Spring has arrived (fingers crossed) and, with it, the urge to sort out my house and redecorate/finish jobs that were started/declutter. We built an extension on the house over 2 years ago and, believe it or not, there are still lots and lots of jobs that need finishing (anyone who is married to a joiner will totally get where I am coming from!) The rooms that we decorated a few years ago are now starting to look tired and so I am on a (one woman) mission to get the house sorted.
I have decided to start from the front of the house and work through each room until I am happy with it, although whether I will ever be completely happy is anyone's guess as I am forever changing my mind.
The first room as you enter the house is the small porch. This is a room where we hang our coats, store our regular footwear - or throw them in the middle of the floor if you are a male - and have a little basket full of things for the dog such as his lead, ball, etc.
At the moment, it's just not working. There is a large chest in there that houses a load of random stuff and it's so big that you can't open the internal door properly, much to husband's annoyance when he is carrying things in and out of the house. I don't like the colour of the walls anymore and the floor tiles just don't cut the mustard.
As with most of our decor, I like to do things on a budget. Well, I say 'like', but rather it's a necessity as I would rather spend money on holidays and memories than floor tiles and paint! With this in mind, I started to have a think about how we could change the floor tiles without spending a fortune and creating a whole heap of mess.
The tiles before the makeover...
Back in 2015, I opened a physical interiors shop in Sheffield. Prior to taking on the lease, the shop had flooded leaving a very wet carpet. When we removed the carpet, there were lovely floorboards but then a section which was just a concrete floor. I had an idea of painting and stenciling the floor to make it look like tiles and researched stencils on the internet.
I finally found a supplier who had some amazing floor stencils -https://hennydonovanmotif.co.uk/ . I ordered the stencil, bought some paint, read the instructions and got stuck in! Although by no means perfect, I was thrilled with how the floor turned out and received loads of compliments from customers throughout the 3 years in which the shop was open.
The stencilled floor in my shop - dark grey on a white background
My next venture into stenciling a floor was during the transformation of a 'teenage hut' for a client in 2018. I had basically been given creative freedom on this project and so thought a stenciled floor would be a wonderful way to bring some pattern into the space.
Again, I went for a stencil from the Henny Donovan website.
The stenciled floor in the teenage hut project - Devonshire Green by Valspar on a white background.
When it came to the tiles in the porch, I wasn't too sure whether or not painting the floor would be durable enough. It is the only entrance to our house so obviously is a room with a lot of traffic going through it. After reading various articles on Pinterest, I decided to go for it. To be fair, the floor in the shop faded and was worn after a while but I think this just added to the overall look of the floor and made it look 'aged' so I wasn't too precious about the tiles doing the same.
I decided to reuse the stencil which I had used in the teenage hut as I loved it and it would also save money. I wasn't sure of what type of paint to use for the base. A quick trip to B&Q and I found a paint by 'Fortress' which has a primer built into it and was suitable for ceramics. It was available in black and white and I opted for the latter.
All surface paint from B&Q...
I waited until my husband had a 'golfing day' and the teenager - having recently turned 18 - had a hangover day so that they wouldn't be walking in and out of the porch. Firstly, I made sure that the floor was free from any bits and gave it a good clean and let it dry. I applied the paint with a roller, going over the grout lines and edges with a paintbrush. The paint dried within a couple of hours so I was able to re coat it again and leave it overnight to dry. I painted a further coat on the following night and it gave an even coverage with a nice smooth finish.
The stages of tile painting...
Now on to the exciting part! So, there are various ways to use the stencil, but I will explain how I did mine. The first time I stenciled, in the shop, I used a spray adhesive that ensured the stencil stuck to the floor completely and helped to prevent 'bleeding'. I found this quite easy with good results but did find that the stencil tended to get quite sticky.
The tiles in the porch were quite uneven and textured so this time I decided to just stick the stencil at the edges with masking tape. It worked pretty well but there was a bit of 'bleeding' which wasn't helped by the unevenness of the floor.
The first stencil needs to be positioned correctly so it's worth using a spirit level to make sure the pattern wont start running out.
First stencil in position...
I used a combination of two colours for the stencil...the light green for the middle star and edges and the darker green for the rest. I used an old sponge to apply the paint, removing the excess before applying. You can buy special stencil sponges or use a roller, but I found this method the easiest and cheapest. I used a 'dabbing' action to apply the paint, building it up as I went along and blending the two colours.
First stencil done...
There are little guideline holes in each corner of the stencil that you need to pop a bit of paint through. You then simply line these up when doing the next stencil and it will leave the appropriate gap in between. Just work along until you have completed your first line.
First line of stenciling done...
Then simply repeat for the next row, lining up with the guideline holes.
Second line done....must remember to wear gloves!
I left the areas where a full stencil was not needed such as near the front door and internal door. Once the full stencils had been finished, I went back and did the remaining small bits. I bent the stencil into place and then applied the paint, but you could cut it up to get the required pieces if you don't intend to use it again.
I am a bit of a perfectionist so, once the floor was finished, I went round with a fine paintbrush and neatened any edges with the Fortress white paint. It took a while but I wouldn't have been happy if I'd left it!
The floor was then sealed with clear varnish and left overnight. I then applied a further two coats of varnish the following two evenings.
The finished floor....
So I'm really happy with how it has turned out and, for me, it has cost hardly anything as all I had to buy was the Fortress paint which was £21. Everything else, I already had. However, here is a break down of costs if you are starting with nothing:
Fortress paint £21 - I bought mine from B&Q
Classic Moroccan Stencil £45 (can be washed and used again) from Henny Donovan
Emulsion paint Free- £20 you will only need a very small amount so tester pots will probably suffice if doing a relatively small area or use up paint you have left over
Varnish £9 Any clear varnish will do.
The only other thing you have to spend is your time! The stenciling took a couple of hours and then around an hour to neaten up.
What do you think? Would love to know your thoughts. For all those who are doubting they can do it I say give it a go! It's easier than you think.
Thanks so much for taking time to read.