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To create your own stencils:

Supplies- Stencil pattern, acrylic paints (Apple Barrel, Delta Ceramcoat), oils- Adele Bishop Japan paints, paint solvent, Scotch Brite scouring pad, a bucket of soap and water, soap and water, stencil brushes- 3/4"- 1 1/2", #1 watercolor brush, measuring tape, pencil with eraser, paper towels, drop cloth, notepad, newspapers, X-acto knife, painter's palette, graph paper, scissors.

Cut Mylar- Enlarge your stencil pattern on graph paper. Transfer the stencil with a fine tip marker to the mylar. Use an X-acto knife to cut the openings on the mylar. If there are small openings, it may necessary to cut the holes twice. Various tools that may be used are a punch for holes and carved blade manicure scissors for larger openings.

Allow at least 1" margin on all sides of the stencil, Put punch holes in the top left and right for registration marks if you have different layers

Layout- Before starting, treat each wall as its own entity. Measure the length of stencil, from left image edge to right image edge. Center the stencil pattern between the wall. This can be accomplished by placing the stencil to the far left, marking the left and right center registration marks, then moving the stencil to the right as you go. Some people outline a leftmost and rightmost image to help with other layers that will be stenciled.

When you are all the way to the right, check your distances from the left and right on the wall. If it needs adjusting, erase the pencil marks and began again until you are pleased with the layout.

Painting- Place a drop cloth in the area where you are working. Place the stencil to the left of the wall with 4 pieces of masking tape. If you continue to hold the stencil with your left hand as you stencil, it is not necessary to use spray adhesive. Registration marks should already be on the wall. Begin stenciling. Squeeze the acrylic or oil paint onto the painter's palette. Dip the tip of the brush into the paint. Be careful not to saturate the brush. Dab the stencil brush onto the paper towel several times. This will ensure that the brush remains mostly dry. Many people have too much paint on the brush which causes bleeding through the stencil. There are three different method you can use to achieving different effects depending upon the different brush that is used.

  1. #1 watercolor brush- brush stroke method. This method was practiced in France in the 15th-16th centuries. A few homes in Connecticut used this method as early as 1772. You will need to trace each stencil opening with a pencil. Apply the design with simple brush strokes. This method does not produce a stenciled look.


  2. Stencil brush- Stippling, simply tap and dap the brush against the stencil openings. This tends to produce more even tones and less depth. This method takes longer.


  3. Stencil brush- Swirling, rotate your hand in a clockwise/counterclockwise manner, keeping the bristles of the brush to the wall. Start at the edges of the mylar and move toward the middle of the openings. Varying the amount of pressure or paint affects the final look to your design.


Experiment- You can use cotton balls, sponge, and foam rubber to achieve varying effects. Make sure you continually clean the brushes and stencil pattern when they gum up with a Scotch Brite scouring pad and soap and water. When you clean the stencil, make sure it is on a flat surface. This will help to extend the life of your stencil. If you use oil paints. use paint solvent to remove the paint.

Enjoy the fabulous design on your newly stenciled walls.

Source: Research & text by Bryan Wright

Related Links:

MB Historic Decor

Comments (1) 
kreiss
05/26/12
beautiful stencils !

so intricate... Give me ideas for our hallway!
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