I have a collection of journals that I use for various designated purposes. For example, I have a sermon journal, a mission journal, and I also have a separate journal for each academic course I teach. I don't like to write on plain white pages. Instead, I prep the pages with generic layers of watercolors. Generally I prefer to use layers of stenciling. To speed things up (and do more background pages quicker) I spritz the watercolors using a spray bottle with diluted watercolors from a tube. If/when the colors are too strong, I'll literally drown out (and mute down) the excess color by over-spritzing with a light color.
The flower garden border came off a bit strong with the purple watercolor spray so I drenched it with pale yellow.
Bonus extra: take the (messy) stencil and press it face down on a fresh page.
It is initially quite strong. Press with a paper towel to absorb some of the extra color (if desired). The bold look is great but it can be difficult to journal over; so adjust according to your expected use.