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Creating a Faux Ceiling Medallion with Cutting Edge Stencils


When heard the word stencil, I used to involuntarily cringe slightly. I pictured those cutesy country stencils my mom used to use with geese, apples, and hearts on them. (Sorry Mom.) But, that all changed last week when Cutting Edge Stencils sent me a beautiful Georgian Ceiling Medallion Stencil!

Isn’t that stunning? I can picture it at the top of a grande foyer. Sadly our ceilings are only 8′ tall and our rooms are small. But, that didn’t matter, because I was able to alter the stencil for our ceilings:

First I watched one of their tutorial videos online and I thought to myself. Oh yes, I can do that, it looks super easy! And it was, kind of….

…at this point I need to caution anyone who has never used a stencil before. You might want to try your first stencil project on a wall or a flat work surface. NOT on a ceiling. Standing on a table and trying to hold the stencil, tape and keep the stencil in place is not for a newbie. It definitely helps to have a helper (one at least 5 feet tall. Little children won’t work for helpers on this one.) I managed by myself using my noggin’!

I definitely have to credit Cutting Edge Stencils with their high quality stencil and foam paint roller. Without them, this would have ended up as a HUGE craft fail! Instead, despite a slightly buckling stencil (and working in Michaelangelo type conditions), the results were very professional and something I am proud of!

So, without further obscure references to great painters, here is my tutorial for creating a faux ceiling medallion with a stencil.



(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

* And preferably an assistant!


Measure the diameter of the canopy (round plate that sits flush against the ceiling and hides the electrical junction box) for your light fixture.

Then remove the canopy by unscrewing the nut in the middle.

Let the canopy hang down on your chain.

Determine how much stencil will overlap the canopy.

Cut the center section out of the stencil. (The only way around cutting the stencil if if you remove your light fixture and push the wires into the wiring box. But, I was too lazy to do that, so I cut instead.)

Save the cut out stencil so you can re-attach it later with tape or use the stencil on another project.

Tape off any sections of the stencil you don’t want to use. I chose to use the inner circle portion of the Georgian Ceiling Medallion Stencil.

Spray the back of the stencil with spray mount. This will help hold the stencil to the ceiling.

Go grab an assistant to help you position your stencil on the ceiling. Center it on the middle of your light fixture box. It may help to draw “cross hairs” coming out of your fixture box with a pencil. Personally I just eyeballed it.

Tape the edges of your stencil with painter’s tape. The tape that was masking off the rest of the design actually came in handy as it held the stencil up midway from the edges.

Mix up your paint onto a pallet or paper plate. I chose a very light grayish cream color to mimic the shadow colors in my dining room. The color I tried to match it to is Glidden Carolina Strand #A1786.

Layout a bunch of paper towels folded up that you can roll your roller on until it is almost dry. Roll your roller into the paint, then “dry” it off on the paper towels. Roll your paint roller carefully over stencil. Don’t push too hard or the paint may seep under the stencil. Continue rolling until your entire stencil has been filled in.

Gently remove your stencil and wipe any paint overage with a baby wipe or rag.

Reposition your stencil on the opposite side. Take your time lining up the stencil with already painted side.

Repeat the same steps above to paint the second half of your medallion.

If you missed any spots, you can touch them up with a small artist’s paint brush.

13. Replace your light fixture’s ceiling plate and admire your new ceiling medallion!

I’m so happy with how the design turned out, and I will never cringe at the word stencil again!

It definitely adds some interest to an otherwise plain Jane ceiling.

Do you like it? You really have to see some of the amazing stencils that Cutting Edge Stencils has to offer. Some of my favorites are this adorable silverware set:

And this stencil creates a great alternative to wallpaper (the bane of my existence!):

And if only there were more girls in our boy-filled house, I’d buy this:

So you see, wall stencils can be a beautiful thing ;-).

Hey, I wanted to let you know that this crafty blogger, Kristina, interviewed me the other day. You can read a little more about my addictions and my favorite blogging moment on her blog, Pearl Gateway. And give her a little comment love if you have a moment. She’s getting ready to make a major move to Tennessee! She could probably use a few uplifting words.

See ya later alligator!

27 replies
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  1. HudsonHero
    HudsonHero says:

    I had to comment after I saw this post. Love the look! In the past I have thought stencils have looked cheesy but this project proves me wrong.This post is a copy/file away for “when I have time” post.(more like my dreamer file) I had thought I was going to try the dandalion idea you did but now..

  2. Suz in Florida
    Suz in Florida says:

    Great stenciling idea. Hadn’t thought to cut it down … but guess you could also ‘blow it out’ by cutting all the pieces apart and using them individually to make the entire stencil larger if necessary.

    Oh, BTW … I love the light blue border on each side of your webpage. I’ve no doubt it would be b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l as a stencil!!

  3. Maude
    Maude says:

    I recently made a pretty massive medallion around my dining room chandelier out of plaster and it was incredibly difficult. The idea of doing it with a stencil is pretty interesting because it would save weeks and weeks of making plaster molds. Very beautiful job:)


  4. rachiti
    rachiti says:

    I ADORE this stencil! I hadn’t ever thought of recreating those medallions. I love period architecture but I also love modern. This will give me that old world feel without seeming out of place in an open concept home.

  5. Melinda KE
    Melinda KE says:

    Wow, that turned out nice! I never would have thought to use a stencil on a ceiling but it looks great. I love the yellow wall with the big flowers, it almost looks like wall paper.

  6. ColleenwithMurals&More
    ColleenwithMurals&More says:

    You crack me up, Brittany! When you said you used your noggin’, I couldn’t wait to see how you figured out how to apply the ceiling stencil . . . til I saw the picture! Ha!

    Here’s my question – how’d you get pics? Hmm . . . either you have a tripod with a camera timer or you had an assistant that is more stencil-impaired than I am!

    Actually I just stenciled for the first time in years and was pleasantly surprised. Ducks & geese? Yeah, I remember the days. (ewww) 😀

    Beautiful project. Adds great detail!

    • Brittany (aka Pretty Handy Girl)
      Brittany (aka Pretty Handy Girl) says:

      Ah ha! I was waiting for this comment from someone ;-). Wondering why that assistant taking the pictures didn’t help me. Well, are partially correct. I have a tripod AND a remote control for my Canon Rebel! These two have proved invaluable for projects where I need my both hands. Well, I still have to use one hand to press the remote. But, I can set the camera on a timed delay as well.

      Thanks for your comment.

  7. Laura M
    Laura M says:

    I love using stencils! I was very impressed with the work you did overhead. It turned out BEAUTIFULLY! The gorgeous medallions are something that I miss after leaving Europe. I think that I might just go ahead and do this to bring that little reminder back into our home.

  8. Lindsay
    Lindsay says:

    I love this idea! Now if i only didn’t have popcorn ceilings. I’ll have to check these guys out, I’ve been in the market for some stencils for a couple upcoming projects.

  9. Kristina
    Kristina says:

    Wow Brittany, that looks great – you make it look so easy! I would definitely try this. I stopped over to see your stencil, and got to the bottom; you are so kind.

    Thanks for sharing (both the stencil and me!) ;-D


  10. Deborah
    Deborah says:

    Brittany, that is beautiful! I too lived through the cutesy stencil era, and have no desire to revisit that, but I do love the modern stencils today. I have a very tall ceiling in my back entry that this would look great on. One more project added to my list…thanks a lot! HA! Seriously though, I’m not entirely happy unless I’m creating something 🙂

  11. Richella @ Imparting Grace
    Richella @ Imparting Grace says:

    Stencils have definitely come a long way, baby. I was a new bride back when your mom was covering things with geese and hearts. I wish I had a dollar for everything I stencilled! But honestly, since I honed my craft back then, I should try one of these beautiful stencils–if you say they’re well-made, they must be good. Your ceiling medallion looks beautiful! And Michelangelo would be so proud of the fact that you knew that the original stencil wasn’t proportioned quite right for 8′ ceilings. You did a great job of altering it for your purposes!


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