How to Stencil Instructions – Add Old World Charm to Your New Home – Walls, Ceilings, Cabinets

In the beginning, gather your Supplies in one place

Gather Tools, Materials & Paints

Features of Unique Designs stencils:

Tools, Materials, Paints and How to Demonstration

1. Pre-cut stencil design – Many companies sell ready-made stencils through mail order including our company based out of Atlanta, Georgia Because our stencils are made of 7 Mylar a very thick and durable material, if you treat your stencil with care, your stencil will last many projects over the years.

2. Measuring tool or tape measure (for general measuring and measuring repeats) – Whether wall, ceiling, floor, or fabric, measuring tools are important to determine placement of the design on the substrate to be stenciled. For marking very large spaces such as a floor, you may need a chalk line or painters paper tape (found in most hardware stores or painter’s stores, half gummed and half plain), to help keep lines straight (or big strong brother, Troy). (Figure C)

3. Level – A level is useful for creating horizontal stripes or vertical stripes on a wall. Also, keep in mind; you may need to use a level on a wall that is not quite square.

4. Painter’s blue tape – Use to adhere stencil in place, check your work and reposition stencil several times as needed.

5. Spray adhesive – Many painters use spray adhesive when stenciling the larger intricate ceiling and border stencils that measure 3 feet wide. These stencils are now available for making larger projects quicker and easier to complete. Make sure you spray adhesive in a well-protected space with proper ventilation. While laying stencil flat on a sheet of craft paper (back-side facing up) and holding spray can several inches away, lightly spray stencil and allow adhesive to set up for a couple of minutes this will insure repositioning and a minimum of glue will rub on your wall. Also, please remember do not spray around pets (especially birds). Mineral spirits will completely remove adhesive from stencil once you are finished for the day.

6. Paper towels (prefer viva or strong thick paper towels) – Use paper towels to offload or rub excess paint from the brush. When using a dry brush technique, make sure you offload most of the paint until you can run your brush across your hand and the brush feels dry.

7. Small containers, plastic plate or paint tray – Used to add water, extender and to mix custom colors. Also, plate or tray is used to hold paint and load stencil brush.

8. Acrylic paint – Paints that are water-soluble, flow well and are sold by a wide range of manufacturers ranging from small craft bottles to artist’s acrylic colors. Also, a wide variety of colors ranging from primary colors to an unlimited array of earth colors. As they dry very quickly it can sometimes help to mix in a small amount of acrylic retardant to delay the drying time. Keep in mind there are a wide variety of paints to choose from, I promote water-base paints, because they are easy to clean up with water, they can be thinned to various degrees with extender or water and they are fast drying. Whatever you choose, make sure you thin to consistency of ink and not too watery or it will bleed under the stencil.

9. Extender or acrylic medium

Acrylic retardant

10. Marking pen (for marking repeats on blue tape)

11. Poster board – It is important to use poster board to make samples for yourself or client. Not only will you be able to work out several color schemes and techniques, but you will also be able to practice with the new stencils.

12. Additional Tools

Painter’s Stir Stick to add water and extender to paint and also to mix custom colors
Water and water container for cleaning brushes and mistakes
Clean Rags (for cleaning up and for drying brush)

Cleaning Instructions:

Because our stencils are made of 7 Mylar a very thick and durable material, if you treat your stencil with care, your stencil will last many projects over the years.

Even when using a very dry brush for stenciling, you will still occasionally need to clean spots on the back of the stencil. Make sure after each print you check the back of the stencil, because any spots will certainly rub off on the wall. When using thick acrylic paints, you will need to clean your stencils after 4 or 5 imprints.

You will know when it is time to clean your stencil because your stencil will become sticky, and it is time to clean your stencil in order to get clean edges and professional results. At the cleaning stage, it is best to clean your stencil on a flat hard surface (in the bottom of your utility sink or outside on a flat table. Using warm soapy water (or solvent cleaner) gently rub paint off the stencil. You can remove paint by using a kitchen sponge, a scotch-brite pad, 220 grit sanding block or nail brush.

Be careful when cleaning your stencils, because some designs are very intricate with narrow bridges and these areas can tear or bend. Allow the stencil to dry, or dry with absorbent paper towels (Viva paper towels) before making any more prints on your substrate. When finished for the day, store stencils flat or hang stencil on a coat hanger.

If stencil paint was allowed to completely dry on your stencil, put your stencil in a plastic garbage bag, spray stencil with a household kitchen cleaner (409), let set up for 20 minutes and gently scrub with kitchen sponge. Rinse any residue left from cleaner.

Brush care

Be sure to clean your brushes thoroughly before drying and storing them. Rinse them in solvent needed for your paint (water for acrylics). Also, you can use a brush scrubber and many specialty products from your local arts and craft store to clean your brushes until the warm water runs clean over the bristles. Then allow brush to dry thoroughly before storing them.

If you take a break from your stenciling project, be sure to rinse brushes with water. Brushes should be washed in warm water immediately after use, as the paint is very difficult to remove if paint is allowed to harden on the brush.

Make sure before you begin stenciling again, dry brush on a rag, paper towel or use a hair dryer. Wet brushes are likely to result in blurred or different colored prints. Save time on your projects by using a different brush for each color. water soluble bag manufacturers

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