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Stenciled Lace-Print Folding Screen

The delicate lace design on this screen only looks complicated. In a reversal of stenciling norms, the central motif is unpainted; light-gold paper is accentuated by a dappled coat of copper-pink paint.

Source: Martha Stewart Living, September 2008


To create a continuous pattern, the screen's hinges are removed so the panels lie flush with one another. We added a touch of magenta to the metallic copper paint for a rosy hue.

When stenciling, pat the sponge in a dab of paint, and blot excess on the palette. Then apply paint in thin coats, taking care that it doesn't drip or pool, until the area is covered. If a design requires several colors, use a separate sponge for each. You may opt to adjust a paint's transparency or mix hues.

Resources: 3-inch sea sponges,; Foil wallpaper in Aluminum,; 8.2-by-9.6-inch vintage range Lace Repeat stencil,


  • Multipanel folding screen (hinges removed), covered with gold wallpaper

  • 24 ounces acrylic paint in metallic copper and 2 to 3 ounces in magenta

  • Jar with lid

  • Palette knife

  • Small sheet of glass (palette)

  • Lace stencil

  • Natural sea sponge


  1. Lay panels side by side on a covered surface. Mix paints in jar. Prepare palette with some paint, leaving remainder covered in jar. Place stencil in upper-right corner.

  2. Use sponge to apply paint to stencil. Let dry 3 minutes.

  3. Shift stencil to the left, using the transparent pattern on stencil as a placement guide. Paint as in step 2.


  4. Below the first painted area, stagger stencil to the right, so its left edge aligns with the center of the pattern above it. Paint as in step 2.

  5. Continue painting, alternating placement across and down to create staggered, bricklike rows (to minimize lag time as paint dries).

  6. Reattach hinges.

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