How To Stencil - Walls
What you will need:
Dense Foam Roller
Masking tape (painters tape)
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.
SIZING YOUR PROJECT
We offer 2 different sizes of wall stencils – Large and Small, both different in pattern size and sheet size. Assess the size of your wall and whether you want the pattern to be smaller and busier or larger and more bold and choose the wall stencil accordingly.
If you have a larger project having 2 stencils can save time. Stencils need cleaning after several applications as paint builds up. This causes bleed under the stencil creating blotchy lines which you do not want! To clean the stencil we recommend soaking in warm soapy water until the paint easily rubs off, no vigorous scrubbing needed! Soak one stencil clean while you continue your project with the other stencil. Winner winner chicken dinner!
POSITION YOUR STENCIL
If you have an edging strip included with your wall stencil, use this at the top of your wall to get a nice clean crisp finish. There will be repeat parts of the pattern on the top edge that will allow you to align the main wall stencil. You can use a measuring tape and spirit level if you want to make sure the design is perfectly straight. Secure your stencil with masking tape (painters tape) at each corner of the stencil. Start at the top of your wall in the centre and then use the repeat marks to work outwards and then down. Every stencil has a guide to help you reposition your stencil.
***HANDY TIP - LESS IS MORE***
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.
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 plug sockets and wall fixtures. 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 wall. 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 wall. Use your other hand to paint over the stencil. To achieve a clean edge use masking tape approx 1-2 cm in from the wall edge. 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 an irregular shaped wall, or if you need to stencil up to wall fixtures. If you know this is the case before you start your project, it might be better for you to buy 2 stencils. There are regular multi-buy discount offers on our website. If you only have 1 stencil and need to cut it, save this section to the very end, and then use scissors to cut your stencil to size.
To get around light switches and plug sockets, loosen the screws and stencil behind the fittings, just like you do when wallpapering.
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 oil based paint, the appropriate method to remove this paint could potentially cause damage to your stencil. Try to avoid scrubbing any delicate areas as the stencil may break.