How to Paint Walls With Stencils

Two Methods:Prepare the WallApplying the Stencils

Stencils are a great way to add some decorative areas to a room. They can be used to create borders of repeating shapes, to create one large focal point in the room or to add some small touches of decoration wherever they are desired.

Method 1
Prepare the Wall

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    Fill in any cracks in your wall.
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    Smooth out any rough surfaces to make sure the stencils will adhere well.
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    Apply a fresh coat of latex based paint to the wall.
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    Let any new paint dry for at least 24 hours before applying the stencil.

Method 2
Applying the Stencils

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    Position the stencil on the wall, using a level to ensure a straight pattern.
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    Use two to three small pieces of masking tape to hold the stencil in place on the wall.
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    Pour out a small amount of paint onto a paper plate or other flat surface.
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    Dip the end of your brush into the paint, trying not to get more than half the bristles into the paint at once.
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    Tap the brush against some newspaper to help remove excess paint from the brush. The brush should be mostly dry when you apply the paint to the wall. Too much paint on the brush could result in some paint getting beneath the edges of the stencil.
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    Hold the paintbrush at a 90 degree angle to the wall.
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    Tap or dab the brush on the wall through the stencil.
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    Make multiple passes over the same area to help unsure good coverage.
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    Continue until all areas of the stencil have been covered in paint.
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    Remove the tape from the stencil.
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    Reposition it where the design should continue.
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    Repeat the dipping and tapping of the paintbrush on the wall until the design is complete.

Tips

  • Tape the stencil onto a piece of cardboard first and practice your technique before moving onto the wall.
  • Try using different paintbrushes as well as different materials to create textured looks. Sponges, cotton balls and other materials can help create different looks within the shadow.
  • Make more passes over certain areas of the stencil than others to create shadowed, darker or three dimensional looks.
  • Try making your own stencil out of thin cardboard for unique designs. Cut the shape out of the cardboard with a sharp blade to get the desired look.
  • Move left to right on the wall as you stencil if you are right handed, and right to left on the wall if you are left handed. This will help prevent smearing or smudging of the paint as you apply it.

Warnings

  • Never stroke the paint onto the wall and stencil. This will cause the paint to bleed underneath the stencil and will prevent crisp, clean edges on the design.
  • Textured walls or walls with cracks in them can disrupt the stencil pattern. Always make sure the walls are clean and in good repair with a fresh coat of paint before you begin.

Things You'll Need

  • Masking tape
  • Level
  • Paint
  • Flat tipped or domed artist's paintbrush
  • Paper plate
  • Newsprint

Article Info

Categories: Stamping and Stencils