How to Stencil
All stencils come with detailed printed instructions.

CLICK HERE to find our free "How to Stencil" ebook for your ipad.

Stencils can be used on walls, fabric, floors, furniture, bags, clothing, table clothes, umbrellas, and more!

how to stencil

Supply List:


Latex or Acrylic Paint

Dense foam roller with rounded ends and/or a stencil brush

Paint tray or stryrofoam plate

a Level

Low tack painter's tape and Spray adhesive

Paper Towels or rag, cleaning tools, & soap

Sample board (poster board or cardboard for practice)

Step ladder (for taller walls)

Use your sample board to try out your technique and colors. Make sure you like your color choice and are
comfortable with your technique before you start on your actual wall or surface.
Make sure your walls are clean and dust free. Wash your wall even if it seems clean. There is probably
hidden dust on it. Repair and cracks in your wall in advance. If you are painting your wall before adding
a stencil design, make sure that all base coats are fully dried for at least 24 hours before stenciling.

Position your stencil on the wall. Usually somewhere in the middle of the wall. Use a spray adhesive on the
back of your stencil to prevent bleeding. lightly mist (not drench!) the stencil with a well-shaken can of spray
adhesive. We prefer Elmer’s spray adhesive. (The tack will last 1-3 placements) Tape the stencil to your wall
using a few pieces of low tack painters tape. Do not use regular white masking tape. It is way too sticky for
most painted surfaces. When positioning your stencil, be sure to use a level on designs that need to be
perfectly horizontal or vertical.

Put paint on your foam roller by rolling it over your paint several times until the roller is saturated with paint.
Only use a dense foam roller that has rounded edges. (Available at

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how to stencil how to stencil

After you have saturated your foam roller with paint, (3 tablespoons of paint is a good starting point) Blot off the excess paint
onto a paper towel by rolling it back and forth a couple times. There should not be any bubbles of paint
on the roller surface. It should look like it’s dry, but colored. It is better to have less paint on your roller than too much.
Multiple thin layers of paint looks better than a few thick layers.

Any water based paint should work. Acrylics, Latex are best. Roll the stencil with your roller using a light pressure. Be careful
and take your time. Do not roll over the outside edge of the stencil.

Check your wall to see how it looks by carefully un-taping and lifting one corner of the stencil. If it is too pale, put the
stencil back and roll it a few more times. Add just a little more pressure when stenciling lighter colors
over dark paint. You may need 2 coats of paint in some cases. Let the first coat of paint dry for a few minutes then roll
the stencil again.

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Carefully and slowly remove your stencil from the wall. Continue to stencil by repositioning your design until the wall
is finished. Use more spray adhesive when necessary. Some of our stencils come with smaller pieces to make corners, edges, and
awkward spaces easier.

If you are using multiple colors, make sure that the previous color has dried completely before continuing with a new color.
Stencils are good for many repeats before it needs to be cleaned. If your paint build up starts to interfere with your design, and
you aren’t getting as clean of an edge, it is time to clean your stencil.

When you are ready to re-decorate your wall. Lightly sand your wall and roll 2 coats of base coat paint over your stenciling and it
will be ready for a new design.

How to use a Stencil Brush instead of a Roller brush

It is much faster to use a roller, but you can use a stencil brush to stencil your design if you like. You’ll need a separate brush for each
different color. Squeeze some paint onto a paint tray (or foam plate). Dip just the tip of your brush into the paint. Dab your brush onto
the tray a few times to distribute the paint evenly. Rub some paint onto a paper towel to remove any excess paint. Your brush should
not have very much paint on it.

Use a dabbing motion or a light circular motion with your brush to cover the whole design. You can easily add different colors
where you would like using this method. It’s fun to create dimension with shadows by adding a darker color to the edges of the
stencil openings. Avoid a straight sweeping motion towards the edges for a clean look.

Stenciling Tips

MISTAKES: Sometimes you can use a damp cloth, baby wipe, or q-tip to wipe off a small mistake. Keep some base coat paint on
hand in case you need to fix a bigger mistake. In this case, just re-roll your base coat over your mistake once it has dried. It may
take 2 coats. Make sure it dries completely before you re-stencil the area.

EDGES & CORNERS: For best results, tape and stencil one wall at a time. Secure half of the stencil with tape. The other half will
remain loose. Roll or paint straight into the corner then carefully un-tape the finished half while you hold the stencil in place.
Next, secure the other half with tape and paint that side. Don’t worry about filling every bit of design in the corner crease.
Be sure to use a spray adhesive when doing corners with larger stencil designs. We have also included smaller stencil designs
on some of our larger stencils to make corners and edges easier.

CLEANING STENCILS: Clean stencils with Simple Green to help to remove adhesive residue. Lay the stencil on a flat surface and
scrub it with a dish brush under running water. It is best not to let pieces of dry paint go down the drain. It is not good for the
environment or your plumbing. Use a mesh strainer in the drain hole then shake out the pieces into a trash can. Place clean stencil
onto paper towels to dry. Pat it with paper towels for faster results. Store your stencils flat for best results. Only store them rolled if
it’s your only option. If you accidentally break one of the “bridges” on your stencil while cleaning, it can be fixed by attaching a
small piece of clear packing tape on both sides of the break.


© 2012-2013 Cute Stencils LLC.