OR BRUSHES? Many people argue which is the better
choice. …It's a preference really, however many painters prefer using
great for a larger/ less detailed area (such as a larger circle, or stars or
any area with minimal detail and a larger
circumference. With a sponge, you can cover a larger area MUCH
faster and will have a smooth (non-stippling) finish. Sponges can be a
real life saver! Most people just use make-up sponges (triangle shaped) you can
buy at a local drug store.
Brushes are wonderful as well! They are great for smaller/ more
detailed areas and work great for distressing edges. Thoroughly dry,
soft bristled stencil brushes with firmly packed bristles will give the most
uniform coverage whether stippling or swirling.
surfaces need the use of specific paints. The information below will help
you determine what paint you need for your project.
(interior use) - Interior Acrylics, Exterior Acrylics, Stencil Cremes, Enamels
(exterior use) - Exterior Acrylics (or you can use an Interior Acrylic paint,
then spray a finish on top, to protect from weathering)
Interior Acrylics, Stencil Cremes, Enamels, Fabric Paints
WALLS (example: bedroom wall) - Interior Acrylics, Stencil Cremes
Interior Acrylics, Exterior Acrylics, Stencil Cremes
your stencil is a preference in different projects. (Some feel they don't
need to tape the stencil to a wood plaque they're painting on, while others
feel it helps keep it in place). It's totally up to YOU!
However, if you're stenciling on a wall, you'll definitely need some adhesive
to keep your stencil perfectly placed, while you paint. You don't need
fancy spray adhesives to stencil. Not only are they messy to use, (the spray
gets everywhere) but they make your stencil extremely hard to work with because
it tends to stick to everything. All you really need is masking tape.
*TIP* If it's really sticky, remove some of the tack by applying
it to your shirt and peeling it off, that way it won't pull off any paint from
your project. The painter's blue tape works well too, and it is easier to see.
Brushes - Foam Brushes are perfect for base painting many wood
projects (such as plaques, shelves, boxes, etc.). They make base painting
quick and smooth looking. They can be found in your local craft store in
the painting isle.
Paper- You only need
this if you're wanting to 'rough up' the edges. This is a common way
to give the edging a 'worn' primitive look.
Plate & Towels - Paper plates
are a great place to pour your paint. (Quick clean up and cheap).
You also want to have a few paper towels nearby, for dabbing/wiping brushes and
easy quick cleaning.
STENCILING FOR BEGINNERS:
beginning any stenciling project, it is important that your surface be prepared
properly. It is best to stencil surfaces that are as smooth as possible. If the
surface is not smooth the stencil will not produce clean, crisp designs. (If
working with wood, the best way to smooth a surface is with fine sand paper).
back ground of your project needs a base coat, simply pick your background
color and paint with a foam brush. Foam brushes cover a lot of area
quickly and smoothly. They are also washable, so you can use them over
small amount of paint on a plate or palette, about the size of a quarter. Dip
just the tip of your brush or sponge into the paint. If using a brush, with a
circular/swirling motion, remove excess paint on a different paper plate or
paper towel until the brush is "dry". Too much paint on the brush
causes blotchy designs. If using a sponge, start dabbing and
'pushing/working' the paint into the sponge until the sponge feels almost
'dry'/moist (NOT WET!)
- stenciling is a "dry" brush technique. The most common mistake
is overloading your brush. It is far better to stencil
a few layers gradually, instead of one thick paint application. If paint
begins to 'bleed' behind your stencil or if your designs do not have crisp
defined edges, YOU ARE USING TOO MUCH PAINT.
brush is loaded, test (practice) on an area of your paper plate to test the
imprint. The brush/sponge is properly loaded when there is a uniform
(almost powdery) looking imprint on the plate. There should be nothing
wet or sloppy.
brush/sponge is loaded. …You are ready to stencil! There are
different ways to stencil. The most common is either the 'stippling' or
'swirling' technique. Stippling is a straight up and down motion.
Swirling is in a circular motion. Here is what we recommend:
AREAS - In larger areas we suggest using a sponge. With a
sponge, you can cover a larger area MUCH faster and will have a smooth
(non-stippling) finish. It covers fast and evenly distributes the
paint.... then a second layer with the swirling technique (to give it a
AREAS - For the smaller areas we suggest using a swirling
technique with a stencil brush. The reason this is the best technique for
a tiny detailed area, is when you're swirling it really gets those tiny edges
and corners that are hard to evenly distribute when just stippling or
sponging. Swirling is the BEST choice for detailed or
sharp areas. *Important: …when using this technique, your brush
needs to be very 'Dry/Damp' …if it's too wet, it will look sloppy and
leak. Be patient, even if it takes a few coats, it will look just
beautiful and crisp in the end!
finished stenciling, carefully peel off the stencil. ….You're not
finished yet! ….Remember to connect those bridges!
Especially when stencil with letters. Just because you stenciled
something, doesn't mean it needs to LOOK like a stencil when you're
finished! Bridges are needed in stencils, so the middles don't fall out
(example: the letter 'B') …if there were no bridges, the middle of the B would
fall out. SO, after stenciling, take a small paintbrush and dip the tip
into the same color as the letter/image. Then lightly connect the
letters. The finishing product is SO much more professional. Take
the time to connect the bridges to give your project that final touch, you'll
be happy you did!
give your project that 'worn' primitive look? You can 'rough up' your
edges with some sand paper. Just rip off a piece and (I usually wrap it
around one of my small bottles of paint), then scuff up the edging and
sides. The rougher the sand paper, the more scuffed up it will
look. When choosing the grit size ...the lower the number, the rougher it
is. To rough up your sign even more, you can use a meat tenderizer or any
household items that 'bang/mark up' a surface well.
project is dry, (and edging finished if you choose), you can spray or paint a
protective coat. I usually use the spray can. There are different finishing
sprays you can use, that are all available in your local craft store (paint
isle). I like to put a finishing spray on my projects, as it gives it
that 'professional/finishing' look and it also helps protect your product for
years and years of enjoyment.
TIME! After you're finished, simply toss out your paper
plate. Your stencils and brushes/sponges can all be cleaned with
soap and warm water. Household cleaners such as Windex, Oven Cleaner,
Clorox Kitchen cleaner and Isopropyl Alcohol (higher percentage the better)
work very well to clean your stencils and get rid of dry layers of paint.
You can spray down or soak your dry stencil in a basin with the cleaner of your
choice. For soaking it is best to find a basin that can accommodate your
entire stencil so it can lay flat. You only need enough cleaner to submerge the
stencil. Depending on how much paint is built up, different amounts of time are
required to loosen the pain. When the paint is loose enough, you can GENTLY rub
the more stubborn parts with an old tooth brush to assist in removal. It
is very important not to scrub hard as you can damage your stencil.
When scrubbing, try to pay attention to the area and make sure you are not
putting pressure on a fragile section. Examples would be the points on the
letter “M”, any filigree swirls or thin areas that move easily.
When you are satisfied with the results the stencil can then be sprayed
off with your sink sprayer. The basin of cleaning solution can also be strained
and re used several times over. Take care not to allow dried paint chips to go
down your drain. Careful cleaning of your stencils and brushes will
enable them to be uses again and again.
FLATTEN A CURLED STENCIL -
larger stencils have to be rolled/shipped in a box… sometimes when they are
shipped during a hot season (summer) or to a warmer area, they may have a
slight curl to them. There are a few things you can do to flatten your
stencil. You can lay your stencil under some books or even under an area
rug (leave it overnight). If there a just a small area/letter curled, you
try gently curling it in the opposite direction with your fingers. OR….
lay your stencil flat on the table and put paper on top (tissue paper,
newspaper, etc.), then roll it in the opposite direction of the curl, then
place it back in the box (or tube, etc.) and blow a hairdryer into it for
a minute or two, then quickly take it out of the box and lay it flat under
books for 1-2 hours. ……If you are trying to flatten your stencil after
you have painted with it multiple times, make sure to clean all the paint off
your stencil… multiple layers of paint collected on a stencil (especially in
delicate/skinny areas) can cause a warped/curl look.