Stenciling is a perfect option to add pattern and color to your space. There’s no risk of damaging the walls and you can just paint over it later.
I’ve easily spent 10-20 hours on extensive projects such as a large bedroom walls and shared completed projects on a previous blog post http://desperatecraftwife.com/2018/04/22/diy-wall-stencil/. I have a lot of experience but it’s something anyone can do. Remember we all start out as beginners!
Are you interested on HOW to stencil? Keep on reading….I’m taking you along step by step as I stencil sharing every step. I’m a long winded girl so there’s a lot to read but here’s all of my tips.
CHOOSING A STENCIL
Once you decide you’d like to stencil an area go online trolling stencil options. My favorite website to buy stencils from is http://www.cuttingedgestencils.com.
The site shows lots of examples of how the stencils were used in a variety of ways helping you visualize your project. Some stencils will allow most of the wall color to show and the stencil color is an outline and less prominent. Some stencils you will fill in a lot of the wall color with the stencil color. Examine the photos for a good idea of your outcome.
I chose the chain link stencil for these projects. While it’s a classic it will add pattern and drama to my space. You can make the pattern demure or bold like I am by stenciling in black. The options are limitless!
UNPACKING and STORAGE
When your stencil arrives take it from the box and lay it out on a flat surface. Take good care of your stencil by keeping it flat and wash it between use gently with dish soap. You can use them many times if paint is removed between use. I hang mine on a skirt hanger in the closet or lay flat for storage between use.
- Base paint color for touch up
- Stencil paint- can be acrylic or latex
- Dense foam roller
- Painters tape (I love frog tape)
- A tray or plate for paint
- Mr Clean eraser, wet paper towels for any drips or drops
- Small paint brushes for touch up
Make sure the walls you are going to work on are in good condition. Clean off any marks, fill any holes, dust the baseboards etc. If you freshly painted the walls or touched up you should wait 24 hours to stencil. The base color should be low sheen such as flat or eggshell. The shinier the paint sheen the more difficult it is for the stencil paint to affix and can bleed under and out.
Textured walls aren’t recommend due to paint seeping under the stencil. However, I tried it on this small textured wall area to the left in the entry. I had great success painting stripes on a textured wall upstairs so I was optimistic. After I’m warmed up I’m also going to do a larger non-textured wall in the guest bathroom.
Once your walls pass inspection go ahead and tape off the baseboards, edges, ceiling etc. I don’t tape when painting walls but I tape EVERYTHING when stenciling.
Remove any outlets, blinds or obstacles. Press your tape down really well and don’t forget to remove it slowly when you are finished.
You can stencil with a roller or a brush. I prefer a small dense roller. **If I can impress anything it’s this- you don’t want to get too much paint on the roller and you should apply even pressure for even color/coverage**
Practice your technique on a piece of cardboard, wood scrap, basement wall etc just to get a feel for it. Try using 2 plates- one to drag the roller through paint on and the other to roll off excess until it’s almost dry. Try out a full paint pan using one side to roll off excess paint.
Again-even coverage creates even color. If you use too much paint it increases the chance of seepage.
This small wall is serving as my practice space but it’s a risky move since it’s in the entryway.
You can use painters tape to attach your stencil to the wall or spayed adhesive. I prefer taping it personally. Make sure the stencil is level then tape it along the ceiling.
Start at the ceiling and do a row from the top down then repeat from the ceiling again. You will have a part of the stencil design that connects one row of the stencil to the next that ensure the pattern lines up. You will use the rolling technique moving the stencil and retaping as needed. At the baseboard or in some awkward corners you may need to use a small brush. Remember not to apply too much paint to your roller. Repeat until the wall surface is complete. Congratulations this part moves along pretty quickly.
When you are finished with the overall stencil you need to go back in and fill in with a smaller stencil included in your package. This is time consuming and tedious work. Be patient and take your time using a small brush if needed. Taking care now means less touch up! Using a brush you will dab carefully applying with an almost dry brush until you match the roller coverage.
Here is where you can lose your ever loving mind or choose to be rational. This is a hand painted stenciled image NOT a wallpaper. There will be imperfections. You can spend as many hours touching up as you did stenciling! Take a small brush and go for the more obvious touch ups then step back and live with it a bit. No one will be as critical as you are.
Wash the paint off the stencil with soap and water after each use. Paint build up warps the stencil over time so it’s best to give it some TLC.
Do I love this wall stenciled? I love the stencil but something is bugging me about it. I decided it is the carpet and don’t love the carpet on stairs. Cue: a future project….
Happy stenciling ~