How To Stencil A Wall

A stencil can be found in many forms, including a cardboard or plastic sheet. With so many options, it can be overwhelming to use one on your wall.
Here’s how to simply stencil your art in your home with almost no effort.

Setting up

stencil prep
If it is a unique motif, position the stencil in the right place by checking its horizontality and level. Make a small pencil mark.
If you’re doing a mural via a stencil, draw a horizontal line with some chalk to underline the lower edge. Coat the underside with some repositionable glue.

Make sure the surface is clean and dry. You’ll need to protect your floor as well.
Apply the stencil on the wall and flatten it with your hand (or lint-free cloth) to prevent any paint to steep underneath.

Prepare your colors next.
Try to go for paints with faster drying time. Acrylic is the obvious choice, but others are also great (e.g. vinyl-based ones). Paint used should not be too liquid, otherwise you risk it going under the stencil or, worse, creating streaks.


painting stencil
To apply your paint, you can choose your tool. Special bristles, small foam rollers, sponges, etc.
With a brush, soak its end and wring it a little before gently dabbing the pain.
For the roller, apply the paint carefully to avoid any runs.
If you’re using a spraying can, remember to protect adjacent surfaces. Keep the can about 10 inches away from the stencil. Work in a regular and continuous movement in the same direction for uniform colors.

Regardless of the tool used, don’t use too much paint. It’s always easier to paint another layer than remove paint.
Wait a couple minutes before removing the stencil from the wall. First lift a corner before gently pulling it.


stencil effect
For a gradient effect, apply a light initial layer. Then fill out the the darker side with the same color but more pronounced. You can also use a second, darker color.
To create a shade effect, apply a lighter color throughout the pattern. Shift the stencil half an inch towards one side, depending on the desired effect. Apply a second, darker layer.

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