How to Get Your Stencil Project Right the First Time and Every Time

Stenciling is a great way of decorating surfaces in and around the house, like walls, floors, and furniture. You can stencil on virtually every material, including wood, brick, metal, fabric, and paper. In addition to boosting the décor of your home, stenciling inspires creative satisfaction that you cannot match with store-bought items. Once you know the technique, stenciling is easy and affordable to boot. According to Forbes, you can easily get swayed when you are attracted to various styles. Creative minds appreciate so many diverse aesthetics. However, it will not be sensible to use it all in a single room. You need to consider your aesthetics and lifestyle that may work best in your unique living space. Some handy tips to stencil like a pro:

Get Your Supplies Together

Stenciling is not only about a stencil, brush, and paint. You also need a spray adhesive or painter’s tape to secure the stencil on the surface and a paint tray to blend paints for creating custom colors. You should have a stencil brush with a rounded head, a roller, and a sponge to create various effects and apply paint uniformly. Since stenciling is done best with a dry brush, you should have plenty of rags or paper towels to offload the excess paint. You must have a plumber’s level and a measuring tape to properly align and measure the stencil.

Prepare the Surface before Stenciling 

While you can stencil on a variety of surfaces, you will need to smoothen heavily textured or rough surfaces. It is because the paint will bleed underneath the nativity stencil if it cannot lie flat on the surface, making full contact with it. The method of cleaning and prepping differs depending on the kind of surface. If you start stenciling on an unprepared surface with dust, dirt, old paint, oil, etc., the new paint will not adhere to the surface properly and will peel off soon. While wiping down with a soapy water solution works well for most hard surfaces, you can use a solution of water and vinegar with a teaspoon of Borax for better results. You should sand down wooden surfaces, wash them with the cleanser, and let them dry before starting to stencil. Rusted metal is cleaned best by scrubbing with vinegar and baking soda solution while you need to scrape off peeling paint from walls.

Focus on Stenciling without Bleed

You need to master the art of stenciling without bleeding paint for getting a crisp edge. You cannot keep applying the paint mindlessly. There are many tricks and tips for getting outstanding results.

Secure Your Stencil in Place

Use a spray adhesive or painter’s tape to stabilize your wall stencil. You need to ensure that your brush will not get caught at the edge of your stencil and will not move. You may consider spraying the adhesive lightly at the back of the stencil before placing it at the perfect spot on the wall. You may use painter’s tape on all sides and even the corners to hold your stencil firmly over the area you wish to paint. A painter’s tape will help prevent the stencil from moving or lifting while you are painting.

Use Dry Brushing Technique 

The golden rule for stenciling is to use minimum paint. You should keep offloading excess paint from your applicator to your stack of folded paper towels or even a rag. This technique is called dry brushing.


The finish can be exciting. You may be waiting eagerly to see the results but exercise caution and be patient. Allow the paint to dry completely. You may wait patiently for a few minutes only. Wet paint may cause bleeding if you lift the stencil prematurely. Remember that your patience will pay!

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