Monday, June 25, 2012

How to Stencil a Roller Shade


Paint a roller shade?  The kind that are made of vinyl??
 Yes, you heard right!  
I did some research before I got started, to make sure this was going to work.  I think it turned out great!  Each shade (light filtering) was only about $8,  and you can trim them to that's awesome!!

I've stenciled before...but not always with paint.  You can find that tutorial here.  I'm a huge fan of Royal Design Studio stencils, because they have good quality stencils as well as incredibly beautiful designs.

 I also got to see their lovely stencil creme colors in person,
as they were sponsors at the Haven Conference.  The colors are to die for!
Stenciling ain't what it used to be...
their stencils look like expensive wallpaper!!!

So, when they offered me a stencil of my choice....
I screamed....really I did!!
I had entered their Pinterest contest, and had stencil envy!  You can find my board here for lots of fun stencil ideas.

I'm a huge houndstooth fan, and had been eye-ing that stencil for awhile.  So I went for the all over houndstooth wall design stencil.  It's from their Modern stencil collection, which also has some other super cool designs like zebra, chevron, and chain link etc.

 My 14 year old son's room has been in need of window treatments for...
6 years now, and he liked the houndstooth idea too.
Gollygeewhiz, he deserves an award,
cuz he never complained! and he was so agreeable!!
I had already hung some canvas drape panels, but he had to keep closing them if he didn't want the sun to glare in his eyes every morning.
This is what you need:

REPOSITIONABLE spray mount adhesive (Michael's)
Martha Stewart Satin craft paint in beetle black (Michael's)
Large & medium pouncer sponge brushes
 Royal Design Studio stencil
roller shade (mine is Levolor light filtering @Lowe's)
Matte spray poly sealer

*The MS craft paint is thicker than most, and has great coverage.  The thicker the acrylic paint, the less "bleeding" you will have.  If I was using this stencil on a wall, the creme paint would be ideal.

 I wanted the stencil design centered on the shade, so I marked at the top of the stencil, where the center of the design was with a sharpie dot.

 I rolled out the shade onto a large rectangle table and marked
(on the cardboard roller) the center of the shade.

"Lightly" spritz the back of the stencil with the repositionable spray adhesive, and line up the center dots.  The light filtering vinyl is thin, so I wanted to be careful with the adhesive.

You want your design level, so I made sure my stencil edge was the same distance from the shade edge at the top, middle and bottom.  Press the stencil down, making sure all the crisp edges are secure.

Don't worry if the vinyl puckers a tad (mine did in the center of the "tooth" shape after I adhered the stencil to it, but it painted out fine).

Squirt a little bit of the paint in a small bowl, and dab the sponge pouncer in the paint.  I unloaded that first dab in the center of the design, then pounced my way to the edges.

You want to limit the paint from getting under the stencil edges.
When done with first pattern, carefully hold vinyl while pulling stencil up and away from project.  I layed my stencil (adhesive side down) onto a poster board, while paint was drying.

Once the paint was dry, I went back and dabbed on a little more paint in a few areas where it needed it.  Might not have this issue if you're using a light blocking shade.

 As you can see in the picture, not all my edges were super crisp...I had some seepage...but it isn't that noticeable when the shades are hanging up, so I didn't mess with trying to touch it up.

When the paint is dry, use the guidelines on the stencil to line it up against the painted houndstooth designs.  These laser lines were awesome and made positioning the stencil so easy!  Measure again along the side to keep it level, and you're ready to paint section 2.

After painting sections all the way down, I worked the sections on the sides until all were completed.  I also decided to paint the lower 1" border on the front and back (where the plastic thingy slides in).

When it was completely dry, I sprayed the painted shade with a matte poly sealer.  Mod Podge makes one,
 just whichever one you have on hand.
This will keep the craft paint from sticking.
Shade completed!!  Now if I can just get him to clean up his room, then I could show you the rest.
That would be an awesome Before and After!

Thank you Royal Design Studios for the stencil!!  I love the big and bold houndstooth stencil!!   Do you like it's big and bold awesomeness???

 But wait...check back here in a few days...there might just be a
 *cough giveaway cough*, if you know what I mean!  oh yeah...

Party Linkups:  Home Stories A 2 Z 
Serenity Now 
Tatertots and Jello 
DIY Showoff 
Beneath My Heart  
NY Melrose Family 
The Winthrop Chronicles 
Savvy Southern Style 

Disclaimer:  Royal Design Studios provided me with the stencil of my choice to review, but I was in no way obligated to write a positive review.  This review was totally words, my opinions, my, me, me!


  1. This is fabulous! I wish we had roller shades, but we have 1980's verticals - ugh!

  2. Wow...I never even thought to do that!!....The shade is beautifully amazing!....I thought I would try my hand at replacing the vinyl with fabric, but this is great!!....Love it!

  3. Janis, I love everyhing about the shade! Great choice of stencil and color. You did an amazing job!

  4. Checking to see if you can reply if I use my google account instead :)

  5. Are you kidding me??? Super duper awesome! What a cool hip kid! This really is amazing, Janis. LOVE!

  6. This is FABULOUS---it makes me want roller shades!

  7. You are just too too crafty janis, I love IT! Your daughters must love this about you---this is so cool!

  8. Janis, I really like this idea. I have 2 windows in my MB that will need re-doing soon, so I'm glad I saw this post. You have given me inspiration!

  9. Yes I love its big and bold awesomeness! They look GREAT!

  10. Hi Janis,

    I came across your post while googling for tips about painting vinyl roller shades. I see that you posted this almost a year ago. Can you tell if your roller shade still looks good? I am thinking about painting mine but I am afraid the paint might crack or peel after a while. Thanks!


    1. Jenny, the shades have held up great! There is no peeling, cracking, or sticking. The key is definitely spraying the poly sealer when the paint is dry. This has kept it from sticking to itself when rolled up, and has kept the paint intact! Have fun with it and let me know!!

  11. Hi Janis, Is the paint flexible? I was thinking about doing this but worried the paint would dry hard and make it difficult to roll up. I was also thinking about trying to use self-adhesive patterned contact paper on a vinyl blind but afraid it would make the shade too thick to roll properly. Thoughts? Thanks! --Ellen

  12. Also, did you stencil both sides of the shade? Mine will be on inside French doors between rooms, so I should probably do both sides.

    1. Ellen,
      Sorry it took me so long to reply. The paint I used (Martha Stewart acrylic craft paint) is flexible. The key was to spray the entire shade with a polyurethane sealer, so that when it rolls up, the paint doesn't stick. If I leave mine rolled up for awhile, it acts like it's sticking, but releases.
      I think the self adhesive contact paper is a great idea, and I don't think it would be a problem. I've tried to glue fabric on a vinyl shade and the weight of it didn't allow the shade to roll up. Oops! So I think as long as the pattern isn't too "heavy" that would work great.
      As far as doing the opposing side, I think it depends on what type of vinyl shade you are going to be working with. If you get the light-filtering one, then you would see the design on the outside. If you use the blackout kind, I'm guessing you wouldn't have to worry about the reverse side, which would be a definite plus!
      Let me know how it goes!!!

  13. I wanted to do something to my daughter's shade to make them block the light, would the paint do this if you cover the whole shade? Where did you get the poly spray from?

    1. Yes the paint would definitely make the shade opaque. I used a poly spray that I had from a home improvement store. Any brand would do the trick. Good luck!!


Your comments are treasured here...

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.