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Getting Started

Updated: Mar 27, 2020

Learning how to stencil is a fabulous way to bring out your inner-artists and create a unique handcrafted finish on any surface: walls, floors, furniture, wood, metal, paper, fabric.


Stencilling is easy as it is fun and inspires a feeling of creative satisfaction. Pieces made by hand have a certain charm and a vibe that is undeniable; a quality that store-bought art cannot compete with. Not to mention, stencils are economical. You can reuse a quality mylar stencils many times with simple care and proper storage. Whipping up a designer looks for a fraction of the cost is just a dab (or roll) of paint away.



TOOLS + SUPPLIES


  • Application tool: brush, dabber, sponge, or roller.

  • Adhesive: Painter's tape or Spray Adhesive.

  • Paint: Acrylic ( matte), chalk paint, stencil creme.

  • Paint Tray: to hold paint or blend and create custom colors.

  • Paper towel or Rags: To offload the paint before stencilling.

  • Ruler/Tape measure: Measure and align the artwork.

  • Stabilizer ( optional): Dowel, Pencil, or any stick-like tool.


TEXTURE IS IMPORTANT


You can stencil on almost anything, but not everything, like rough or heavily textured surfaces. Because the stencil cannot lay flat on a textured surface, the paint will bleed underneath areas that do not contact the surface. Be sure to sand down rough textured wood, or scrape and sand any loose or cracked paint before you begin. The smoother, the better.



PREP THE SURFACE BEFORE YOU START


Every time, every project!


By not preparing the surface beforehand, you run the risk of a failed project. Stencilling over an unprepared surface ( dirt, dust, oil, old paint) it is like building a house on a sand hill. All that work will slide or peel off.


Removing loose paint, dirt, or oil with a quick wipe down with a cleaning solution will help the paint stick to the surface — no need to buy fancy store-bought cleaner. A mild soap and water wipe is all you need for most hard surfaces. If you need a deeper clean, we’ve included two non-toxic recipes using ingredients most households have on hand.


Simple Cleaning Solution


  • 1 cup of water

  • 1 cup vinegar


Mix water and vinegar, that’s it! These are simple mixtures you can use to wipe down walls, furniture, floors without having to rinse. Wipe and go.


Deep Cleaning Solution


  • 1 cup of water

  • ½ cup of vinegar

  • 1-2 tsp Borax

Wood: Use medium-fine grit sandpaper to smooth and create a good base. Wash with cleaning solution and let dry. Metal: Wash with a cleaning solution and let dry. For a metal with rust, give it a good scrub with vinegar and baking soda to remove any loose bits. Wash with cleaning solution and let dry. Walls + Furniture: Remove loose or cracked paint by lightly scraping or sanding the surface. Wash with cleaning solution and let dry. ** Sanding will take the finish off previously painted surface. These are excellent steps to take before priming and painting. Fabric: Wash and dry fabric. Skip the fabric softener because it creates a barrier between the material and paint. Glass/Ceramics: Wash with a cleaning solution and let dry.



One word of advice:embrace your inner-artist but let go of your inner-critic. Seriously. The magic of stencilling is the hand-painted finish. There will be tiny imperfections. Expect it and let it go. Our eyes will see motifs and pattern not by individual flaw.



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