanted a solid color in my design instead of blended colors or feathering effects, so I opted for a sponge brush instead of a stencil brush. It allowed me to sort of stamp on the color at a faster pace.

5. Take the stencil off the wall and wipe off excess paint. Time to spray the adhesive again!

6. After you’ve finished the room, you can take a small artist’s brush and touch up mistakes. Very necessary for my navy and white combo!

How to stencil the wall step by step instructions

How to stencil a solid pattern on a wall

I admit, the stenciling was not all that much fun to execute. I probably won’t be stenciling again for a little while, but I am crazy about the results. I’m still smiling every time I walk in that bathroom because of the vibrant difference it made. And it was much easier than wallpapering, so I’m a happy girl.

White and blue kids bathroom

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15 thoughts on “Stenciling and kids bath makeover

  1. Love the transformation. Totally looks like a kids bathroom now and yes the shower curtain is awesome! Might have to be getting one of those for myself ;) Cheers, Josie.

  2. Josie, you’re making me feel a whole lot better about my goldfish shower curtain obsession. I wasn’t sure anyone else was on board!

  3. Hi!
    I’ve been searching high and low for that nearly exact type of large scale stencil (to do in silver) — where on earth did you find it? Might you share your source?
    Bathroom looks awesome and the goldfish seals the deal for me!
    thank you!

  4. Stumbled on your blog via Yahoo…I think either way..LOVEj. have bookmarked it for future reference. The stencils here look AWESOME.. I wish I were that patient. Great job on the kitchen cabinets post.. which led me here. Another great job.

  5. Hi there,
    This room looks great! Light, airy, and white!!
    I too have admired the stencil, it seems the link you provided is no longer working. Can you provide the shop’s name on esty?? I’m hoping even though it’s been a few years since you have purchased the stencil, that the shop is still around even if they currently don’t have this stencil listed right now.

  6. Just want to say that your stencil design isn’t that difficult , think graph paper, hard plastic yard sale sign and and exactor knife.

  7. Love love this bathroom, going to get that stencil for my big boys bath.
    Just subscribed to your blog!! Thanks for sharing.

  8. I like your stencil and the way you apply it. Please the current link to this stencil… as a given above doesn’t worl.
    Thank you in advance!

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