How To Paint Wall Stencils
It’s easier than you think to apply a wall stencil to any room in your home. With so many stencil choices, it’s an inexpensive and easy way to add flare or dramatic effect to a wall. So let’s learn how to paint wall stencils at home!
Don’t purchase a whole gallon of paint for your stencil – remember, you aren’t painting the entire wall, just the sections left uncovered by the stencil. Usually, the 8oz sample size jars at your local hardware store will be sufficient, and they’re reasonably priced as well. Be sure to have some paint that matches your wall color, in case you need to touch it up.
Wall & Stencil Choice
First you must choose the wall you wish to stencil. There can be multiple reasons to choose a certain wall to stencil – perhaps for dramatic effect, for subtle serenity, or maybe even to cover up an uneven wall surface.
Whatever your reasons to stencil, the wall you choose should be large enough to accommodate the size stencil you will use. You may also want to choose a wall which gets natural light, so that your stencil can be seen day and night.
There are so many stencil designs to choose from – stencils with common phrases, stencils with optical illusions, and stand-alone stencils with special images or patterns. Don’t go overboard – simplicity is good for a project like this. When selecting a stencil, you should choose one that reflects your style or whatever statement you wish to make.
Measure, Mark & Make it Happen!
The first step is to measure your wall from end to end and select the spot for your stencil. If you know the dimensions of your stencil up front, this will help you determine the best location and fit on your wall.
Mark up your measurements with a pencil so you know exactly where to tape the stencil up. In some cases, you can even trace the stencil on the wall before you paint if it makes it easier for you to follow (you can paint over the pencil lines later).
Before you begin to do anything else, here is a basic list of what you’ll need to properly stencil your wall:
- Wall stencil
- Blue painter’s tape or spray adhesive
- Craft paint or Latex interior paint
- A dense foam roller or a brush
- Styrofoam plates
- Drop cloth
- Paper towels
If you are able to practice with the stencil on a piece of cardboard, you should. It’s not always clear what issues you may encounter while painting with stencils. Also, be extra careful if you’re stenciling near any wood trim, molding in a room corner, or near a ceiling – be sure to tape those areas off first.
It’s easy to take the next step – simply pour out some paint onto your plate, apply very little paint on your brush or roller and remove the excess onto a paper towel. Applying too much paint to the stencil will cause it to seep under the edges and blur your design.
Start painting on top of the covered bit of the stencil and brush or roll in towards the open part of the stencil until it is completely covered. Then, once you have finished your stencil, pull it off the wall and let your paint dry. If you are working with multiple stencils, allow the paint on the stencil to dry for 10 minutes before you apply it to another section of the wall (see our blog on the average time to paint a room for more info). And there you have it—now you know how to paint wall stencils!