Hand stenciled pattern
over these antiqued red walls
enhance this decorative powder room.
Rating 2.5 -moderate
For use on walls, furniture, objects, and
in fine arts paint techniques
The Decorative effect Stenciling,
traces its roots as far back as Egyptian
times, and has surged in popularity during
various periods of history. Henry III used
stenciled patterns, often with gold powders,
in star shapes. William Morris and William Burges
used stencils in interior designs
schemes. Folk art techniques, both on
furniture and walls, have taken stenciling
from a simple pattern repeat, to sophisticated
and colorful design elements, rich with story
lines and decorative symbolism.
Color Glaze' mixture and other color
suggestions visit the artsparx color palette…
If you are starting from scratch and would
like to completely re-paint a room for
stenciling, then follow these steps.
all nails and repair any damaged or cracked areas. Prime as needed. Refer to
the artSparx basic preparation resource for tips and techniques….
off all baseboard edges, ceiling edge, trim, window and door frames. Remove all
electrical and light switch cover plates. Cover furniture and floor areas with
Choose your base color and apply over the
surface in a smooth and even manner.
|Materials to make stencils:
Sheets of clear acetate, and oiled stencil
card are the most common materials used for
cutting stencil patterns. Opaque oiled stencil
card is easier to cut with a sharp craft knife
than transparent acetate. Acetate is a bit
more brittle and can split more easily than
oiled stencil card. However, both materials
work sufficiently, and transparent acetate is
more readily available.
For large areas it is recommended that you
make duplicate stencil patterns, as they tend
to wear and tear over modest usage.
|Transferring images to your
Transparent acetate. Use a fine point
Sharpie or rapidograph to transfer the image
onto the acetate.
Oiled stencil paper. Use carbon paper and a sharp pencil to
transfer your image onto the stencil paper.
|Cutting stencil patterns:
Cut the pattern out of your stencil
material using a sharp craft knife, razor
blade or scalpel. To insure clean cut lines it
is important to keep the blade sharp, so
change to new blades often. Use a professional
cutting board, newspaper, or glass under your
stencil when cutting out the pattern. A light
craft knife of scalpel is easier to handle
than a heavy duty craft or matt knife.
To can also use hole punches and scissors where necessary to make
the appropriate pattern.
|You can use a straight cut
hog bristle brush, commonly sold a ‘stenciling
brush’. However, a soft tipped,
rounded brush can work as well, and often
better than their firmer counter parts.
Sponges, both synthetic and marine, are
also commonly used in stenciling. For
looser, folk art patterns, a sponge is
often ideal, while for more refined and
intricate stencils a brush is most likely
be better suited.
Paints: Artist acrylic paints are
ideal for stenciling. In the stenciling
process paint is applied with a brush in an
almost dry manner. Acrylic paints dry almost
on impact and with the extensive range of
colors, any combination can be achieved in a
quick and efficient manner.
Artist oil paints: Oil paints
are also used, though take longer to dry and require a bit more
House hold latex paint: Regular house hold latex
paint can also be used, though it tends to be too thick for delicate
stencil projects. Any of these paints can be used on floors, as the
floor gets it’s durability by final coats of protective varnish, not
the actual paint used.
|Stenciling: Applying paint over
You may consider doing a test sample on a
sheet of newspaper first to get a feel for the
process, to see the manner in which the paint
is applied and determine the actual color
intensity of the paint application process.
Applying paint to the stencil
With a dry brush you can dab the paint onto the stencil.
You want to use dabs of color over your stencil. On a palette place
the colors you intend to use. The golden rule of stenciling is to use
an almost dry brush. Pick up a small amount of color on the tip of
your brush. First ‘pounce’ or blot this loaded brush on newspaper to
remove any excess moisture and paint, which will leave only a small
film of paint available on your brush. You are now ready to start. Fix
your stencil over the working area. You can do this by applying a thin
coat of spray adhesive over the back of your stencil. Pieces of
masking tape can also be an effective way to adhere your stencil
pattern in place. Holding the stencil with one hand, begin to dab the
surface with your loaded, dry brush. Use round scrubbing motions to
apply the color. You can work from the center of the cut-out towards
the edges to minimize paint build up (and potential leaking) around
the corners and edges of the stencil pattern. You can also apply more
than one color to the pattern. For example, if you are stenciling
grapes, with green leaves, you can apply a blush of burgundy over the
grapes, and add green onto the leaves. Often a bit of color that mixes
from one ‘zone’ to another adds charm and character. You can determine
if this is the look you are going for as you work through this
|Applying a protective varnish coat
On wall and furniture it may be
necessary to apply a protective coat of
clear sealer to insure that your stencil
lasts for many years. For borders on
walls, particularly ones that are near
the ceiling, it may not be necessary to
protect the pattern with varnish. For
furniture and floors it is recommended
to do so. For furniture and floors a
clear Satin sheen varnish, like Benjamin
Moore Stays Clear will work quite well.
up with warm, soapy water.
Dispose of remaining glazes properly.
artSparx Book special
Techniques & Projects
Very witty and highly original, trompe l'oeil really brightens up
a home. With little more than household paint, a brush, and a sponge, it's
possible to produce truly convincing fakes.