Cloakroom Transformation With Colour and a Zebra Stencil

A guest cloakroom is the perfect space to have fun with colour and design. Take a look at how a boring cloakroom was transformed with some colour and a zebra stencil.

Blue cloakroom with zebra stencil
Image: Anne Roselt @anneroselt


While busy doing a watercolour painting of a zebra I had photographed on a recent trip to Hluhluwe Nature Reserve, I was reminded of the beautiful Scalamandre Wallpaper.

Image: Anne Roselt My zebra water colour painting in progress

With a guest cloakroom on my to do list, I was inspired to stencil my zebra painting on the walls. The only problem was I hadn’t stenciled a room in years!

But it was just a small cloakroom so how hard could it be?

Making The Stencils

I got out my dusty stencil books which mostly recommend stencil paper, but as my art shop didn’t have any I got some A3 card and transparency sheets instead.

After making a few changes to my painting to make it more suitable for stencilling, I transferred my design onto the card and cut it out.

I cut two stencils for the body of the zebra and one stencil for the stripes.

Cut Zebra Stencil
Image; Anne Roselt @anneroselt

Tip: I highly recommend getting a cutting matt on which to cut your stencils because you don’t want to ruin your surfaces.

Note: If cutting stencils is not for you, you can buy Zebra stencils on line.

Selecting The Paint Colour

This is my favorite part, however the paint colour can often surprise you as the light has a big effect on colour and may result in the colour looking nothing like you had in mind.

Because the cloakroom lacked a lot of light, I wanted to use that to my advantage and create something bold.

I selected a deep marine blue water-based paint and painted a colour swatch on a piece of card so that I could see how the colour looked on the different walls.

The classic blue would create a sense of space in the small room as well as add cooling and calming qualities.

Comparing blue swatches for a colour makeover
Image: Anne Roselt @anneroselt

While the deeper blue looked great near the light, it was a bit too dark and almost purple in the darker areas, so I added some white and a touch of blue stainer until the colour was just right.

Tip: In addition to allowing you to view your colour on different walls and light conditions, painting colours on a piece of card is great to keep for your records.

How To Paint The Zebra Stencil

Firstly get all your equipment together:

  • Cut stencils – two of each is ideal, although I just cut two of the body.
  • Masking tape
  • Black and white water-based paint.
  • Newspaper to dab excess paint.
  • A level if you want the zebras to be in line.
  • A drop sheet
  • Damp cloth to clean any mistakes quickly.
  • A ladder

Secondly, decide where you want your zebras to go, I made 5 photocopies which I placed around the room to give me an idea of where I wanted them to go.

Thirdly, place your stencil on the wall as securely as you can, but beware of the masking tape pulling off the base paint. I reduced the stickiness of mine by placing it on the floor before sticking it on the stencil and wall.

Finally you are ready to load your roller with the white paint for the body.

Tip: Be sure to test the stencil on some newspaper first to test

Note: Too much paint on your roller will result in it seeping through the stencil, so roll excess paint off first.

Once you have completed all the zebra bodies, you are ready to do the black zebra stripes.

Stencilling a zebra stencil

I chose a brush to stencil the stripes as a roller does not get in the small spaces.

Again, be sure to take off the excess paint so that the paint does not seep under the stencil.

Tip: The card bends when it is wet so I would lay it under some heavy books to flatten after using it on three zebras.

The Transformation

The before and after says it all.

Guest cloakroom before a makeover

A colour transformation with a zebra stencil

Guest Cloakroom Transformation After
Image: Anne Roselt @anneroselt

This was a such a fun project to do and the client is over the moon, which always makes me happy.

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