Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A review of My Wonderful Walls stencil kit (and showing off the results!)

So we were moving things around in the nursery a couple of weeks ago when Steve said we should do something on the walls in there.  His original idea was to have his brother paint a mural but since he is in the middle of renovating a house, I didn't even want to ask.  I had seen some mural kits on line, and decided to do a search for a jungle-themed one.  The My Wonderful Walls kit came up right away and I liked it.  We looked at some others but they were too cartoonish or babyish for our taste.  We had already decided on a jungle theme but they have a total of 13 themes and a lot of them are really cute - I also liked the Under the Sea and Forest Friends kits.

After viewing the demo video, we decided to order the Jungle Safari stencil kit ($99.95) and the accompanying paint kit ($71.99).  We figured we might be able to get the paint cheaper on our own since we were doing only one wall but I imagined multiple trips to the hobby store and decided it wasn't worth it.  Shipping was free since we spent over $90.  We planned to paint over New Year's weekend so I placed the order late on the 21st, hoping that with shipping time it would arrive on the 27th or so, after we got back from Christmas.  I was surprised when I got a shipping notification the next afternoon with a Christmas Eve delivery date!  I called them immediately and explained that the package would likely freeze if it was delivered that soon, and asked if they could hold it.  The gentleman I spoke with said that he would pull the package and hold it until Monday, and ship it then.  When I checked on Tuesday, the package had indeed been shipped on Monday and was scheduled to be delivered on Wednesday - perfect timing!

When I got home from work I immediately unpacked the kit and laid out the stencils on the floor.  They were a bit bigger than I expected and I quickly realized that painting just one short wall was not going to work - the tree and elephants would have filled it up!  Because Steve is a lot smarter than I am, he suggested laying out the design on "graph paper," by which he means Excel.  We spent the evening moving clip art animals around and totally redid the concept.  We wound up using the wall with the most free space and planned the design out around the crib measurements.  There was no way to fit all of the animals on one wall so we each picked out our must-haves - the lion and tiger didn't make the cut.  We had already picked up the paint for the background colors so Steve did that the following evening.  By New Year's Eve we were ready to go!

We used painter's tape to lay out the design, and made some fine-tuning adjustments to account for perspective and some of the difference in the sizes of the animals.  For example, the rhino was way smaller than the elephant so putting them next to each other would have looked strange.

New Year's Day we started around 10:30.  The instructions said to peel off the backing and place the stencil on the wall, but the static cling made it difficult to control the placement.  We started with the little tree and we had to restick it about 5 times before it was lined up right.  I could not imagine how we would be able to manage the larger stencils.  It is possible I cried a little, and distracted myself by starting to assemble the crib with the help of my sister while my dad and Steve figured out a better way to put on the stencils - leaving the painter's tape in place for stability and slowly peeling the backing off while rolling the stencil onto the wall.  Soon we were ready to paint!  

The actual painting was easy and fun.  We did have to make sure the stencils were still stuck on well around the edges before starting each one but it wasn't hard to get it right.  We wound up doing two coats on most of the designs and once they were semi-dry we peeled off the stencils.  We did the giraffe first and I was amazed at how well it turned out! 

Once all the basics were done we had to go back and do some layering - the spots on the giraffe and the stripes on the zebra, the tree crowns and the plants and birds. 

We were totally done 12 hours after starting, including a lunch break.  I have to say we are thrilled with the results!

(There is a zebra and a rhino in the bottom left that didn't make it into the frame...)


  1. Wow, it looks great. I'm impressed that you did it with stencils....we're still debating back and forth about the walls in our nursery. Maybe stencils are the answer.