Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Breakin' the Rules Guide to Stencilling

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Dare I say it, I am a rebel and I rarely follow the rules. When it comes to stencilling, for sure I do my own thing.

For instance, these stencilling tips from About.com:

Grey base coat with silver craft paint stencilled on.

About.com Stenciling Tip 1: Use a Professional Tool -- Stencilling brushes are round with short, stiff bristles. Use it in a quick up-and-down movement to dab paint onto your stencil. This helps prevent paint getting under the edges. A sponge or small roller works well too.

Seriously? I use sponges, rags, stencil brushes, plastic bags. Really any thing that I have on hand and can grab real quick.

About.com Stenciling Tip 2: Work from The Outside

Start panting on the edges of the stencil, working into the centre, rather than from the centre outwards. Again this helps prevent paint getting under the edges as you're less likely to accidentally bump the brush against an edge.

Facelift in upstairs bathroom includes this
stencilled feature wall.

Wow, I never even knew this and yet all the years I have done stencils, I don't think I've ever had a problem with paint getting under the edges. Okay, maybe I have a few times but that's what you keep the base color handy for!

About.com Stenciling Tip 3: Less is More

Don't overload a brush with paint as it'll seep under the edges of the stencil. Load the brush lightly, so that the ends of the bristles are covered evenly; wipe off any excess on a piece of paper or cloth.

Okay, this is true but I am definitely not this careful. I slap some paint on and stencil away. Remember the words, 'touch up'. Always keep a little of the base coat handy for quick touch ups.

About.com Stenciling Tip 4: Think Thin

You'll get better results by applying two thin coats rather than one thick one. Wait for the first to dry before applying the second.

NEVER have I done this. I don't have time to go back for a second coat!

About.com Stenciling Tip 5: Get Sticky

Keep a stencil in place by taping it at the top and bottom with a piece of tape. Low-tack tape is best as it's very easy to remove and shouldn't pull off any paint from the surface.

Yes, tape does help and in hard to reach or tricky places I use it. Most of the time, I hold it in place with one hand and apply the paint with the other.

Okay, tips 6 - 8 I don't even do so I did not include them.

This shelf once belonged downstairs.
Repurposing to the bathroom updo!

About.com Stenciling Tip 9: Wash Regularly

Not you, your stencil! If you're doing a repeat design, wash your stencil regularly in warm water to keep the edges free of paint. If there's some paint on an edge, you won't get a crisp edge to your painted stencil. As paper stencils don't lend themselves to washing, acetate stencils are better for repeat designs. With a paper or card stencil, wipe off the excess paint, then leave the stencil for a bit so the paint on it dries, before using it again.

That is a huge amount of work. I do let the paint dry in between each application but that's about it.

About.com Stenciling Tip 10: Store stencils Flat

A stencil, obviously, needs to be flat to be usable. To stop it from buckling, put it between two pieces of card and store it somewhere flat, such as in a book or telephone directory.

Yeah, I see the point in this but seriously I throw it up on my craft shelf and lay it flat. Never have stacked them between a book or anything and they work perfect every time.

The Decorating Chica's Stenciling Tips:
  • Yes you can stencil on a textured wall.
  • No you don't have to use official 'stencil' brushes and paints. Use what you have!
  • Remember, base coat is your friend! Always keep a little handy.
  • Don't feel like you have to use the same pattern that is on the stencil. You can create your own.
  • Use a level it will make this so much easier.
  • Never despair if you mess up and remember, base coat is your friend!
  • If you are not precise with measuring and straight lines, use a stencil that is forgiving. 
    Scroll stencil used in bathroom is a very forgiving
    type of stencil!
    Read more here.
Hooking up this week to:
Trash to Treasure Linky Party at Kammy's Corner
Make it Pretty Monday 
The Power of Paint Party


  1. Love that your did it your way with gorgeous results! I'm featuring it in the PoPP Spotlight.

  2. I absolutely love your tips! and laughed all the way thru them. I found About.coms tips a bit Martha Stewart wanna be and I never have or buy all the products and supplies they say to buy either. I am seriously loving your stenciling on both of those walls, I think the stencil on your purple wall is the same one I used on my DIY painted bamboo blinds, so I am really loving that one a lot!!


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