Add decorative accents to walls and ceilings with stencils and medallions.
The easy decorative process shown here is sometimes called plaster stenciling, but that name is not completely accurate because it's actually accomplished with drywall compound.
Some stencils are a single-layer design; others require multiple applications to achieve full effect. Line up succeeding layers by using the registration holes in the edges of the stencils.
If you don't want to change the design's color from the white of the drywall compound, you can protect it from dirt by spraying or brushing on a coat or two of shellac. This clear finish is compatible with most wall finishes and should not cause a problem when you want to repaint your wall in the future.
You can also color drywall compound before application. Look for bottles of universal tints at the paint store that are compatible with water-base products. The color will probably lighten significantly when the compound dries, so experiment until you get the shade you want.
The project time depends upon the amount of area to be covered; multiple-layer designs require at least a day between applications
Precut stencils, level, tape measure, drywall knife
Using a level, aligning registration marks, spreading drywall compound
Wall is completed and painted.
All-purpose joint compound, masking tape
Mix the plaster according to directions on the label, and place the mold on a level surface. A quick spritz of cooking spray serves as a mold release. Pour in the plaster, and smack your fist on the table next to the mold to dislodge air bubbles on the mold's surface. (The bubbles would produce pits that ruin the surface of your casting.) Using a paint stick and a sawing motion, screed the back of the mold to remove excess plaster.
When the plaster is dry, gently flex the rubber mold to remove the castings. Scrape the edges of the casting with a utility knife blade to remove thin pieces of plaster that extend past the edges of the design. If you need to sand an edge, choose drywall screen because it won't clog as easily as regular abrasives. Air-dry the medallion for 48 hours, then attach it to your walls or ceiling with joint compound or construction adhesive.