How To Stencil - Floors



What you will need:

Floor Stencil

Dense Foam Roller

Stencil brush

Paint (including primer and sealant)

Scrap paper/card

Masking tape (painters tape)

Paint Tray


Sandpaper (120 grit)



If you’re new to stenciling, we always recommend you practice first to perfect your technique.  Just use a scrap bit of paper, or an old pizza box if you have a large stencil.


If you’re painting existing tiles, your stencil should be made a couple of millimetres smaller than your tiles to get a nice clean finish. We are more than happy to make you a bespoke stencil at no extra cost, just get in touch when you place your order. If you’re stenciling onto a concrete or wood floor, size isn’t an issue and we have multi-tile options that save loads of time.

It is so important to make sure your floor is squeaky clean before you start painting. You will need to sand your surface too, to create a bit of extra grip for the primer. Priming your floor before painting is a must; there are different primers for different surfaces, so you are best asking for some advice at your local DIY store if you’re unsure on what type to buy. 


We recommend using either chalk paint or water-based matt emulsion for the basecoat and stenciling.  The stencil will need cleaning after several applications and more robust paints can be difficult to clean off the stencil. 

You may wish to use the primer as your basecoat.  But if your primer has a shiny finish to it you may find, when stenciling, that you experience a lot of paint bleed under the stencil.   This is because the paint is 'sitting on top of' the primer instead of being absorbed into it.  If this does happen lightly sand the primed surface and apply a basecoat of emulsion or chalk paint which will be more absorbent.


The number one mistake most people make when stenciling for the first time is using way too much paint, this leads to bleeding under the stencil, and no one wants fuzzy lines! It’s surprising how little paint you actually need. Apply a small amount of paint to your roller, and then roll off any excess paint on a scrap bit of paper/card. Your sponge needs to be touch dry, so paint only comes through when you apply pressure. The same applies when using a stencil brush.


Secure your stencil with masking tape (painters tape) at each corner of the stencil.

Roller: Your roller should be touch dry before you begin. Start to roll over your stencil with a light pressure. The aim is to build the paint in layers, so start with a light pressure and go from there, you can always press on harder when you’re sure the paint won’t seep and bleed under your stencil. This way you are in total control, and can achieve the finish you like. For a textured effect just apply less layers, if you want a block colour just keep building it up.

Brush: You may need to use your brush for any awkward corners and to go around toilets, sinks and baths. Make sure your brush is touch dry before you begin. There are two stenciling techniques when using a brush: stabbing or rubbing. Stabbing is where you stipple the paint gradually by lightly stabbing over the stencil. Rubbing is where your brush doesn’t leave the surface and you lightly rub in circular motions over the stencil. Jasmin’s a stabber and Marie’s a rubber, give both techniques a try to find your favourite!


Our stencils are flexible enough to bend into the edges of your floor. Tape one side of your stencil to the wall, then hold the other side in your hand and push the stencil into the edge. We have taken time to test 190 and 250 micron Mylar, and the 190 that we now use will bend easily into the edge of your floor.   Use your other hand to paint over the stencil. To achieve a clean edge use masking tape. Stencil up to and onto the tape. When you remove the tape, voila, a lovely clean finished edge!

You may need to cut your stencil if you have some awkward areas to stencil.  If you have 2 stencils you will have a spare tile to cut up.


To make sure your new beautifully tiled floor is durable, use at least 4-5 coats of sealant. Lightly sanding in-between each coat will increase the durability. If your floor space gets a lot of traffic, we recommend you add a couple of extra coats on top of that. This may seem like a lot, but let’s be honest, you do not want to see that beautiful paint work damaged! Definitely worth the effort, we promise.


Clean your stencil by soaking in warm soapy water. If you have used chalk paint or water based emulsion this should easily rub off. You shouldn’t need to scrub your stencil clean. However, if you have used more robust paints or oil based paint, cleaning the stencil will be more difficult.  You may want to wipe the stencil after each application.  Try to avoid scrubbing any delicate areas as the stencil may break.

Having 2 stencils speeds up your project.  Soak one stencil clean while you continue your project with the other stencil, just keep alternating until you have finished.  Winner winner chicken dinner!


Have you joined our facebook group called Dizzy Duck Designs?  Its a group where our customers share their projects and advice with each other.  Its a really friendly encouraging place to get advice from people who have stenciled all kinds of surfaces and used all kinds of apints, primers, sealers, brushes etc.