Stencil FAQs

What are stencils?

Stencils are basically a "template" with a design cut from it. They're used to paint a design onto a surface (such as wood, fabric, walls, etc). This is done by applying paint (stenciling) through the cut-out holes in the stencil. After applying paint, you lift the stencil and the design is on the surface.

What are our stencils made of?
The Stencilsmith uses the highest quality materials available. All of our stencils are precisely cut with a laser, using professional-grade, 10 mil Hazy White or 7 mil clear blue polyester (Mylar) plastic. Our stencils are flexible, durable and reusable. These stencils can be used on both flat and curved surfaces, perfect for painting on wood, canvas, walls, fabric, furniture, shaker boxes and so much more! Once you've had the chance to paint with our stencils, you will appreciate the added strength and attention to detail we put into each and every stencil.

What does the term "mil" mean?
This is the thickness of the plastic measured in thousands of an inch and is not to be confused with millimeters. 10 mil is .010 of an inch, and 7 mil is .007 of an inch.

Can I get a stencil in a different size than what is listed?
Like a stencil in our store but it's not the size you need? No problem! Please e-mail or call us with your size requirements. The ability to resize a stencil will depend upon the design itself. We do our best to accommodate your needs and we will review the request and verify if we can re-size per your specifications.

Do you make custom stencils?
We do not make custom stencils (other than resizing our stock designs). However, we are always interested in hearing what you'd like to see in our store! Looking for a certain phrase? Want to see more of a certain style or theme? Please e-mail or call us with your ideas, suggestions or what you'd like to see more of in our store. We will do our best to try and incorporate it into our future designing!

What are "bridges"?
Bridges are designed to hold the middle of the letter in place. Without them, the middle of letters like 'A', 'O', 'D', etc would fall out. The middles (also known as 'islands') need to be fastened to the rest of the stencil, thus 'bridges' are worked into the design. We take a lot of time and effort designing our bridges in the correct spots to make them strong and visually appealing.

What's the difference between "stencil size" and "image size"?
The STENCIL SIZE is the measurement of the entire stencil. The ACTUAL IMAGE SIZE is the measurement of the design itself. Please pay close attention to sizes listed in the description (stencil vs. image size). The descriptions can vary by stencil.

Would you explain Stencil Letter Sizing?
Understanding font sizing can be a little tricky! Below is a guide to help you understand our sizing. The example below shows sizing for a 2" alphabet stencil. It is important to pay attention to the highest points and the lowest points of the letters overall alphabet from A - Z. We use the highest and lowest point when sizing our letter stencils. Please note that ordering a 2" stencil doesn't necessarily mean each letter is 2" tall. We hope this guide helps, please let us know if you have further questions!