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How to Stencil a Wall

Wall painting is a classic idea for rendering a great look to your rooms. It is a part of interior decoration. You can do it yourself if you have enough patience and interest. Wall murals, stencil patterns etc are available in plenty. The stenciling is an easy technique and it’s a brilliant way to change the appearance of walls within a minimum time period. Here are some basic techniques of stenciling. Try it. No doubt, you can modify the look of your home very easily.

Complexity level: Moderate

Time Required: 3-4 hours

Resources Required:

  1. Wall stencil kit
  2. Brushes
  3. Paints
  4. Spray adhesive
  5. Plastic tray
  6. Paper towel or rags
  7. Step ladder


1. Choose a clean surface

Choose the surface for stenciling. If you want to stencil on the top side of the wall, use the step ladder and fix a correct position.

2. Stick the sheet on the wall

The adhesive should be sprayed on one side of the stencil sheet. Only then the sheet can adhere correctly on the wall. If you use a small pattern, just fix it on the wall with a tape.

3. Fix the edges correctly

The edges of the sheet should be in contact with the wall surface. To avoid gaps, you can use a masking tape to fix the sides correctly. Gently press the stencil sheet with a cloth or paint may spread on the edges and you will only get a distorted image.

4. Use plastic tray to mix the paint

Take the plastic tray and pour a small quantity of paint into the tray. Gently mix it with the brush. Acrylic or water-based paints can be used for stenciling.

5. Take a small quantity first

You need to dab excess quantity of paint from the brush with a paper towel. Then start painting without bending the bristles. You can start with stencil openings. First, start from the edges of the design and then come to the middle part. Paint should not run over the wall.

6. Paint evenly with a lot of care

Strokes should not be overlapped. To get a fine design, paint evenly on the designed area. Do not avoid corners while painting.

7. Remove stencil sheet after finishing the work

After finishing, remove the stencil gently from the wall surface. The edges of the stencil should be free from paint stains. Wash it and keep for drying.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. What is stenciling?

Stenciling is a wall decorating idea. Using a template, you can design your wall. A lot of designs are available for this. It is a very easy method and no skill is required other than patience.

2. What type of brush should be used, for stenciling?

For getting a good stencil picture, you need to use a soft bristled brush. If you use a large brush, you can finish the work very easily. For normal stenciling, use a brush which is 3/8” larger.

Quick Tips:

  1. While painting, you need to wash the brushes frequently. The brush should not be soaked in the paint for a long time.
  2. You can clean the stencil sheets under running water. For removing glue from the back side of the stencil sheet, use few drops of turpentine.
  3. Before painting on the wall, you need to decide the colors. Make a sample on a white paper or card board.
  4. After choosing the surface, you need to clean the wall surface with a rag or sponge to avoid dirt.
  5. Instead of using the brush, you can paint the wall using stencil rollers. Dip the roller in the paint evenly before stenciling.
  6. Always keep the base coat with you. If you need to hide the mistakes, you can cover it up with the base coat.

Things To Watch Out For:

  1. Always remember to wear a mask if you use spray adhesives.
  2. If you use turpentine for cleaning the stencil sheet, never leave the rag which is soaked in the turpentine on the floor. It is highly inflammable in certain conditions. So, wash the rag immediately.