“Where the spirit does not work with the hand there is no art.”

- Leonardo da Vinci

How to Stencil

Stenciling isn't difficult once you get the hang of it.

  • I tape down my stencils after placing them. Some use spray adhesive on the back to keep the stencil in place, but then you have to deal with getting the adhesive off the back once done. Taping with cheap painter's tape works fine.
  • Acrylic paint is most often used, but you can use any paint. Just realize you will need to adjust your technique based on the thickness of each paint. I have found that stenciling with chalk paint is easy, but very hard to clean off your stencils because it adheres so well.
  • If you put on a thin layer of poly first and let it dry completely, you will be able to stencil right over it and wipe off any mistakes you might make. See video below.
  • Be sure to offload most of your paint beforehand onto a paper plate or paper towel - it will help prevent bleed under the stencil.
  • Pounce the brush straight up around the stencil rotating your brush to use up all the paint before getting more.
  • Check intermittently by lifting up a corner of the stencil, leaving most of it still taped down.
  • After the paint is dry, you can stencil another image over it and/or distress with sandpaper.
  • Topcoat when paint is dry.

Crisp Tape Lines Using the Stencil Method

Cleaning Your Stencils

Creative Stenciling

  • Using Gloss Poly to Stencil - left
  • Shadow Stenciling - below

Centering the Stencil & Planning the Design

Stencil Prep & Coordinating Your Paint w/ Base Paint Using Tints