7 Stenciling Tips for Newbies

I remember tackling my first ever stenciling project. I was so excited and had a clear picture in my head of how amazing my feature wall would look. I’d seen mum do it loads of times, how hard could it be? I quickly learned that it wasn’t quite that simple! However, the most common mistakes beginners make are actually easily avoided. If you’re a newbie to the stenciling world, read on to gain some helpful hints and tips for your first project.

1. Sizing is key!

Have a good think about how your stencil will fit your space. If you’re stenciling a large surface area, like a floor or feature wall, a big stencil will make your job much easier. However, if you are planning on stenciling a wall with cabinets, plugs sockets or door frames to contend with, a smaller stencil might be better. And if you’re unsure, just drop us a message and we’ll help you pick the right size.

2. Which Paint?

The best type of paint to use for stenciling is chalk paint or water based emulsion. It’s really all down to the consistency of the paint. You need a silky thin texture - dream team for stenciling. Other paints like tile paint and some metallic paints are usually way too thick and can gloop under your stencil, ruining those gorgeous crisp lines. If you’re stenciling a floor and need durability, then we always recommend using a decent primer and a good quality sealant to protect your work.

3. Brush Or Roller?

In a nutshell we’d recommend using both for most projects. A roller is vital for stencilling larger surface areas (massive time saver). Smaller spaces are generally easier to manage with a brush. But even when you’re doing a big project, there’s usually always an awkward spot that is hard to reach with your roller, so a brush can be handy. I like our Large Stencil Brush just because of how nice it fits in my hand. And at £8.48 it’s a bargain!

4. Less is more!

And I’m not just talking about make-up or buttery carbs (who am I kidding you can never have too many buttery carbs!). The #1 mistake EVERYONE makes.......using too much paint! Honestly, only a teeny tiny amount of paint is needed. We use a rough bit of cardboard or scrap paper to rub off access paint before we start stencilling. Just have a practice yourself to nail the technique before you bite the bullet and get stuck into your project.

5. Get Flexible

All of our stencils are made from190micron Mylar, which is flexible enough for you to bend and push into the corner of your wall to get right in there and stencil up to the edge. This little trick is much easier with two pairs of hands! So get a friend round to help out and keep a steady supply of brews. If you're a bit OCD and want to achieve a nice clean edge, use making tape to create a border line. 

6. Take It Easy! 

Mistakes add character. Just manage your expectations and roll with the little imperfections that come your way. It’s all about having fun creating something special in your home. Your first project doesn’t have to be perfect, take the pressure off, and just enjoy it!

7. Cleaning

Sometimes you might need to clean your stencil part way through your project due to a build up of paint. If you just crack on without cleaning you’ll notice your lines won’t be as crisp and neat. Soak your stencil in hot soapy water and the paint will lift easily. If you have a big project always buy two stencils so you can continue with your job while one stencil is soaking clean. Try to avoid scrubbing your stencil as this is likely to cause damage, especially with intricate designs.

I really hope this helps you with your first project. We love hearing back from you lovely people, so let us know if you’d like more hints and tips like this, and please send through your before and afters. Happy stencilling!

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Hi I have just bought your large jungle leaf and fern stencils. I want to use on my garden fence. I will stick the outline of the stencils on with masking tape but I’m thinking the feather fronds will still wave around. Is there a glue I can use to stick these to the fence but still allow me to peel the stencil off when I have finished without damaging it? Also, can I use the stencils either way around? Thanks


Thanks for all your help & advice both here & ebay
I feel more confident reading this & knowing I ain’t really totally alone
Thanks, you get 5***** I hope I can hehe

Diane Elizabeth Marr

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